KVMH golfs its way to fund-raising goals

Special to the garden island

The West Kaua‘i Medical Center/Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital Foundation kicked off the hospital’s 50th anniversary celebration with its third annual fund-raising golf tournament at the Po‘ipu Bay Golf Course Saturday.

The two-man scramble, shotgun-start format attracted about 61 golfers. Prizes for longest drive on the 15th hole for men, 16th hole for women and closest to the pin on holes 3, 7, 11 and 17 sweetened the pot. The prize for the worst golfers — highest gross without handicap — was an incentive for even beginning hackers to participate.

Royden Pablo said his dad is in long-term care and he appreciates the nurses who tend to his father. He said his participation in the golf tournament was a way of giving back to the hospital.

Ken and Deedee Morikawa live across the street from KVMH and wanted to participate “for the hospital.

“It’s for a very good cause,” Ken Morikawa said. “We want to see hospital services continue to improve.”

Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital was completed in October 1957 and dedicated to the veterans of the Korean War. It now operates three clinics in Waimea, ‘Ele‘ele and Kalaheo.

Steve Kline, director of occupational therapy and rehabilitation services, coordinated the golf tournament and said a committee is developing a display of the history of the hospital as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. The different displays are planned for the front entrance and during lunchtime for guests and employees and will include photographs and models of the hospital when it was first built until now.

“We’re always growing and expanding, adding new services and physicians,” Kline said.

The availability of good medical care on the Westside has been an issue over the years, he added. At one point, it was argued that Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial should be closed in favor of just one hospital on-island.

“Now, there is more cohesive bonding,” Kline said. “We need to work as a team to provide services for our clients and visitors.”

People used to have to fly to O‘ahu or the Mainland for surgery or procedures. With the increase in specialty areas and physicians at the hospital, more services are available here.

Talks are underway for future projects. First priority is being given to emergency and operating rooms; eventually, there may be a rehabilitation center next to the hospital.

As facilities and services expand, each department will need new equipment. The money raised through the golf tournament will be placed in the foundation’s general fund for the various upgrades.

Kline said the goal was to raise $10,000. Bronze, silver and gold plus sponsors and the golfing fees contributed to reaching that goal.

Following the golf, lunch was held at the Grand Hyatt hotel. Presentations were made, door prizes were awarded and an auction was conducted by radio personality BB Choi.

The gala 50th anniversary event will be celebrated on November 20, 2007 at the Plantation Cottages.

Event winners:

• First place: Abe Subama/Darwin Laguit

• Second place: Jessie Tanigawa/Fred Styer,

• Third place: Russel McCluskey/Russel McCluskey II,

• Highest gross: Gary Wong/Mark Mahler,

• Closet to the pin: Sharron Weber, Dee Morikawa, Susie Nishek, Noel Torres, Jeff Peterson, Russell McCluskey II, Richard Waltjen

• Longest drives: Dee Morikawa, Brian Yamase.

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