‘We’re all here as family’

POIPU — The Clinic at Poipu is ready.

“We are here to serve the community,” said Peter Klune, regional CEO for Hawaii Health Systems Corp.

Located on the second floor of The Shops at Kukuiula, the heart of the clinic offers primary care and specialty care in 10 examination rooms. Adding to the efficiency in servicing patients are a pair of vital signs cart which can be wheeled into any of the rooms. A draw station allows quick testing.

An Americans with Disabilities Act elevator awaits patients arriving from the parking lot, and an arrangement has been made with the valet service at The Shops at Kukuiula to help those who can’t find a place to park.

“When people come to the facility, we treat them like family,” said Registered Nurse Connie Pigao. “We’re all here as family.”

The sense of ‘ohana drew tears from Pigao who remembered how Kekaha Sugar “invested” in her with a scholarship for nursing.

“We were a poor family,” Pigao said. “My family was overjoyed. I felt such an honor that someone would invest in me. This is the way I’m giving back for that trust.”

Adding to the friendly touch, photos from Charlene Ueno’s personal collection dress up the walls of the clinic.

The opening of the clinic awaited the hiring of Dr. John W. Gilmore.

“I was getting out of residency in Colorado,” Gilmore said. “I was thinking of a vacation before getting into practice and saw this flier. I came to Kauai and agreed to a one-year contract. But I loved it so much, one year became eight, or nine at the Waimea Dispensary and Waimea Clinic.”

As a member of the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital staff, Gilmore’s responsibilities included chief of staff, director of the ICU, and emergency room physician.

The clinic has the potential of hiring more physicians, but additions to the staff will be based on community needs.

Appointments and walk-ins are being taken during the weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Info: 742-0999

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