Update from West Hawaii Region Board of Directors

Jay Kreuzer, Acting CEO West Hawaii Region

On April 3, 2020, the HHSC West Hawaii Region Board of Directors named Jay Kreuzer into the role of Acting CEO of the West Hawaii region, which includes Kona Community Hospital and Kohala Hospital.

The Board decision was made in order for then-Acting CEO, Linda Rosen, MD to return to her full time position as CEO at the HHSC corporate office on `Oahu.

Frank Sayre, DDS and West Hawaii Region Board Chair said the decision to have Kreuzer step into the Acting CEO role provides seamless coverage for the Region, which is crucial during the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sayre said, “We’re very appreciative of Dr. Rosen’s leadership and guidance over the past several weeks, but understand her need to get back to her full time responsibilities.”

Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center and Kona Community Hospital partner to accept masks

Beginning Friday, March 27, 2020, the Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center (KASC) and Kona Community Hospital (KCH) will be partnering to collect donated surgical masks and N-95 respirators.

The two healthcare organizations are seeking surgical masks and N-95 respirators in original, unopened packaging to augment supplies at KCH should additional supplies be needed.

Kona Ambulatory Surgery Center has been designated as the drop off site for donated items. Donations will be accepted Monday – Friday from 7:00am to 4:00pm. The surgery center address is 75-5905 Walua Road, Suite 4 in Kailua-Kona. Donation receipts will be provided.

Please contact KASC clinical manager, Nadine Calloway Reese at (808) 331-7960 or by email at nreese@konaasc.com.

“The community has expressed so much interest in helping during this unprecedented time,” said Katherine Cholet, KASC Administrator. “We’re humbled by that, and also happy to help Kona Community Hospital in their preparations for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients.”

Hospital Opens Newly Remodeled and Expanded Pharmacy

On September 26, Kona Community Hospital (KCH) will celebrate the completion of its newly remodeled and expanded Pharmacy with a blessing and open house. The event commemorates the culmination of a multidepartment renovation project.

Opened in the 1970’s, the pharmacy department has been constrained by its size for a number of years. The expansion nearly doubles the pharmacy size, creating space for new equipment and furnishings.

Design of the space took workflow efficiency into consideration. The new configuration replaces a cramped, 40-year old pharmacy model, which wasn’t as efficient as it could be. The brightly lit new space includes a general dispensing area that flows into the individual pharmacists’ workstations, also provides plenty of counter space. The pharmacy remodel includes the implementation of Quiet Zones to improve staff concentration and decrease distractions.

Security was also an important design component. The new pharmacy has two access doors, and no external facing windows, increasing staff safety. It is fully alarmed and will be monitored by high-security cameras.

The space has been outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, including:

  • Seven zones, each with individual temperature and humidity control
  • All new air handlers
  • A HEPA air filtration system
  • Pharmacy grade refrigeration
  • 6’ Laminar Flow Hood

Additionally, the KCH pharmacy will be compliant United States Pharmacopeia (USP) 797 standards for sterile compounding. It will also be one of the first pharmacies in Hawaii to be USP 800 compliant in the handling and storage of hazardous drugs such as chemotherapy.

“The pharmacy’s new layout and technology will reduce potential for medication errors’” said Pharmacy Director, Marilinda Passon. “The new design will help us ensure that medications are dispensed safely and accurately so that we provide nurses and doctors the tools they need to heal the community.”

Noting that pharmacists no longer work only behind the scenes, Passon says, “Our pharmacists have a key role in employee and patient education. We’re thrilled that now we’ll be doing that job in a 21st century pharmacy.”

The KCH pharmacy provides pharmacy services to Kona Community Hospital, the KCH Cancer Treatment Center’s Infusion/Hematology clinic and to Kohala Hospital. Currently, the pharmacy operates 7 days per week and is staffed by 8 pharmacists and 7 pharmacy techs.