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Hospital project on track

By Staff | Feb 3, 2011

A letter writer last week asked, “What’s the holdup with the West Maui Hospital?”

There were two major developments last year. Plans for the medical center are moving forward in a new location, and West Maui Improvement Foundation (WMIF) is no longer an active partner in the project.

Last year, developer Brian Hoyle of Newport Hospital Corp. moved the proposed site of the hospital north to Kaanapali.

Facing a major obstacle in Lahaina — building the hospital access road on ceded lands — Hoyle bought 14.99 acres of land from Kaanapali Land Management Corp. on Kaka’alaneo Drive near Kaanapali Coffee Farms to pursue the facility.

News and updates on the project are posted at www.westmauihospitalandmedicalcenter.org.

“With the relocation of the hospital site purchased by Brian Hoyle and Newport Hospital Corporation and the termination of the development agreement between them and WMIF, all associated development expenses are solely theirs and not any part of our nonprofit West Maui Improvement Foundation Inc.,” explained Joe Pluta last week, responding to the letter.

The closure of WMIF’s role in the project doesn’t diminish its achievements. Without the community’s strong support for the hospital and the work of Pluta, Uwe Schulz, Leanne Strasen and many other WMIF volunteers to secure the first location and demonstrate the need for a 24-hour emergency room in remote West Maui, we wouldn’t have a hospital project under way here.

Going forward, the community’s link to the hospital and its services will be the nonprofit West Maui Hospital and Medical Center Foundation Inc.

“We have fought hard and have accomplished our goals, and the hospital is well on its way to success. Only with the devotion, personal support and economic assistance of our members and supporters… this project has succeeded, and we will continue to advocate projects which are very important to the West Maui community as the occasions arise,” WMIF noted on its website.

If plans move forward as expected, work will begin on the hospital this year.