By Kristen Consillio
Star-Advertiser, January 16, 2017
The Queen’s Medical Center has opened a pediatric after-hours clinic at its Ewa Beach hospital to care for the growing number of children in West Oahu.
The center, which opened Monday, treats infants and children up to age 17. It is the only pediatric specialty clinic in the burgeoning community, open Monday through Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from noon to 8 p.m.
“It’s the start of pediatrics at Queen’s-West,” said Dr. Kristin Fernandez, lead physician for Queen’s-West Pediatric After Hours Center. “Queen’s is committed to really looking at what the community needs are out here. We have a lot of young families, and the population’s just growing. Queen’s wants to be able to deliver care to pediatric patients when patients’ own doctors can’t see them.”
The hospital, which opened in 2014 after the closure of St. Francis Medical Center-West, is slowly ramping up services based on community needs and is looking to add maternity services in the future, she said.
“Parents have to do these long commutes, and by the time they discover their child is sick and they want them seen, it’s really like 7 p.m.,” she said. “So they really do need someone available in the hours when their doctors’ offices are closed.”
Queen’s also announced this week that its Punchbowl hospital is now certified as Hawaii’s first comprehensive stroke center, meaning patients will have 24-hour access to specialty neurosurgeons seven days a week. The center plans to do more outreach and teach the public about getting the latest medicines quickly after a stroke occurs to try to reverse its effects. The center also is working with other hospitals statewide through telehealth services so that patients in rural communities have access to stroke experts.
The center, established in 2012, will study health disparities among minority populations and research treatments unique to residents that potentially could result in new clinical trials. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in Hawaii, according to Queen’s.
“A lot of cutting-edge new treatments are only available under clinical trials. There may be a potential new drug or therapy that can make people better,” said Kazuma Nakagawa, Queen’s medical director of obstetric neurovascular service. “If (patients) come in with a devastating stroke to the comprehensive stroke center, their chances of having a full recovery and eventually going home is much higher.”