By: Beth Hillyer
(KHNL) - Kahuku Hospital is still fighting to stay alive. Community members rallied Thursday evening to come up with a long term plan to save the facility they say is desperately needed.
The state is giving the hospital nearly a million dollars to keep operating. But area residents are taking on the responsibility to find long term solutions for this community hospital.
The future of Kahuku Hospital remains uncertain. Elderly neighbors worry in the event of an emergency. Area resident David Kuhia says, "If they decide to close it, the emergency vehicle got to get from here to Kaneohe, emergency vehicle not going to get there in time."
Kelika Ishol is an organizer of Save Kahuku Hospital and she is talking to community members, "We want to kinda form the bridge and connect the community with the hospital."
Another organizer, Mike Epp says, "we need to get people to think about why they are or why they aren't using the hospital"
Longtime residents say they want the hospital to be self sufficient. The state had to bail out the hospital in the past and just appropriated nearly one million dollars to keep the doors open. But that's just putting band-aid on a gaping wound, "They did that before. It didn't last long now we are in same condition," says Kuhia.
There's a movement to educate area neighbors, "To save Kahuku Hospital, they must use it."
Epp adds, "I think there is a strong feeling that the success of the hospital in the future is contingent upon in part the community's participation and support."