HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For 30 years, Arthur Ushijima used his talents as an administrator to lead The Queen’s Medical Center and The Queen’s Health Systems, leaning on his faith in God and the support of dedicated people.
Now he's retiring.
“There are many things that the organization has done over the last 30 years. I certainly don’t take credit for any one of those because it takes so many people to do,” he said.
The Queen’s Health Systems will welcome a new CEO in the weeks ahead. Dr. Jill Hoggard Green is moving here from North Carolina, and she’s got some big shoes to fill.
Ushijima, 71, easily and honestly points to others for Queen’s successes. He said he tried to stay true to the vision of the hospital’s founders, Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV.
Their “mission” served as the compass that guided his decisions.
“I learned about the mission when I came here, about our founders and what they did to really serve their people. It’s been something that has been inspiring to me,” he said.
Born and raised on Maui, Ushijima earned a master’s degree in hospital and health administration, served in the U.S. Air Force, then worked at hospitals on the mainland before coming home.
“Hawaii is a very relationship-driven culture,” he said. “So much is done based on relationships.”
Under his leadership, Queen’s added services and programs, saved the state’s only transplant center and re-opened the only hospital serving leeward Oahu. And there are many other accomplishments.
"There's always the need to provide care," he said.
When Ushijima started at Queen’s there were about 2,500 employees. Now there are more than 7,000. And Queen’s now has 70 locations, including facilities in Guam and Saipan.
"I get great satisfaction from helping people who help our patients," he said.
Ushijima will continue to help Queen’s as an adviser and consultant, but he plans to spend a lot more time with his family. Next year he and his wife, Ruth, celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
"I owe my wife a lot," he said.
He leaves the job with some unfinished items on his to-do list, and a confidence that he leaves the organization in good hands.
He said 30 years went by very fast.
“That’s what’s so great about healthcare. It’s a dynamic industry,” he said.
To show its appreciation, Queen's named the Human Resources Service Center the Arthur A. Ushima Building.
It’s a lasting tribute for a job well done.