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Queen’s to operate North Hawaii Community Hospital

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The parent company of Queen’s Medical Center officially entered into an affiliation agreement on Monday with North Hawaii Community Hospital on the Big Island.

Under the agreement, North Hawaii will become a corporate entity of Queen’s Health Systems on Jan. 1, similar to an arrangement between the Oahu hospital and Molokai General Hospital.

Queen’s has had a clinical affiliation with North Hawaii since 2005. Details of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

"Our priority is to create a relationship of cooperation and trust with NHCH and the people of North Hawaii," Art Ushijima, Queen’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Given NHCH’s challenging financial situation, an immediate focus is to stabilize the hospital so that it may start to focus on programs and services for its growth and development."

 Both organizations expect a smooth transition without any disruption of service to the community. The affiliation is subject to state approval.

"This affiliation represents a huge step forward in our ability to meet the healthcare needs of the community of North Hawaii and continue to deliver high quality healthcare at a reasonable cost," Bob Momsen, NHCH board chairman since 2008, said in the statement. "Having Queen’s as our partner will improve every aspect of the hospital."

North Hawaii, a private, non-profit acute-care hospital, serves more than 30,000 residents in Waimea, also known as Kamuela. The facility, which opened in May 1996, has 33 licensed beds, 24 hour emergency services, 376 employees and 68 active physicians.

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