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.

 

KCH employees wear pink in recognition of breast cancer awareness month

On Friday, October 7, Kona Community Hospital employees dressed in pkch-pink-shirt-day-1ink attire to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and is second only to lung cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. It affects one of every eight American women.

Wearing pink in October has gained popularity as support for breast cancer awareness and to encourage early detection.

“This annual event gives employees and hospital staff an opportunity to raise awareness of breast cancer, which affects so many people,” said Judy Donovan, KCH Marketing Director.

 

Kona Hospital Auxiliary Awards $12,000 in Nursing Scholarships

On Saturday, August 27, the Kona Community Hospital Auxiliary awarded $12,0nursing-scholarship-recipients00 in nursing scholarships to six local students seeking to pursue nursing careers.

The Kona Community Hospital Auxiliary nursing scholarship program annually awards up to $2000 to each recipient.  This year’s scholarship recipients included Melissa Moats, Michelle Proue, Jacqueline Sanders, Joy Woods, Ellie Kalawe and Shaylynn Fujii.

To be considered for the Auxiliary’s nursing scholarship, applicants must submit a resume, school transcripts, two letters of recommendation and a personal essay on why nursing was chosen as a career.  In addition, students must already be accepted to a nursing school. 

The Auxiliary’s goal is to provide financial assistance to nursing students, and to aide Kona Community Hospital in meeting its future nursing needs.

The KCH Auxiliary is the largest volunteer organization at the hospital. There are numerous volunteer opportunities within the hospital. They also operate the hospital Gift Shop. Monies for nursing scholarships are generated by the Auxiliary’s Friday Bake Sale, their annual Art at the Pavilion event as well as other activities.  To be a volunteer or to donate to the nursing scholarship fund, contact the Auxiliary office at 322-4577 or visit the KCH Auxiliary website.