140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shriners' hospital starts next construction phase

Medical wing open; now family quarters, offices will be built
By Mary Vorsino Advertiser Urban Honolulu Writer

Shriners Hospitals for Children in Honolulu yesterday kicked off the second phase of a $73 million capital improvement project, with the removal of a mobile operating trailer used to help provide surgery to children at the facility during construction.

The hospital recently completed its medical wing, which has two operating rooms, 24 inpatient beds, 13 exam rooms and recreation, physical therapy and radiology rooms. The next phase of work will concentrate on installing a family quarters building and administrative offices.

Once completed, the hospital will boast about 150,000 square feet of floor space — about 40 percent more space than the old hospital. Officials say that will allow the facility to meet a growing need for services, especially among kids from the Neighbor Islands.

Construction on the new facility is set to wrap up by next summer.

Employees and patients moved into the new medical wing two weeks ago.

With the removal of the mobile operating trailer, crews can start demolition work to make way for the second phase of construction. The $1.4 million operating trailer had been parked at the side of the hospital. It went into use about two years ago, when construction started.

Shriners purchased the trailer on the Mainland and shipped it to O'ahu, after being unable to find operating space at other area hospitals. The trailer was moved from the hospital yesterday and will be shipped back to the Mainland for use at another Shriners facility.

Shriners officials say the trailer is better than some operating rooms in hospitals.

"It is a top-notch, state-of-the-art operating room on wheels," said Gene Bracewell, the Shriners' board treasurer. "We never had to tell a child we can't take care of your services."

Construction of the $73 million hospital started in August 2007.

Shriners has committed $59 million toward the work.

The rest, about $14 million, will come from donations.

So far, Shriners has raised about $11 million from businesses, foundations and the public.

Shriners officials say they're confident they'll be able to raise the rest by the end of the year.

The hospital specializes in pediatric orthopedics.

It sees more than 600 new children a year from across the state, Pacific and Asia.

Children are provided with free medical care, regardless of their parents' ability to pay.

The cast of "Slava's Snowshow" dazzled children at Shriners hospital with a special performance. It included paper snow, flying balls and clowns. The group is performing at the Hawaii Theater through Sunday.
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