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LETTERS for March 7 issue

By Staff | Mar 7, 2013

Hospital partnership good for Maui

Kellogg’s produces Pringles potato chips and Hillshire Brands makes Sara Lee cakes. Both are examples of companies creating business partnerships for the benefit of all. Costs are reduced and businesses continue to grow. People continue to have the same Sara Lee cakes, and same Pringles potato chips, as they had in the past. Most consumers of these foods did not even know these changes in companies occurred, since the quality and taste of the products remain the same as always.

The same is true of hospitals. Maui Memorial Medical Center is part of a hospital system (HHSC) that is currently suffering a loss of about $58 million. HHSC currently needs financial assistance to continue to provide for the health care needs of Hawaii’s residents and visitors. Either the Hawaii taxpayers can pay it, or a partnership can be established to cover the costs. A study by Stroudwater Associates was completed in 2009 and concluded that a partnership would be beneficial for HHSC.

The benefits of a partnership are numerous, including access to money to improve and expand medical and support services; excellent compensation for hospital personnel; integrated electronic health records and clinical delivery systems; and utilization of a health care model that lowers costs while providing quality service. In addition, medical and billing errors are reduced due to the use of new technology

Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements do not cover the full cost of most medical services. For example, for a medical procedure that costs $100, the doctor may only receive about $30 from Medicare or Medicaid. When a Maui resident is in an Oahu hospital, insurance does not cover the costs of visiting family members for flying to and staying on Oahu.

Such costs can be reduced through a hospital partnership. One way is to share technologies that are already in place with another hospital system. For example, Cerner technologies are used in several Mainland hospitals, and Maui Memorial can share in it through a partnership. Cerner provides systems for hospitals to manage and integrate all electronic medical records, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and financial information. With such a system in place, and when fully utilized, this system can lower costs and improve patient care by increasing accuracy. With the achievement of greater patient care, patients can stay on Maui, rather than be transferred to Oahu.

To fulfill this goal, changes are necessary. Transitions from paper charts to electronic records, coupled with ensuring patient privacy and compliance with HIPAA regulations, require training and practice. The willingness to make changes is at the heart of this progress.

EVE CLUTE, West Maui


State roadwork causes sleepless nights

The State of Hawaii, in all its infinite wisdom, has decided to resurface the highway, at night, during high season! I thought we had made it through the really loud part, but NOOOO! At this very moment on a Tuesday night at 1:15 a.m., they are now jackhammering – yes, jackhammering – right behind my house! I wonder how many of my B&B guests will demand their money back in the morning…


We have had more sleepless nights this month than in our entire lives, and just at a time when every second is precious to us and to our guests. NOT pono!



Help Lahainaluna students earn scholarships

Did you know that you can help Lahainaluna High School students to earn scholarships? Foodland’s “Shop For Higher Education” has officially started and will go until March 19. This is a simple and easy way to help our students earn scholarships just by shopping for groceries!

The statewide program awards $200,000 in college scholarships to 100 Hawaii high school seniors every year. To help Lahainaluna High School earn some of these scholarships, all you need to do is show your Maika’i card to any Foodland, Sack ‘N Save or Foodland Farms cashier and designate

LAHAINALUNA as your favorite school.

Then, from now until March 19, every time you shop, you earn Maika’i points for yourself as well as your designated school. You can also earn bonus points when you purchase items that are marked with double, triple or quadruple points! Spread the word and get other family members and friends to join in and designate Lahainaluna as their favorite school. The more Maika’i Points a school earns, the more scholarships it receives. The schools with the highest number of points win five $2,000 scholarships.

Lahainaluna is always at the top and consistently receives these scholarships, so let’s keep it up! If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to contact Lahainaluna Student Activities Coordinator Art Fillazar at (808) 662-3976. Let’s Shop for Higher Education!

MARTINA NAGASAKO, PCNC Facilitator, Lahainaluna High School


Pack of wild dogs loose in Lahaina

This morning, I woke up early to the sound of dogs snarling and barking in front of my house. I ran outside to find a pack of wild dogs at my fence trying to get in at my family pets. It is hard to believe that we have a wild dog pack on the edge of a heavily populated area and adjacent to a complex used by hundreds of kids every week, but it’s true.

These dogs are a remnant of the homeless camp that was cleared out last June behind the Lahaina pool. When the homeless were pushed out, they left their dogs behind. Last summer there was a pack of four, and now it’s a pack of seven.

I have left messages for Maui Humane Society at least five times and even went in to talk to someone. I was told that the animal control agent would call me back. They never did. I offered to help with the trapping and was told I would have to pay $50 a week to rent the trap.

I know the Humane Society has a difficult job and is spread pretty thin, so I hesitate to write this letter, but they have completely dropped the ball. It is clear that they are not equipped to take care of this problem and have swept it under the rug.

If so, someone who is equipped needs to take over. These dangerous dogs are not adoptable – they are feral. We have a pretty solid hunting culture here, so I’m sure that there is a hunter or wildlife control officer who has the skills to dart these dogs and put them down humanely. If that approach fails, then the unsavory idea of shooting them for the safety of the community must be considered.

I worry for every kid that walks home from school or toward the skate park down the dirt road, for every mother walking her baby buggy and toddler beside her down to the park, and for every responsible dog owner walking their pets on leashes.

I know for certain that peoples’ pets have been attacked as they walk on leashes down the road. I want to say, “Please don’t walk down this road! There’s a wild pack of dangerous dogs down there!” But I don’t say anything – it is not my place to tell these people where to go, and I know that nothing will happen until someone gets hurt and sues. So I stay silent, keep my dogs in the yard and pray that they will not be the inevitable victims.

Just now I went to my porch and saw a trio of youths walking down the road hand in hand. The eldest was not more that eight years old, and the youngest about four. Not old enough to protect one’s self, let alone a little sister. They and their absent parents are unaware that though they have cleared a wild dog pack, they are about to walk down a section of road used by meth dealers.

The cops know and promised to patrol, but they don’t. And past that is a homeless camp where residents let their dogs run out and charge people walking by. Do we really care so little about keeping these little girls safe? I am ashamed to be part of it, even if it’s only as a witness.