Think About It: St. Francis Reboot - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

June 6, 2013

Think About It: St. Francis Reboot

St. Francis Healthcare System got a bum rap a few years back when it divested itself of the Liliha and Ewa hospitals that bared its name. As things went downhill for the new owner, Hawaii Medical Center, the media kept reminding us that the two facilities were formerly owned by St. Francis. But to unwary consumers, the hospitals still seemed connected to St. Francis, though the financial misfortunes had nothing to do with the former owners, who opened the Liliha facility in 1927 and the Ewa hospital in 1990.

When St. Francis sold the hospitals, it stated that proceeds from the sale would be used to better aid the entity in its core mission- caring for seniors and the poor. St. Francis got involved once again with the two facilities after the former owner went belly up in 2012, with no chance for resuscitating surgery. In a year that was highlighted by the sainthood of St. Francis sister Marianne Cope, St. Francis quickly sold off the Ewa campus to Queen's Health Systems, and now has announced that the dormant Liliha facility will be used as a skilled-nursing and assisted living facility, with hospice care included.

As my wife works for St. Francis and I have had occasion to help out with the St. Francis Healthcare System on projects, I am well aware of the great work this entity does- for the poor, our keiki, the elderly, and the needy who might fall through the cracks. The re-purposing of the Liliha building and Queens' planned renovations at the Ewa hospital over the next couple of years are great examples of entities coming to the rescue in a time of great need. Hawaii's patients will be better served due to these fine efforts, and a side benefit is that perhaps St. Francis won't have to worry any more about mis-directed perceptions about the role it played in the downfall of its former hospitals. Think about it…

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