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Lifestyle // Old Friends
Nicole Kato

Tim Roe

Photo from Tiffany Huynh

Photo from Tiffany Huynh

The only rehab hospital in the state and Pacific is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, and the president/CEO of the organization is hoping to extend its care and services for many more years to come.

Tim Roe, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover Feb. 12, 2012, says that there are big things in store for REHAB (Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific), and it’s all starting with the renovations.

Eighty-five percent of the renovations include REHAB’s in-patient units, which are slated to be complete by February 2014. After that, renovations will continue down to the first floor.

“We’re putting in a brand new physicians clinic and expanding our patient waiting area,” Roe explains. “We’ll also be expanding our customer service.

“We’re putting in a new front desk for the hospital reception, which will be sort of a one-stop place where people come in, they can get info about the patients who are in-house. They can be put in touch with our patients’ financial representative services to discuss bills or the cost of their care.”

Roe’s goal is to improve REHAB’s customer service to the kind seen in the hospitality industry.

Another exciting aspect of the renovations include a new therapeutic mobility course within the courtyard, which will be the biggest expansion of REHAB’s therapy since the mid-1970s.

“We try to replicate real-world conditions, as far as different types of surfaces,” Roe says. “We have a large area used for power and manual wheelchair training, similar to an obstacle course, to challenge our patients’ ability to get around.

“We build up their skills, build up their confidence to go out into the real world and face challenges in the real world.”

With all the renovations going on, it’s also nice to see that some things within the organization aren’t changing. Art from the Heart, which is part of the Louis Vuitton creative arts program, features art created by patients.

“Once a year we have a gallery-type display of the artwork, and we sell the works,” Roe explains. “Our art therapy program is sponsored by Louis Vuitton and features painting, a ceramics program, flower arranging, and it all takes place on the campus of the hospital.

“We have some patients who were here 20 years ago, and they continue to come back for the art therapy program. Some have gone from being patients to being instructors in the program.”

To celebrate its 60th, REHAB held a radiothon, which was hosted by Michael Perry, who also sits on the hospital’s board of directors. The second half of the fundraising efforts came from the Art from the Heart program.

“It’s a big accomplishment (reaching 60 years),” Roe adds. “Health care can be a challenging environment. We’ve seen that here in Hawaii, with all the changes in hospitals over the past few years. The fact that we’re still around and thriving testifies to the level of support we have in the community, our donors, our patients, our community leaders, and it’s also a testament to the hard work of our staff.

“Sixty years of hard work, working to improve the lives of those with disabilities.”

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