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Officials hold blessing for new emergency department at Wilcox Medical Center

  • COURTESY HAWAII PACIFIC HEALTH
                                The $5.1 million upgrade of the emergency department at Wilcox Medical Center includes two trauma resuscitation suites.

    COURTESY HAWAII PACIFIC HEALTH

    The $5.1 million upgrade of the emergency department at Wilcox Medical Center includes two trauma resuscitation suites.

  • COURTESY HAWAII PACIFIC HEALTH
                                Dr. Spencer Smith in the trauma suite of the new emergency department at Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai.

    COURTESY HAWAII PACIFIC HEALTH

    Dr. Spencer Smith in the trauma suite of the new emergency department at Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai.

Hawaii Pacific Health this morning held a blessing, along with state and county leaders, for its new emergency department at Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai.

The $5.1 million renovation project includes two trauma resuscitation suites and several specialized care rooms, along with a dedicated behavioral health room equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

It is the first time the center’s emergency department has undergone a complete renovation and structural upgrade since it opened in 1995.

“We know how devastating a trauma incident can be, especially for our small community,” said Jen Chahanovich, president and CEO of Wilcox Health, in a news release. “Most of these medical emergencies involve multiple patients who need care simultaneously. We know that investing in these state-of-the-art trauma suites will continue to elevate the emergency care for the people on Kaua‘i.”

The two new trauma suites will help improve efficiency of lifesaving care, according to officials, with larger doors that allow for easier movement of equipment and patients on gurneys.

Patients suspected of having infectious diseases will be treated in one of three rooms with negative pressure that helps keep airborne diseases contained.

A dedicated room for behavioral and mental health patients is equipped with advanced video technology that allows Wilcox staff and specialists from across the HPH system to engage with patients at any time without entering the room.

All patient care areas are now completely private.

HPH said community donations funded the $5.1 million project, with generous contributions made by Jenn Gross and Peter Stengaard, Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, descendants of the Wilcox family, physicians and staff, and members of Kauai’s business community, along with many others.

The renovations began in October 2020, with the emergency department remaining open during construction.

Wilcox — Kauai’s only “level 3” trauma center — averages 25,000 emergency visits and 450 trauma incidents a year.

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