Sunday | December 17, 2017
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NHCH under new leadership from Queen’s

The Queen’s Health Systems has named Kenneth D. Graham as acting president of North Hawaii Community Hospital. Graham’s primary role will be to create a relationship of cooperation and trust between Queen’s and both NHCH and the people of North Hawaii.

“Ken has significant experience in a wide array of senior healthcare executive management and leadership roles,” said Art Ushijima, president of The Queen’s Health Systems. “He is clearly aware of the Queen’s mission and values and will bring that sensitivity in his leadership to the staff and patients at North Hawaii Community Hospital.”

“It is truly an honor to serve Queen’s, NHCH and the North Hawaii community in this important capacity,” said Graham. “We are currently working with NHCH to assess and address NHCH’s immediate needs. One immediate focus will be on stabilizing the hospital’s challenging financial situation. Ultimately, our goal is to have a hospital that will advance both the missions of Queen’s and NHCH.”

Queen’s also named Marilynn Hata as acting vice president of finance and operations. Hata has extensive practice management consulting experience with a number of physicians. She previously served as a business development consultant for Queen’s. Hata was born and raised in Hilo and has an MBA from the University of Hawaii. Her father, the late Richard T. Hata, M.D., was a general surgeon in Hilo.

“I am pleased that Ken and Marilynn will be leading our transition team,” said Ushijima. “They will both be instrumental in determining what kinds of support North Hawaii Community Hospital will need from Queen’s. Over the coming months, we will be conducting a search for a permanent president to lead North Hawaii Community Hospital’s future growth and development.”


State Identification Cards are now being issued by the county driver’s license offices. No appointments are required, but during the transition, the public is asked for patience as new staff are trained. The minimum age for a State ID is 10 years old. The fee is $20 for all, except $15 for 65 and older.


The Amazing Tooth Bus is on the road again. This is free &low cost dental care for the uninsured of the community. Thanks to community friends, this urgently needed service is again available for uninsured and MedQUEST-eligible youth up to 20 years of age who live in Honokaa, Waimea, Kohala and Waikoloa. The scheduling is based on urgency of care.

The Tooth Bus is sponsored by Hamakua Health Center and Kohala Family Health Center with grants and other community support. Financial counselors will assist individuals and families with application for the Sliding Fee Discount Program and MedQUEST enrollment if not already a member. The bus will rotate between Honokaa and Kohala Family Health Center on Hospital Road in Kapaau. For more information please call 333-8410.


Anna Ranch Heritage Center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, with tours at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. A new Discovery Trail takes guests on a self-guided walking tour of the lower property with a series of interpretive displays telling the story of ranching in Hawaii. Includes a viewing platform with educational displays naming the pu‘u and sharing the mo‘olelo (traditional stories) of the area, as well as explanation of the traditional ahupua’a system, and the ili of Anna Ranch, and the ancient auwai (irrigation system) still visible at the Ranch.

Also an onsite are a saddlemaker, blacksmith and wood worker. A gift shop in Anna’s historic kitchen features the work of local artisans and craftsmen, and an eclectic mix of new and vintage. For more information, go to or call 885-4426.


Hawaii County Council South Kohala Office teleconference services are available at the Holomua Center, Suite C-5, across Kamamalu Street from the Waimea Police Station, next to Waimea Feed and Top Stitch. The community is welcome to participate in county hearings, meetings by remote teleconferencing equipment. There is no charge. For more information call 887-2043/fax: 887-2072.


The first-Saturday-of-the-month “Universe Tonight” program continues at 6 p.m. at the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy at the 9,300-foot level of Mauna Kea. Begins with a talk at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station off Saddle Road, then portable telescopes are set up. The seating is first-come, first-served. Each month a speaker from a different Mauna Kea observatory shares recent observations and discoveries. For more information please call 961-2180 or go to It’s wise to check on weather conditions ahead of time and bring appropriate warm clothing, drinking water and snacks.

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1250 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail


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