Growing concerns about Molokai’s only health center trigger calls for CEO’s resignation

Updated: Oct. 16, 2019 at 10:44 AM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens of residents waved signs outside Molokai Community Health Center on Tuesday to call for the CEO and the board of the beleaguered facility to resign.

Residents had hoped to voice their concerns at a community meeting set for Tuesday.

But the meeting was abruptly canceled.

Molokai resident Heli Silva-Ducaroy said the community is outraged.

“Our community wants some answers," Silva-Ducaroy said.

Concerns about the facility grew in August, when the health center was forced to shut its doors for four days due to staff shortages.

The facility apologized, saying they addressed the staff shortages that led to the medical department’s partial closure. They said It was an unusual circumstance that they do not believe will happen again.

They had a meeting planned for Tuesday to speak to residents about their complaints.

But on Monday night, the CEO sent an email out that said:

"We made the difficult decision to postpone the community meeting out of concern for the safety of our board and staff. We’re very sorry to community members who planned on attending but ensuring the safety of everyone in attendance is our top priority.”

Silva-Ducaroy says residents feel betrayed.

"We're not out here to threaten them, all we want is answers from them,” she said.

The facility also responded to a previous story Hawaii News Now did on the concerns, claiming that one of the residents who expressed concerns wasn’t telling the truth.

Solene Duvauchelle told HNN that her father was unable to get his daily heart medication refilled by MCHC during its August closure and he ended up being admitted into the emergency room.

In an email to Hawaii News Now, the health center’s CEO said:

“After viewing the story and checking our records, we noticed that there were statements given to you about patient prescriptions that were incorrect. All patient prescriptions have been filled in a timely manner. Unfortunately, due to patient confidentiality concerns, we aren’t able to provide more detail.”

Duvauchelle’s father, Claude, said his daughter is telling the truth.

"I was the one that went through that, they don't know how I felt going through that. But it was the truth, we had to go to the ER because it wasn't provided by them,” said Claude Duvauchelle.

“That’s how I made it through. Otherwise I think, I don’t know. I was beginning to get pale.”

A petition is going around to have the facility’s board members and the CEO removed.

"They're volunteering their services. So, we ask you volunteer to get off,” Silva-Ducaroy said. “Damage has been done. The trust has been broken by the board and CEO."

“They’re dealing with lives,” Duvauchelle added. “I think they should step down because we don’t want this to happen again.”

MCHC said a new meeting date will be shared later. In the meantime, they are welcoming anyone who has concerns to meet with them on a one-on-one basis.

They also provided more information on their website to answer questions the community may have.

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