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LETTERS for the May 21 issue

By Staff | May 21, 2020

Trust Maui Memorial and Kaiser

I am writing in response to the negative press and concerns about Maui Memorial Medical Center and to tell you about my positive experience.

I was terrified when I realized I had to go to the Emergency Room – and I am sure you are, too – but don’t be. If you need medical help, go; they will take good care of you.

I know this because I was in Maui Memorial from April 26 to May 3, 2020 with acute colitis and dehydration. Like everyone, I did not want to come here and waited two days too many to come. By the time I did, I was very, very sick with a gut infection, and I was nauseated and throwing up nonstop for five days straight! I could have died because of my fear.

The COVID-19 pandemic is uncharted territory for us all, including the hospital. But I can assure you that they are taking safety for their patients and staff very seriously and have implemented effective safety procedures. So, let’s support our community hospital – and please use it, when needed.

This is my third stay at Maui Memorial Hospital in 20 years. Since Kaiser took over, it is so improved (from what many of us have experienced in the past) you would not believe it. The old equipment has been replaced with state-of-the-art equipment, rooms are newly painted and very clean, top-notch doctors and nurses from the Mainland are on staff, and nurses love working three 12-hour days (with four days off to be with their ohana). It is very different from the old days.

Emergency was efficient and amazing. They took me right into a bed and got me on fluids, nausea and pain meds quickly. It was determined I needed to be admitted due to infection, and the next day I had extensive testing.

After three days, I was moved to the COVID wing because I had a bronchial attack, and I was there four days until my two back-to-back COVID test results returned negative.

I was terrified to go to the COVID wing, but it was a very pleasant experience. I went from a semi-private room on the main floor to a private, totally isolated room with first-class care in the COVID wing. All staff wear three masks (N-95, regular and clear plastic face guard). Everyone wears a plastic gown that completely covers them, gloves and head protection. All staff, from doctors and nurses to aides, disinfect and redress in full gear before entering any room.

When they are done, and at the patient’s door, they remove all their protective gear (except masks) in the room and secure it in a plastic bag for disposal before they walk out. They are disinfected again and redressed in complete gear and new outer mask before entering the next patient’s room, and so on. Every precaution is taken. The staff feel safe and the patients should, too. I did.

In all three areas, the medical team was superior and worked as a tight-knit team. They were positive, happy, kind, knowledgeable, professional and caring, and they took care of my every need.

My doctor even gave me his cell phone number and told me to call if I needed him. At one point I did, and when I called, the doctor picked up, called me by name and handled my need within a half hour. Since then, he has texted me several times to stay in touch.

Our community needs to give Maui Memorial and Kaiser some slack to react to an unknown disease and their recent transition. They are definitely on the right track and taking actions to make Maui Memorial a first-class medical facility.

Our numbers have flattened, and our death rate percentage is one of the lowest. Our community and YOU need to use and trust them. Don’t put yourself at risk due to unknown fear. They won’t let you down.

MARY DUNGANS, President, Mana’olana Pink Paddlers


Appropriate funds for a new park

Addressing action requirements, factor in the County Budget support for a park on Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate’s 1,200 acres bordering Lahainaluna Road.

Is the action required for public health and safety? Proximity to schools, homes, businesses, water and electrical infrastructure makes this area vulnerable to fires and flooding disasters.

Is the action required by legal mandate? Park amenities remedy brush abatement. Park uses are well-matched with the required U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ flood control project.

Is the action required to prevent the loss of an irretrievable resource? Lahaina has limited open space. Infill projects will eliminate hope of a substantial community park for future generations.

Will the action benefit the majority of the community? Environmentally, educationally, exercise, entertainment, and economically, the park will benefit residents and tourists.

Will the action significantly improve the quality of life of West Maui residents? A beautiful place to relax and play, developing a park, forests and urban agriculture will enhance scenic vistas while providing food and fun.

Is the action required for other actions to be initiated? Irrigating a public park with reclaimed water benefits the greater good. For safety and well-being, allocate Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility funding to irrigate from Kaanapali to Launiupoko.

Is the action already funded? Besides KS/BE, funding is possible through commercial enterprises, donors and park fees.

Does the action have multiple benefits? Fire prevention, flood control, tsunami evacuation location, reforestation, cultural preservation and public recreation are just a few reasons why to rank a community park on the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate land a priority.



Where are West Maui’s lawmakers?

When it’s election time, that’s all we hear from Sen. Roz Baker and Rep. Angus McKelvey, on how they’re going to make West Maui better. Now, during the worst of times, you don’t hear a peep from them.

Why aren’t they fighting for testing in West Maui? Why aren’t they organizing food giveaways?

I guess it’s not an election year, and this pandemic is not worth them helping!



Crisis shows political change is needed

I, personally, never found myself voting for a particular political party. I would much rather cast my vote for the individuals that I felt would best lead our community and that would best serve the people. During this crisis, it has allowed the nation to see who came forward with pure and honest intentions, and others… well, no need rehashing, as you all saw for yourselves.

But one thing is for certain: many are coming out of this crisis with eyes wide-open, searching aimlessly and desperately pining for political change.

Unemployment was just one of many issues. The computers are as old as the employees, state and county leaders themselves. Not to mention, they aren’t very tech savvy either.

Suspending many of our laws was another issue. Intentionally keeping Hawaii in the dark in order to serve their own political agendas and/or ulterior motives.

Perhaps, the “old geezers” that are no longer cool, hip or with the times need to go already? Perhaps it’s time to throw out the old and bring in the new?

I’m talking about giving the next generation a chance. The Millennials are clearly innovative individuals that bring to the table real and creative solutions. And they are the largest living generation on the planet right now.

Why shouldn’t they be entitled in taking over the “Crown Jewels” that will best serve THEIR future? I believe, after everything our country and state has gone through, that people will not only come out of this wanting change – they will demand it. Pride, ego and corruption will no longer be tolerated by the next generation. They’re much too intelligent for that.

So why not save ourselves additional anguish and just pass the baton to the next generation already? You want change? Well, here’s a solution. But whatever you decide to do, its definitely time to clean house!