HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The Puna Community Medical Center's plan to bring an emergency room to Pahoa is taking a major step forward.
The center last week obtained a lease for five acres of state land between Ainaloa and Pahoa village where it hopes to build a new facility.
Clinical programs director Dan Domizio says completion could be three years away. The center will need to raise between $3 million and $4 million for construction.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://bit.ly/YWD48G ) reported Tuesday the medical center has received about $5,000 from Hawaii County District 5 contingency funds. Domizio says the state Legislature has promised to provide $750,000.
Domizio said the emergency room would likely serve residents from Volcano through Keaau.
The medical center currently operates out of an 800-square-foot facility in Pahoa Marketplace.