Monday, June 27, 2022|
Share this story
Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald file
Hilo Medical Center.
More than $6 million in state funds is headed to Hilo Medical Center for a series of expansions and upgrades.
Gov. David Ige announced last week that nearly $250 million in capital improvement funds have been released for projects statewide. Among those funds are $6.6 million earmarked for a quartet of HMC projects scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.
The largest project is a $2.9 million new orthopedic clinic and expanded cardiology clinic services at the hospital.
Assistant Hospital Administrator Kris Wilson said much of the service expansion involves attracting and hiring additional doctors to manage increasing demand from patients.
“Our growth needs to keep up with the demand,” Wilson said, adding that, as the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, people’s concerns about going to the hospital have as well, leading to an increase in patients.
Wilson said that the clinic expansion will consolidate orthopedic and cardiology services on the hospital’s ground floor. Currently, the hospital’s orthopedic services are all located on HMC’s second floor, which, given the nature of orthopedic treatment, is inconvenient for patients, she said.
Work on the new clinic is expected to begin in June, Wilson said, and should be completed by the end of the year.
The other major project is a $1.2 million CT simulation unit for the hospital’s expanding East Hawaii Health Cancer Center. Wilson said the center’s previous CT unit was decommissioned about five years ago, so oncology patients have had to go back and forth between the cancer center and HMC proper.
“This is just rounding out the services of the cancer center,” Wilson said.
The CT unit is expected to be completed by June 2023, with permitting and design work to begin within the next 90 days, Wilson said.
The remaining two projects will have less immediate impact on patient services, but will still help modernize the aging HMC facilities. The first will be a $2 million project to demolish HMC’s old nursing dormitory, which has been vacant for over a decade, to be replaced with additional parking spaces.
Wilson said the dormitory should be demolished by the end of the year, with the new parking spaces completed by the end of 2023.
Finally, $564,000 has been earmarked for upgrades to the electrical and mechanical infrastructure of the hospital’s operating rooms, scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
“It’s an old building. It’s more than 35 years old,” Wilson said. “We just got our first (surgery) robot, and obviously that’s a big power drain, so we’ve got to keep things up to date.”
Wilson said the hospital has a host of other projects it hopes to receive future funding for, including an expansion to ICU services and capacity. The current 11-bed ICU would be expanded to 18 beds.
Email Michael Brestovansky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *