West Maui Hospital Developer Seeks $7 Million To Help Cover Costs | News, Sports, Jobs

The West Maui Hospital and Medical Center project site is presented in 2018, with the grading year completed. Developers of the hospital, which was delayed due to a lack of funding, are now asking the state for $7 million in grants to help cover infrastructure and construction costs. The Maui News/MATTHEW THAYER photo

West Maui Hospital developers are seeking $7 million in grant funds to cover the costs of the long-awaited medical facility.

Brian Hoyle, president of the West Maui Hospital Foundation, asked the Maui County Council’s Human Concerns and Parks Committee for a resolution of support that could be submitted to the state legislature and governor, along with letters of individual written support as they seek funding for infrastructure. and utility construction costs.

“This project has been going on for some time,” Hoyle said Monday. “We are not an unlimited resource. We certainly need funds to complete the process, and as you all know, it is very expensive. … Our request is financial assistance to do so.

The West Maui hospital will consist of a 30,000-square-foot, single-story, licensed critical-access facility with five licensed acute care beds — up from 25 beds — and will continue to have an open emergency department 24 hours a day, two to three operating rooms, X-ray laboratories, 24 hour pharmacy and ambulatory services.

The services and specialties that the hospital will offer are cardiology, family medicine, gastroenterology, general surgery, orthopedics and urology. One or two doctor’s office clinics will provide additional doctor’s offices and outpatient services.

Despite the community’s call for medical services on the West Side, the hospital has faced a number of hurdles since opening in August 2016 after California-based developer Newport Hospital Corp. purchased the property. in September 2014. The state awarded the project a Certificate of Need in March 2009.

“West Maui hospital will be smaller than originally planned,” Hoyle said Monday. “It will be a small, fully functioning rural type hospital and it will be open 24 hours a day and we will accept all patients from any source of payment.”

The first phase, which is the priority, will include all required offsite infrastructure and West Maui Hospital, a five- to six-bed critical access hospital that will occupy 5 acres, Hoyle said.

Phase two will consist of a potential doctor’s office/clinic building that would include up to 150 assisted living units on the remaining 9.9 acres of the West Maul Hospital and Medical Center site. About 30 units will be designated as affordable housing for seniors.

The site is located on 15 makai acres of Kaanapali Coffee Farms on Kakaalaneo Road and is fully licensed, with mass grading, drainage and on-site infrastructure already completed.

Hoyle said construction of offsite infrastructure, such as water (provided by Hawaii Water Service) and sewer lines, began in 2020 after receiving all necessary approvals, and work continues today. today. There is enough funding to complete this part of the project, Hoyle said, but all attempts to secure private funding to support ongoing work have failed due to lack of state and county financial support.

That’s why the nonprofit West Maui Hospital Foundation is pursuing the application for a $7 million State of Hawaii grant to cover and offset the cost of capital improvements, including design and engineering, the construction of on-site and off-site infrastructure and public services. , and connection fees.

“If we spend money now, we won’t have any for the project later”, he said. “We anticipate that the services we are putting in place now on the existing Kakaalaneo Drive will be useful in the future, so it really is an investment, not just for the hospital, but for future development which will incorporate lots of affordable housing. and needs of the community that will be served by these improvements we make.

Hoyle hopes to receive the support of the committee and the entire county council in recommending that the Legislative Assembly approve the grant application.

Total development costs are approximately $38.5 million. The Newport Hospital Corporation has already spent over $20 million to date on property, development, government rights, building and site planning, engineering, consulting, on/offsite construction and d other related costs.

There is no debt on the property, Hoyle noted, but “We are asking for state assistance to complete the offsite infrastructure.”

The foundation is also applying to the US Department of Agriculture, which provides federal loans for such projects, to fund the hospital structure.

They also continue to seek and fundraise for other private funding as Newport Hospital Corp. plans to “make the difference” of what is not covered by federal, state and county support.

“We are committed to this project, we will do what it takes, just put all the different components together and the grant is one of them,” Hoyle said.

If and when the county might consider funding the West Maui hospital in the future, Hoyle hopes the board would consider providing direct grants to purchase equipment and services, provide matching funds, budget funds to help with construction, waive permit fees and other demands. .

“We make the request in a really polite way, ‘is there anything you can help us with?'” he said. “We welcome whatever you are willing to put into the effort.”

West Maui does not have an acute care hospital or skilled nursing facilities, which has proven unsafe for residents and visitors who need emergency care and must travel to Maui Memorial Medical Center in Wailuku, the island’s main hospital, Hoyle said.

West Maui Hospital would be Maui’s first new hospital since the Maui Memorial opened in Wailuku in 1952, according to the West Maui Hospital Foundation.

Hoyle said this first-response hospital is not intended to compete with Maui Memorial Medical Center, but rather to add to existing services and open up another service and employment opportunity.

Despite the local shortage of health workers, Hoyle believes that hiring doctors and medical staff “not to be a problem” due to job opportunities in the brand new facility.

“We need people to stay in Maui” he said.

A handful of witnesses spoke at Monday’s committee meeting and expressed their support for the project, urging the council to do the same.

Among them was West Maui representative Angus McKelvey, who said he supported any attempt to secure grants that would move the project forward, provide access to medical care on the West Side and generate revenue. job opportunities in the healthcare field.

“Making this thing happen is super important,” said McKelvey. “I think this grant will help do that.”

The committee plans to discuss the matter in more detail at a later date to vote on whether to recommend a supporting resolution, among other materials.

“Let’s do it”, said committee chair Tasha Kama. “Personally, I would like to see this hospital operational within four years.”

Council chairwoman Alice Lee also said she would support a resolution for the hospital.

“I will support this when the time comes”, said Lee.

* Dakota Grossman can be reached at [email protected]

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