Cancer center aid
may hinge on plans
Inouye says he needs
the building plans to
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye says he believes he can get federal funding for the planned Cancer Research Center in Kakaako, but first he needs to share the building plans with his congressional colleagues.
Monday, Feb. 23, 2003
>> The executive vice president of Hawaii Pacific Health is Dew-Anne Langcoan. She was incorrectly identified in a story on Page A3 Thursday as Dew-Anne Okamoto.
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Inouye asked University of Hawaii President Evan Dobelle for the plans yesterday during a U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education hearing.
Inouye and U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, both D-Hawaii, held the hearing at Kaimuki High School to hear from the community on three issues on which they plan to seek federal funds: job training programs, $100 million for the expansion of the UH Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and $1 million for repair and maintenance projects at schools with 25 percent or more native Hawaiian students.
Dobelle told Inouye the plans are still being worked on, but promised to provide them by June 1.
Inouye, who chairs the subcommittee, told Dobelle he needs the plans soon to convince his colleagues to include the funding in the next federal government budget.
"We're pretty good in delivering," Inouye said.
Otherwise, it will be another year before he can push for the funding, he said.
The Cancer Research Center occupies crowded quarters on grounds of the Queen's Medical Center. Plans call for an expanded center to be built next to the UH medical school under construction in Kakaako.
Inouye and Akaka heard testimony from Dobelle, Queen's Health Systems President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Okamoto and cancer care specialist Dr. Jonathan Cho calling for a need to expand the center's mission to include outpatient treatment. They also heard from center Director Carl-Wilhelm Vogel, Hawaii Pacific Health Vice President Dew-Anne Okamoto and Dobelle on the unique qualities Hawaii provides for cancer research.
"We're going to make that a reality because it's not for Hawaii, it's for our nation and the world. And I think we can do it," Inouye said after the hearing.
Inouye said he also wants to win federal money to expand job training and apprenticeship programs here to meet the anticipated work force demand from a surge in defense construction and the privatization of military housing.
"I can assure you that we didn't go out and get all of these projects to provide jobs for Nevada or California," he said.
Gov. Linda Lingle testified that Hawaii's aging population will put a strain on the supply of labor.
The hearing was held in the library of Kaimuki High, one of 59 Hawaii public schools to receive federal funding for repair and maintenance community partnership programs. Congress recently approved spending $1 million in Native Hawaiian Education funds for repair and maintenance at schools with enrollments of at least 25 percent Hawaiian children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.