By ERIN MILLER
Kona Community Hospital will be expanding its chemotherapy infusion services “soon,” CEO Jay Kreuzer says.
The hospital is adding a nurse practitioner to Dr. Anthony DeSalvo’s oncology practice, as well as a manager for the chemotherapy infusion program. The program will move out of the building it now shares with DeSalvo across the street to a cottage that previously housed a pediatrician’s office.
That pediatrician, part of Alii Health Center, moved this summer to the consolidated offices in Keauhou, Kreuzer said.
Kreuzer praised DeSalvo, and said the need for the oncology services has been growing in West Hawaii. The more capacity the hospital can offer, the fewer people have to travel to receive those treatments, he added.
DeSalvo’s practice is “very, very busy,” Kreuzer said. “As soon as we get all these procedures done, we’ll move rather quickly.”
Kreuzer said the cottage needed an electrical upgrade, as well as a few other improvements. He said the hospital is “in the queue” with Hawaii Electric Light Co. to get the power changes made. That could happen as soon as a few days, or take longer, Kreuzer said. He said he did not have any problems with HELCO’s timing.
Marketing Director Judy Donovan said the move won’t include increasing the number of “chairs” or slots used for chemotherapy treatments immediately, but it will give DeSalvo more space in his office and set up the infusion program to expand its capacity as the hospital hires more staff. Several things factor in to how many patients the center can now treat, she said, including the kind of treatment patients need.
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