Public hospitals to receive funding boost

Four state hospitals on the Big Island and O‘ahu received a total of $469,627 for health and safety improvements, according to Gov. Linda Lingle’s office yesterday.

“These upgrades are needed to ensure our public hospitals are safe for patients, staff and visitors,” Lingle said. “Investing in the physical infrastructure of these facilities is an important component of ensuring our public hospitals can continue to provide quality health care.”

Hilo Medical Center will receive $185,461 to replace the boiler and piping. Leaks in the existing boiler and piping have reduced the steam-generating capacity for the laundry and dietary areas of the center. The project is expected to be completed in December.

Kona Community Hospital will receive $23,500 to purchase nine air handlers to allow the air-conditioning system to function properly. The existing air handlers, which are more than 25 years old, have started to restrict air circulation, resulting in varying hot spots in the hospital. The replacement project is scheduled to be completed in December.

Ka‘u Hospital will use $18,000 to finance the design for an emergency generator replacement.

On O‘ahu, $242,666 will be used to finance a new fire sprinkler system at Maluhia, which will include all of the patient rooms. The present fire sprinklers are located in the storage rooms only. The state previously funded $500,000 for the project, which is scheduled to be completed in December.

The four facilities are among the 13 public hospitals across the state operated and managed by the Hawai‘i Health Systems Corp.

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