Nanawale community helps build Puna ER


The board of directors of Nanawale Community Association has approved a donation of $1,000 toward the construction of an emergency room in Pahoa by the Puna Community Medical Center (PCMC).

Nanawale President Madie Greene presented the check to PCMC President Rene Siracusa on April 4. The check has been deposited into PCMC’s specially designated Building Fund account.

PCMC formed as a grassroots nonprofit in 2007 in response to a need identified in the Puna Community Development Plan for a comprehensive medical center with trauma care. In 2009 it opened the doors of its first phase, an urgent/acute care clinic in the Pahoa Marketplace.

“We are now ready to take the dream to its next level,” said Siracusa. Phase 2 is the construction of a free-standing PCMC Emergency Room, complete with an X-ray and clinical lab capability.

“With a federal designation as a Medically Underserved Community with a provider shortage, it is widely agreed that an ER is a critical need,” said Siracusa.

The Nanawale board has recognized that an ER will not only provide desperately needed services, but will also improve the quality of life in Puna and increase property values.

“$1,000 is a small price to pay for that, and a sound investment in our community’s wellbeing,” said Greene.

Siracusa said coordinators are hoping that other community associations, as well, will be inspired by Nanawale to become part of the solution to Puna’s health care crisis.

 

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