Video by Baron Sekiya, Hawaii247.com | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
A newly purchased van will improve the quality of life of the residents at the Hilo Medical Center’s Extended Care Facility, officials say.
Hilo Medical Center Foundation presented the keys to a new 14-passenger transport van to Resident Council President Pearl “Aunty Nona” Kahookaulana on Wednesday.
Aunty Nona was a bus driver for 20 years, and had even driven a young Sheri Shaw to school. Shaw is now the Nurse Manager at Extended Care Facility.
Aunty Nona and other residents in wheelchairs will benefit from the van that features a special lift and accommodates up to 4 wheelchairs.
From the media release:
“We are pleased to present this van to our residents to improve their quality of life,” said Lori Rogers, Executive Director of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation. “As our Foundation narrowed our focus on the hospital’s wish list of projects, the pressing need for the van kept rising to the top of the list. We’re happy to provide the residents with a reliable, comfortable van to go to their doctors’ appointments and field trips.”
Thanks to the negotiating skills of Foundation Trustee Dr. Richard Robbins, the van was purchased within the budget. Rogers stated, “many grants were written and the Foundation grant writing group was key in obtaining the funding.” The Foundation grant writing group consists of Julie Tulang, Dr. Robbins, June Kunimoto, Dawn Pung, Phoebe Lambeth, Carrie Blankfield, Steve Godzak and Wendy Peskin. Funding was obtained from the HMSA Foundation, the McInerny Foundation, the Alexander and Baldwin Foundation and the Atherton Family Foundation.
Also speaking at the blessing was Pam Bruce, Extended Care Facility Nursing Supervisor; Dr. Craig Shikuma, East Hawaii Regional Board of HHSC Member and Extended Care Facility Medical Director; Dawn Pung, Hilo Medical Center Foundation President; Lori Rogers, Hilo Medical Center Foundation Executive Director; Dan Brinkman, Hilo Medical Center Chief Nurse Executive; and Alexa Armpriester Extended Care Facility Activities Coordinator.