New Building Plans Under Way At Busy Waimanalo Health Center
By PAIGE TAKEYA
Waimanalo Health Center looks more like a small collection of trailers than one of the state’s best patient-centered medical clinics – so recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
That’s why a planned $13-million expansion in the form of a new building can only make things better, according to WHC development director Pi’ilani Kai.
“Since its inception in 1992, WHC has experienced much growth in services and patient population,” Kai stated. “The patient and procedure areas are inadequate and inefficient to meet the needs of the community.”
WHC serves more than 4,000 patients annually, mostly from the area’s low-income and Native Hawaiian populations. It’s been hard for the existing facilities to meet modern standards and demand, and WHC realized that repair and renovation costs would be too expensive in the long term.
The planned two-story, 19,000-square-foot structure will be located in the current staff parking area next to the fire station and across the street from Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School.
“The new building will house most of WHC’s current services, including medical, behavioral health, vision, outreach and eligibility services. The facilities also will have adequate exam rooms, patient waiting areas, laboratory services, etc.,” Kai said.
The current facilities will continue to house a number of services after the expansion, she noted, including dental, youth mentoring, and wellness and nutrition classes.
The health center has completed its environmental assessment and is looking to obtain a permanent lease for the property. Construction should begin in 2015, with an estimated completion in 2017. For more information on clinic services, visit waimanalohealth.org or call 259-7948.