Brief asides


POSTED: Monday, July 27, 2009

Chatter gets a red light

All the expert care in the world is wasted if a person can't get any rest. Patients have grumbled for years that hospitals are way too noisy, especially at night. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has taken their complaints to heart with a savvy system that encourages everyone to quiet down. The Yacker Tracker noise monitor looks like a traffic signal, alerting staff and visitors alike when chatter is getting out of hand. The Moanalua facility is much quieter at night since the system was introduced, and surely patients are grateful for the more healing atmosphere.


Reaching out to the uninsured

As the debate rages in the halls of Congress about health care reform, needy folks on Oahu are getting some help on the ground. Free medical and dental care is available at numerous sites through Thursday, as part of a joint project called “;E Malama Kakou”; (to care for all) that's reaching out to uninsured people across the island. For more information, call 448-8302.


Higher education a key to economic salvation

It's great to see the University of Hawaii rewarding the entrepreneurial spirit by preserving the pay of researchers who've won competitive grants.

Departing president David McClain said such workers (there are about 3,000) shouldn't expect to see their pay slashed, even as budget cuts are negotiated with the public-worker unions. That's great for them, but what would be even better is for this state and its leaders to recognize that higher education is the key to economic salvation. And to fund UH appropriately, whether for the benefit of a world-class scientist whose research brings in millions of dollars in grant money, or a community college professor toiling away to help needy students achieve a better life.