WAILUKU >> Kaiser Permanente officials are encouraging Maui County residents to apply for jobs at three public hospitals as they scramble to fill positions before the state facilities become private this summer.
The state will transfer Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Clinic, and Lanai Community Hospital to Kaiser on July 1. The private health care provider was selected to take control of the financially troubled hospitals in 2015.
“We don’t want the transition to be the reason people would hold back on applying,” said Jean Melnikoff, vice president of human resources for Kaiser Permanente. “If you have friends or neighbors or family interested and want to come work but they’re waiting, tell them do not wait.”
There are benefits to putting in applications as soon as possible. Employees will get credit for the service time they have with the Maui Region of Hawaii Health System Corp. and can start accruing time off and retirement benefits, Melnikoff said.
More than 90 percent of the 1,500 state hospital employees have accepted jobs with Kaiser, Melnikoff said. But hospital officials have reported staffing shortages and overworked employees over the past year as the transition was stalled by union and contract dues, the Maui News reported.
Melnikoff said positions that still need to be filled include registered nurses and nurse’s aides and jobs in lab and diagnostic imaging, physical and occupation therapy and clerical positions.