A Place For Keiki With Fragile Health

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - June 06, 2007
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When the most precious things in your life, your children,are sick,it’s comforting to know that there is a place that has pretty colors and all things keiki-friendly to help take care of them.

That’s what Kulana Malama founder Gordon Ito set out to do when he learned there wasn’t a place on Oahu to take care of very sick children. After intensive research on pediatric facilities for medically fragile children on the Mainland and in Asia, he came up with Kulana Malama. Ito, who also owns and operates Oahu Care Facility and Pearl City Nursing Home, brings experience from those endeavors to his latest project. The name Kulana Malama translates into “center for caring.”

“The facility fills an important gap in the healthcare spectrum,” explained Kulana Malama administrator, Jon Kobayashi, in a news release.“Previously these children had no alternatives and were kept in acute-care hospitals or received care in long-term care facilities primarily suited for geriatric residents.”

The 30-bed facility in Ewa Beach is dedicated to helping children from newborn to age 21 who have special medical needs. The center accepts children with private insurance and those who qualify for Medicaid, of which there are nearly 3,000 in Hawaii,according to the company’s fact sheet.

One of the facility’s special features is a transitioning unit. Two studio apartments offer families a place to live while they learn to take care of their children’s medical needs in a supervised environment before going home.

Kulana Malama children’s health care center hosts an informational session for families from 1 to 3 p.m. June 10. The facility is located at 91-1360 Karayan St.For more information, call 681-1200.

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