People on the move for Sunday, July 31, 2011

• Gov. announces new Healthcare Transformation Coordinator •

Yamane named KIUC’s new chief of operations

Gov. announces new Healthcare Transformation Coordinator

Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Thursday announced Beth Giesting as the state’s new Healthcare Transformation Coordinator, an administration news release stated. The position was established by an executive order, and her role includes developing and implementing plans with the following goals:

— Improving the health and health care for Hawai‘i’s people

— Transforming the organization and delivery of healthcare services, including payment reform, health information technology and primary care workforce

— Ensuring collaboration among government agencies, healthcare providers and health plans, and consumers 

— Implementing provisions of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

— Increasing quality and reducing costs for the state’s employee healthcare system and Medicaid programs

“Wisdom and foresight led to the establishment of the 1974 Prepaid Health Care Act and put Hawai‘i at the forefront of health care,” Abercrombie said at a press conference Thursday afternoon at Kapiolani Medical Center.

“Today, we need courage, creativity and a new level of cooperation to overcome what has become a national health care crisis of massive proportions. With Beth’s leadership and the dedication of our community and business partners, I am confident that Hawai‘i will be a pioneer once again.”

Giesting has been a long-time healthcare advocate on primary health care issues, particularly for the underserved groups in Hawai‘i. As the current chief executive officer for Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, Giesting provides support and assistance to Hawai‘i’s 14 community health centers.

Under her leadership, the number of health centers more than doubled and now serve one in 10 Hawai‘i residents, the announcement stated. She previously served as the executive director of the Kalihi-Palama Health Center and Services Administration of the O‘ahu Private Industry Council. She earned her MS in instructional systems technology from Indiana University and BA in history from Ball State University.

“Health is one issue that affects everyone in Hawai‘i,” Giesting said. “We need and can have a healthcare system that encourages healthy behavior and coordinates care for better outcomes, lower costs, and improved patient and provider satisfaction. I am so excited to be working toward these goals with Governor Abercrombie and with the healthcare community.”

The Healthcare Transformation Coordinator position and an assistant are funded by a grant from the California Endowment, a nonprofit health foundation, through the Hawai‘i Community Foundation totaling $300,000 over two years.

Yamane named KIUC’s new chief of operations

Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative on Thursday announced the promotion of Michael Yamane to the role of chief of operations. KIUC spokeswoman Anne Barnes said the position is an existing one that has been vacant for several years.

In this position, Yamane will be responsible for the areas of transmission and distribution, production, engineering, legislative and regulatory affairs, and safety.

Yamane began his career with the utility in 1989, when he was hired by KIUC predecessor, Kaua‘i Electric, as an associate engineer. He most recently held the position of engineering manager, where under his leadership the co-op reinforced its move towards renewable energy solutions, a press announcement stated.

“Mike has been an influential leader of our management team for several years, and his vision and execution of progressively increasing responsibilities in engineering, (transmission and distribution,) strategic planning and information technology made this an easy decision,” KIUC CEO David Bissell said in the statement.

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