Over the last two years, Hawaii Island’s survival rate for people experiencing cardiac arrest in front of bystanders went from 4 percent to 6.8 percent. The jump appears to be the result of efforts by the Hawaii Fire Department to train people in important life-saving techniques including performing chest compressions and the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), according to Chris Honda, captain of the department’s Emergency Medical Services Bureau. The Hilo Medical Center Foundation, in conjunction with partners including the fire department, the County of Hawaii, Hilo Medical Center, KTA Super Stores, the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, and more, will officially kick off on Feb. 24 the “Be a Lifesaver Hawaii” campaign.
Hilo Medical Center Foundation presented the keys to a new 14-passenger transport van to Resident Council President Pearl “Aunty Nona” Kahookaulana of Hilo Medical Center’s Extended Care Facility.
“We are pleased to present this van to our residents to improve their quality of life,” said Lori Rogers, Executive Director of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation. “As our Foundation narrowed our focus on the hospital’s wish list of projects, the pressing need for the van kept rising to the top of the list. We’re happy to provide the residents with a reliable, comfortable van to go to their doctors’ appointments and field trips.”
During the blessing of the van, the keys were presented to Aunty Nona, a bus driver for 20 years. It was noted during the ceremony that back in 1978, Aunty Nona had driven Sheri Shaw, Nurse Manager at Extended Care Facility, to school.
Aunty Nona, who is originally from Kalapana, has been a resident of Extended Care Facility for over two years. She and other residents in wheelchairs will benefit from the van that features a wheelchair lift and accommodates up to 4 wheelchairs.
Thanks to the negotiating skills of Foundation Trustee Dr. Richard Robbins, the van was purchased within the budget.
Rogers said, “many grants were written and the Foundation grant writing group was key in obtaining the funding.”
The Foundation grant writing group consists of Julie Tulang, Dr. Robbins, June Kunimoto, Dawn Pung, Phoebe Lambeth, Carrie Blankfield, Steve Godzak and Wendy Peskin. Funding was obtained from the HMSA Foundation, the McInerny Foundation, the Alexander and Baldwin Foundation and the Atherton Family Foundation.
Also speaking at the blessing was Pam Bruce, Extended Care Facility Nursing Supervisor; Dr. Craig Shikuma, East Hawaii Regional Board of HHSC Member and Extended Care Facility Medical Director; Dawn Pung, Hilo Medical Center Foundation President; Lori Rogers, Hilo Medical Center Foundation Executive Director; Dan Brinkman, Hilo Medical Center Chief Nurse Executive; and Alexa Armpriester Extended Care Facility Activities Coordinator.