KCH Makes Hope a Reality

Kona Community Hospital’s (KCH) fifth annual Hope Event took place today, Saturday, October 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at KCH’s Radiation Oncology Clinic (ROC). It brought over 150 people together to bring hope, celebrate life, and to recognize how cancer affects each and every one of us.

The Hope Event and five-year anniversary celebration featured volunteer services from local businesses such as Intrigue Dezign and Tiana’s Avon and Wigs, as well as live music, food and more. In an effort to give back to cancer patients and survivors, five individuals graciously donated their hair that will be made into wigs through the American Cancer Society of West Hawaii affiliation with Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program.

The first patient treatment at the ROC took place on May 5, 2005. The ROC is currently treating approximately 15 patients a day, 3000 patients per year and has consistently increased the number of patient treatments on an annual basis since its opening. Instead of having to travel for treatments that usually last less than 15 minutes long, patients can be treated at the ROC and go back to their daily lives in a matter of minutes. The convenience and benefits of having a clinic in West Hawaii are outstanding.

Judy Shibly’s father, Nick Morgan, was one of the first patients treated at the Radiation Oncology Clinic and commented, “The Radiation Oncology Clinic is nothing short of a wonderful and welcome miracle for all the folks of West Hawaii needing treatment. My dad received 41 treatments and, at that time, he was almost 88 years old and was able to drive himself every morning for treatment since it was so near. He was home in half an hour to receive much needed rest and work in his garden, which brings him so much happiness! He just celebrated his 93rd birthday in August. We are so grateful for the support and help we received.”

“The Radiation Oncology Clinic at Kona Community Hospital is something we should all be proud of as members of the community,” commented Radiation Oncologist, James Lambeth, M.D. “From people to premises, professionalism impressively blends with friendly and courteous service, as well as state-of-the-art equipment. It has the best Linear Accelerator on the Big Island and all neighbor islands.”

“Throughout my career, I have met amazing people who have survived or have passed away from cancer,” said Poppy Sokham, KCH’s Director of Radiation Oncology. “Our hope is that those who attend will learn what they can and also remember those who have been through the battle, so we can fight this deadly disease.”

“We want to encourage everyone to have a positive outlook on life and spread hope,” commented Emily Mendez-Bryant, KCH’s Community Relations Director. “As a hospital, we know the importance of providing support and education to our community. Having this event, along with celebrating the five-year anniversary of the ROC gives us hope that anything is possible.”

Founded in 1914, Kona Community Hospital is a 94-bed full-service hospital with 24-hour emergency services that supports the west region of the island of Hawaii. It is a member of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a special agency of the state of Hawaii established in 1996. It is fully accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health care Organizations. Kona Community Hospital is dedicated to providing and enhancing accessible comprehensive Health care services to the West Hawaii community.