Queen’s Set To Open May 20

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - West Oahu Islander -

May 20. I’m stoked that our com­mu­nity will once again have a hospi­tal. The fa­cil­ity will have 80 acute care beds, but that num­ber will in­crease to 135 in the fu­ture. It will fea­ture 23 emer­gency room bays, four op­er­at­ing rooms and two pro­ce­dure rooms. There will be ap­prox­i­mately 470 em­ploy­ees work­ing at the hospi­tal.

Queen’s has in­vested $70 mil­lion to make this hospi­tal a re­al­ity for our com­mu­nity.

Pulse Oxime­try Bill Still Alive

Be­cause of a con­stituent’s re­quest, I in­tro­duced SB 2194 this ses­sion to re­quire all birthing fa­cil­i­ties in the state in per­form a pulse oxime­try screen­ing on ev­ery new­born prior to dis­charge. I au­thored this bill in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Hawaii chap­ter of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion.

A pulse oxime­try test is a non-in­va­sive test that costs about $1 and mea­sures the blood oxy­gen sat­u­ra­tion lev­els of new­borns. Pulse oxime­try is ef­fec­tive at de­tect­ing crit- ical, life-threat­en­ing con­gen­i­tal heart de­fects, which other­wise can go un­de­tected by cur­rent screen­ing meth­ods. Al­ready more than 30 states around the coun­try make the pulse oxime­try test a re­quire­ment.

This test is just com­mon sense. I’m aware of cases where par­ents didn’t find out their kids had heart de­fects un­til it was al­most too late. This is a good thing to do to en­sure that new­borns born with heart de­fects get the emer­gency care they need as quickly as pos­si­ble. I’m hope­ful it will be­come law in 2014.

Lee­ward Bike­way Project Back on Track

The state Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion held a pub­lic meet­ing March 20 at Ewa El­e­men­tary School on the Lee­ward Bike­way project. I’m very happy it’s mov­ing for­ward, as this will im­prove the qual­ity of life for thou­sands of bi­cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans who are likely to take ad­van­tage of this com­mu­nity amenity.

The project is back on track af­ter be­ing de­layed for a num­ber of years be­cause of his­tor­i­cal preser­va­tion is­sues. Plans are to ex­tend the 14-mile bike­way from Wai­pio Point Ac­cess Road in the Pearl Har­bor area to Lualu­alei Naval Road in Nanakuli. For much of the route, the bike path will run along­side the ex­ist­ing OR & L rail­way and be 8 to 10 feet wide. De­sign for the project is un­der way.

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin in the first quar­ter of 2015 and it should be com­pleted by third quar­ter of 2016. ‘Lis­ten-Story’ Meet­ing My next ‘Lis­ten Story’ meet­ing, a leg­isla­tive ses­sion wrap-up, will be held at 9 a.m. May 10 at the Kapolei Star­bucks (next to the Chevron Sta­tion).

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