Maui Needs a Better Healthcare System

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Jan Shields

BY JAN SHIELDS – The people of Maui need improved and complete healthcare. We need a great hospital for our doctors and nurses to practice in. I currently live between California, where people have excellent healthcare, and Maui, where excellent people do not have the healthcare they deserve.

Banner, a good solid hospital, wants to take over Maui Memorial Medical Center.


What about Banner Health? I can tell you that on the mainland, Banner has a great reputation. Banner Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center opened the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center on Sept. 26, 2011, in Arizona.   US News and World Report rated MD Anderson the number one in the country for cancer care.

Banner Health’s mission statement is “To make a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care.”

That is exactly what we need.   One focus, “the” focus:  A hospital system that strives for excellence.  Banner is a hospital system that has the ability and skills to strive for excellence.

Banner Health is a non-profit.  Quoting from their own website, “Banner Health exists to provide health care services to the communities we serve, rather than generate profits. That means the every dollar we earn is reinvested into:

•  new hospital beds

•  new or expanding patient care services

•  new physician services

•  new technologies

•  maintaining existing equipment and facilities

•  paying employees’ salaries.”

That is what Maui needs.  However, it is important to ask, Is Banner stating the truth?

A few days ago, I ran into a former employee of Banner Health who now lives in California.  She previously worked in Banner’s Colorado Hospital.  I asked her to be honest.  “How does Banner Health treat employees?”  She told me that she had loved her job.  She told me Banner paid her a higher salary than the other Colorado hospitals offered. She told me Banner takes good care of their employees.  When she moved to California, she looked for a Banner Hospital to work for.  When she found none, she was sad.   She said loved working for Banner.

I asked her what about the healthcare?  Were they good?  She told me a story about a very complicated parotid gland tumor (salivary gland tumor) she had removed at Banner.  She showed me the scar, which was barely visible. She said they had the experts right there at Banner to do the surgery.  Her face was perfectly symmetrical, no sign of any complications.

So what do others say about Banner?

Thomson Reuters awarded Banner Health one of the top five healthcare systems in the nation in 2012.  This was based on clinical performance.  Thomson Reuters reviewed 300 organizations and singled out five hospital systems based on eight measures of quality, patient perception of care, and efficiency.  Banner was recognized as having superior survival rates, better long-term outcomes, better adherence to accepted care protocols and patient safety standards, shorter hospital stays, higher patient satisfaction scores and fewer patient complications.

Banner Health also won “Top Leadership Teams in Healthcare’ Award in 2011 by the national trade publication HealthLeaders.

Banner Health is seventh in Nation’s Top 100 Integrated Healthcare Networks according to SDI.  SDI is a health care analytics company that conducts an annual assessment of the 100 most integrated health care networks.

In 2012, Seventeen Banner Health facilities achieve final stage of electronic medical record adoption by HIMSS Analytics, which monitors and recognizes levels of Electronic Medical Record adoptions and meaningful uses of EMR’s in hospitals in the USA, Canada, and other countries.

In July 2012, U.S. News & World Report released its annual Best Hospitals publication.  This showcases more than 750 of the nations 5,000 hospitals.  Fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties.  Seven Banner Health Facilities ranked as Best Hospitals!  These are prestigious awards!

In its August issue, Consumer Reports released the publication’s first-ever hospital safety rating using the most current data from 1,159 hospitals in 44 states.  Banner facilities rated very well in safety.

Banner Health was named on of of the Most Wired Health Systems in the country.  They have also been named one of the top 25 Connected Hospitals for a second time in 2011 by Heath Imaging and IT magazine. They were honored for their streamlined image transfer process for trauma patients who were referred from rural hospitals. This allows medical professionals to view and share images.  This means quicker diagnostics and treatments.

Banner was named on of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies in the state, for a second year in a row in 2010 by Arizona Business Magazine and BestCompaniesAZ.

Banner Health continues to be a top-performing nonprofit health system and recognized among leading consumer and watchdog organizations based on clinical and operational excellence across many aspects of the patient care experience.

Maui needs Banner Health.  People of Maui, call your legislators. We want this system.  The good people of Maui deserve Banner Health.  Banner Health deserves a welcoming aloha from the people of Maui.






  1. "Score Card on Kids' Health Care Ranks California 44th" … Jan, what does this quote from a bay area newspaper say about the quality of California health care?


      Aloha Winton,

      First of all, mahalo for your service. I am so grateful.

      You are referring to the Bay Citizen.

      The northern part of California that I am aware of is “the Bay Area”. I don’t know how anyone can afford clothes and housing for their kids much less healthcare! It is actually more expensive than Maui I do believe.

      However, there are some fabulous hospitals up there – Stanford, SCSF, etc. I am not sure how much the education and cultural variability’s in the area play into some of these ratings? One of the things they were rated on was percentage of kids not receiving vaccines, 78 percent in 2009 vs. 84 percent for Iowa, which is the top ranked state in that measure. Is this a reflection of educated parents researching and not trusting vaccines in Northern California or coming from cultures that are don’t accept vaccines? Not sure. I question everything, and refuse the flu vaccine myself. That’s a choice. I could get it free if I wanted it. I can tell you, healthcare is available in Northern California. You can lead a horse to water…read the book “The Spirit Catches you and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman. There is also a 11% uninsured rate in the last few years. The article blames it on recession. I blame it on the poor decisions made by our state legislators!

      But back to Maui…..smiles….a wealthy community not allowed to have healthcare so all wealth will flow into Oahu pockets….

  2. Mahalo, Jan, for your perseverance! I am hoping the powers that be in Hawaii will take heed and allow the people of Maui to finally get the healthcare they deserve.There has been a large group of concerned citizens working very hard for years to get a good functioning hospital on Maui. it's been an ongoing endeavor with a lot of support. I feel it's time for the legislators to do the right thing.

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