Molokai General Hospital Grand Opening

Community celebrates completion of $16.5 million improvements.

Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, Dr. Emmet Aluli, Molokai General Hospital Board members and supporters pause for a photo during a tour at the Grand Opening of the hospital’s improved facilities last Friday.

By Catherine Cluett

Last Friday was a day of celebration on Molokai – a day that citizens could shake hands with the politicians, patients could share a meal with doctors, and all could feel pride in sharing one of the community’s greatest assets – its hospital.

The day marked the grand opening of Molokai General Hospital, four years of construction and $16.5 million later.  

“This was above all a public-private partnership,” says Janice Kalanihui, President of Molokai General Hospital.

Kalanihui and her team “accomplished something that could be considered a miracle…. This is probably the best hospital in the neighbor islands,” said Art Ushijima, President and CEO of Queen’s Health Systems.

The project was completed in two phases. Redevelopment took seven years of fundraising and four years of construction. The first phase involved renovations of the existing hospital facilities, dating from the 1960’s. The wing now includes the emergency room, acute beds, and an imaging center.  It opened in June 2005, with funding from
State of Hawaii , the County of Maui, the federal government, and The Queen's Health Systems.

Phase II, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Wing, was competed last summer. It houses a special procedures suite, administrative offices, laboratory, women’s health center, a new dining room, and the facility’s first chapel. The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, State of Hawaii, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, County of Maui, and The Queen's Health Systems funded the construction of the wing.

“This is a model we can use….You are a sterling example of what we have in Hawaii,” said Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona at the opening ceremony.

“It’s important that we recognize what an accomplishment this is,” said Sen. Kalani English in his speech at the event. Senators Akaka and Inouye also shared their congratulations for the completion of the project in letters read at the event.

Local photographer Dewitt Jones, known worldwide, donated $75,000 in art, displayed around the completed facilities.

The opening event was attended by over 100 guests, and included a blessing by Ho`olehua pastor Lynette Schaefer, with music by Henry Tancayo and cutting of maile leis through the hospital’s main entrance.

Molokai General Hospital became a part of The Queen’s Health Systems in 1987. Offering the only emergency health services on the island, Molokai General Hospital has been serving the community for 40 years.

Kalanihui would like to thank the Molokai General Hospital staff for working together to make the opening event a success.

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