It’s been nearly three years since the Ewa Beach community lost its only hospital.
Next Tuesday, a new era will begin when Queen’s Medical Center West Oahu opens its doors.
One of the first things you notice about the new hospital is a much larger, expanded emergency room.
“We’ve nearly tripled our size of emergency room beds,” said Jamie Kaalekahi-Mamac, assistant administrator for nursing. “We’ve gone from ten to 23 beds. … We’re looking at our collaboration with emergency responders, both EMS and AMR, working with them on what we think the needs of the community are.”
The new medical center is ready to go, with staff conducting a number of drills called “day in the life.”
“It wasn’t really to test the clinical skills of the people here, because actually everyone here has a lot of experience,” said pulmonologist Dr. T. Scott Gallacher. “This was actually to test the systems, so when you turn on a switch, does it light up when they should? Do alarms go off? Do the monitors work?”
The hospital will have 450 workers. Employees who work at the main Queen’s Medical Center in town were given the first chance at landing jobs at the new facility.
Hospital administrator Susan Murray said that there’s a dire need of specialists in the area, “so we’re bringing on cardiologists, (gastrointestinal doctors) and surgeons. … “We also have four operating rooms, two procedure rooms, and mammography and DEXA (bone density) scan. So we’ll keep you healthy and we’ll take care of you when you’re not.”
With state-of-the-art equipment, doctors from a variety of fields, and lots of rooms, “the services we’ll be providing … are all the services we need to serve as a community hospital.”
“Fifty percent of the (island’s) population will be in West Oahu by 2030,” she said. “It’s the fastest growing community and they deserve quality health care.”
And you can get a first hand look at the new Queen’s Medical Center West Oahu during an open house on Saturday, May 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.