WAIMEA — There is always happiness when a grant is awarded, but for Ori Skomoroch, regional chief executive officer for Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital, this one had deeper meaning.
Skomoroch was excited that Richard Holtzman, president of the Kukui‘ula Development Company, had brought several of his staff members to visit the Westside hospital.
Holtzman also brought along a $3,000 grant, which was eagerly accepted by Skomoroch and several KVMH Foundation members.
“We’re excited about working with your new community,” Skomoroch said.
Her long-term plans to accommodate the new community go beyond the current plans to upgrade the KVMH emergency room and operating room facilities.
“The grant will be used as part of the current expansion,” Skomoroch said. “And we welcome the opportunity to work with Kukui‘ula to build out the hospital for the current communities as well as the communities of Lawa‘i and Koloa.”
Among the Kukui‘ula delegation were Clarissa Sandal and Lanell Miyamoto, current employees of Kukui‘ula Development who were born at KVMH.
“Two of my children were also born here,” Sandal said.
“This is a dream come true. This is why we are so proud at KVMH,” Skomoroch said, scarcely able to contain her excitement. “Our mothers come back to us because our nurses work almost one-to-one with new mothers. They provide the personal touch.”
Skomoroch said it’s not unusual for expectant mothers to come back to KVMH from other parts of the state, and sometimes from the Mainland, so they can have their children here.
“We are a community hospital,” she said. “We specialize in things and services that serve the people’s needs so they can be healthy and well.”
Holtzman said he has about a dozen employees who graduated from Waimea High School and live on the Westside.
“They demonstrate the unique sense of pride for Waimea and the Westside communities,” he said. “Additionally, there will be residents who just cannot make the trip to Wilcox Hospital for their medical needs.”
Skomoroch said expansion plans benefit not only residents but visitors as well. Should they need medical service while visiting the Westside, KVMH is always available.
“We are so proud the community has taken us into their arms, and we are theirs,” Skomoroch said.
Skomoroch invited Holtzman and the Kukui‘ula Development Co. to consider having a representative sit on the KVMH board so there can be collaboration as the hospital continues to grow.
“We are community and we listen to its people,” she said.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or firstname.lastname@example.org.