BY SHAWN NAKAMOTO – The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has named Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children, Hawaii’s only pediatric tertiary care center, as the Pediatric Specialty Resource Hospital for the Hawai‘i Statewide Trauma System.
Dr. Devin Puapong, pediatric general surgeon, has been appointed as the medical director for the Pediatric Trauma Program. A trauma coordinator will be appointed soon.
Dr. Linda Rosen, chief of the Emergency Medical Services-Injury Prevention Branch of the DOH, said injury is a major public health problem in Hawai‘i, especially for children. “From the first year of life through adolescence, more children die or are disabled by injury than all other causes combined,” she said. “We recognize that injured children have different needs than adults. Participation by a hospital with special pediatric resources is essential in order to effectively meet the needs of this special population.”
“We are pleased to be a part of the state’s Trauma System,” said Martha Smith, chief operating officer for Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children. “This designation is important because it allows us to expedite and facilitate care to children who need the expertise of the pediatric specialists at Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children. When appropriate and in coordination with the trauma team at The Queen’s Medical Center, patients will be directly transported to our facility for care provided by our Pediatric intensivists, ER doctors and other specialists.”
Criteria for the Pediatric Specialty Resource Hospital designation are modeled on those of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.
The Hawai‘i State Trauma System has been established to provide a pre-planned, comprehensive and coordinated statewide and local network with the capability to care for the seriously injured. The DOH is the legally responsible entity for the System; the Emergency Medical Services-Injury Prevention Branch is the DOH program responsible for administrative functions of planning, developing, maintaining and evaluating the system. The Hawai‘i Trauma Advisory Council, a broadly representative advisory body of trauma stakeholders, has been formed to advise the DOH. The Trauma System Special Fund was established in 2006. Act 102 of the 2007 Legislature deposited a portion of the monies from the cigarette tax into the Fund; Act 231 of the 2008 Legislature levied a trauma system surcharge in addition to civil penalties for a number of offenses including failure to properly use a child passenger restraint system, excessive speeding and others.
Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children is well recognized as Hawai‘i’s leader in the care of women, infants and children. With 207 beds and 90 bassinets, the nonprofit hospital is Hawai‘i’s only maternity, newborn and pediatric specialty hospital. It is also a tertiary care, medical teaching and research facility. Specialty services for patients throughout Hawai‘i and the Pacific Region include intensive care for infants and children, 24-hour emergency pediatric care, air transport, maternal fetal medicine, and high-risk perinatal care. More than 1,300 employees and 612 physicians provide specialty care at Kapi‘olani Medical Center. The hospital is home to Kapi‘olani Women’s Center, Kapi‘olani Breast Center and Kapi‘olani Women’s Cancer Center – the state’s only dedicated breast health and gynecological cancer centers. Kapi‘olani offers numerous community programs and services, such as the Kapi‘olani Child Protection Center and Sex Abuse Treatment Center. Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women & Children is an affiliate of Hawai‘i Pacific Health, the state’s largest health care provider. Learn more at: www.kapiolani.org.