Kapiolani launches 15-year plan


POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children is celebrating a century of pediatric services with plans to rebuild the hospital for the future.

The facility at Punahou and Bingham streets was state-of-the-art when it was built in 1978, said Martha Smith, chief operating officer.

But with annual growth in births, increased needs for premature babies and advanced technology, she said hospital and community leaders decided it was time to rebuild.

It's an estimated 15-year project with phased construction because the hospital must continue operating, Smith said. Costs haven't been determined, she said.

Work will begin next fall on a parking structure on a one-acre lot purchased by the hospital on Bingham Street next to the existing parking building, she said. It is being used now for staff parking.

“;We hope to work with a developer on that structure,”; Smith said, “;because the money we raise for building we want to put into hospital services and not necessarily for a parking lot.”;

The two-phase project will begin with the most critical needs: The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit will grow from 46 to 70 beds with private rooms instead of an open ward so parents can be involved in their children's care. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit will retain 14 beds with private rooms and triple space for families to be with children.

Expansion also is needed to relieve crowding around beds because of the advanced technology used to care for children and the hospital's teaching and research mission, Smith said.

HDR, an Omaha, Neb.-based hospital design company, and RIM Architects in Honolulu are developing the master plan with medical center staff participating.

The first phase, starting in 2014 with estimated completion in 2017, involves adding a fourth floor and widening a shared services building for the 84 new intensive care patient rooms, addition of family education space, a new family room, expanded waiting areas, a larger play room, additional conference rooms and an auditorium.

A new tower with patient rooms will be built in the second phase at the site of the current parking structure.

Smith said she went with Hawaii Pacific Health Executive Ray Vara and a construction team to visit some mainland children's hospitals. The Omaha children's hospital has a similar 4.5-acre footprint as Kapiolani, she said, adding that the Denver children's hospital has a garden that size.

“;We wanted to make sure we had enough space for this. ... This is meant to last a long time and plan for future expansion.”;

Smith and Warren Chaiko, Hawaii Pacific Health vice president of construction, have been meeting with the hospital's neighbors to describe the development and she presented the plans last night to three neighborhood boards.




The century mark

        Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, marks a centennial anniversary in pediatrics:

» The Kauikeolani Children's Hospital opened on Kuakini Street in 1909, funded by private donations because of community concern about a high number of infant deaths. (The Kapiolani Maternity Home founded by Queen Kapiolani in 1890 preceded the hospital.)


» Kauikeolani merged with Kapiolani Hospital, located at Punahou and Bingham streets, in 1978.


» The medical center, a nonprofit facility with 197 beds and 90 bassinets, is Hawaii's only pediatric specialty hospital and high-risk maternity center.


» The hospital's Neonatal Pediatric Transport Team flies about 500 sick infants and children in Hawaii to Kapiolani each year for lifesaving treatment.


» About 6,300 to 6,500 babies are delivered there each year.


» The Newborn Intensive Care Unit cares for about 940 low-birthweight or premature infants per year, including patients from the Pacific Rim and other Hawaii hospitals.


Source: Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children