Honolulu Council Members Call on Emergency Responders to Address Lack of Emergency Rooms

article top
Honolulu City Hall – Photo by Mel Ah Ching

REPORT FROM THE OFFICE OF COUNCIL MEMBER KYMBERLY PINE – Concerned that residents are still without an Ewa emergency room or a hospital, two councilmembers have asked hospital officials and emergency responders to report the status of emergency services tomorrow (April 16).  The Oahu Emergency Services Briefing will be held at 10 a.m. at Honolulu Hale in the second floor committee room.

“While we welcome the news that Queens Medical Center will reopen the closed Hawaii Medical Center-West in 2014, it will be more than two years that my community has been without a hospital or emergency room,” said Honolulu City Councilmember and Co-Host Kymberly Marcos Pine (Waianae, Nanakuli, Honokai Hale, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach).  “Many of my Ewa Beach and Kapolei residents continue to worry about their emergency health needs.  We need to make sure everything is being done to ensure that lives are being saved now.”


Prior to the December 2011 closing, the HMC-West Emergency Room was the second busiest emergency room on the island, said Pine.

Councilmember Ron Menor (Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia, Mililani Town, West Loch, Iroquois Point, and portions of Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach) will co-host the briefing. His communities of Ewa, Ewa Beach,Waipahu and Waipio were also negatively affected by the closure.  

HMC-West’s closure has left a devastating and lasting impact on the lives of many Leeward and Central Oahuresidents, and has had the disproportionate impact of straining services in other nearby communities.  In addition, many residents are still reeling from the loss of their jobs, their homes, their savings and their self-esteem.

Medical leaders in attendance will be:

  • State Department of Health – Dr. David Sakamoto, Deputy Director for Health Resources
  • Department of Emergency Services – Director Mark Rigg, City and County of Honolulu
  • Pearl City Urgent Care – Dr. Keith Stephenson, Medical Director, Donna Schmidt, Medical CEO, Melissa Bojorquez, Community Outreach Liaison
  • Pali Momi Medical Center – Jen Chahanovich, Chief Executive Officer, Brigitte McKale, VP Operations & Chief Nurse Executive, Liz Chun, Director of Philanthropy
  •  Pacific Regional Medical Command and Tripler Army Medical Center – Navy Capt. Andrew Findley, Deputy Commander for Clinical Services , Lt. Col Kurt Edwards, Chief Trauma/Surgical Critical Care, TAMC, Mr. Stephen Cole, Human Resources Division, TAMC
  • HMC Doctors Practicing in Former HMC-West Physicians Building – Dr. Scott McCaffrey, Secretary for Honolulu County Medical Society
  •  Queens Health Systems – Susan Murray, SVP & Chief Operating Officer (West Oahu Region)Paula Yoshioka, SVP Corporate DevelopmentCedric Yamanaka, Director of Corporate Communications,Malia Espinda, Legislative Analyst, Corporate Development
  • Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center – Dr. Stephen Bradley, Chief Medical Officer

Councilmember Pine held an emergency Town Hall on February 9, 2012 to address the hospital closure with State and City officials and hospital leaders island-wide.  She later hosted a leeward job fair in April 2012 providing over 1,200 job opportunities to leeward residents.  Over 500 HMC-West staff members were laid off.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend the briefing tomorrow.   For more information contact Jean Jeremiah, Office of Councilmember Kymberly Pine, (808) 768-5001 or email tjeremiah@honolulu.gov .  The Oahu Emergency Services Briefing will be held on April 16, 2013 (Tuesday) at 10:00 a.m. at the Honolulu Hale, 2nd Floor Committee Room.