Hawaii News — BabySTEPS To Stronger Big Island Families Resumes Newborn Baskets Project

From left, Christina Ranan, Hilo Medical Center Obstetric Nurse Manager; David Hurd, The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay; Darissa Kekuawela, Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families and Kamehameha Schools; Howard N. Ainsley, East Hawaii Regional CEO of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation; Wehilani Johnson holding baby boy Rydan DeMello; and Ricky DeMello, Rydan’s dad (Photo courtesy of Sharon Sakai.)

(Media release) — Starting this month, newborns on the Island of Hawaii will receive a special “welcome to the world” gift thanks to the generosity of a philanthropic organization, the time and energy of volunteers and the dedication of a team of early childhood educators.

The Newborn Baskets project is one of several early childhood initiatives spearheaded on the Island of Hawaii by Baby STEPS to Stronger Big Island Families. The basket project, originally started in 2004, took a brief hiatus in 2009 and is resuming this fall in all three hospitals on the Island of Hawaii.

The first basket — filled with tools and resources to strengthen families — was delivered on Sept. 10 at Hilo Medical Center to newborn Rydan DeMello and parents Wehilani Johnson and Ricky DeMello. Similar assembly work and deliveries will be done by volunteers from Family Support Hawaii for North Hawaii Community Hospital and Kona Community Hospital. Read more

*** Commentary *** Politics Of Birth Here

Kazuya Akimoto painting

(Editor’s note: A shorter version of this commentary appears in the Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010 edition of the Big Island Weekly.)

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

I am hapai (pregnant) with my second child. I had my first child at the Waimea Women’s Center. I was hopeful that, with this pregnancy, I could avoid the hour-and-a-half commute to Waimea, by getting the midwifery care that I desire at Pahoa Women’s Center, which is operated by the Bay Clinic Family Health Center.  All too soon I learned that the prenatal care in Pahoa is limited and ultimately results in a hand-off to an ob-gyn at the Hilo office of the Bay Clinic.  Let me give you the run-down of my interaction with Dr. Eric Helms, who is fresh off the jet from Florida.

After my initial visit with certified nurse midwife Roxanne Estes at Pahoa Women’s Center, I was scheduled to meet with Helms on July 14, 2010. A week before that scheduled visit, pain in my lower left pelvis area led me into the Pahoa Women’s Center again.

I hoped for an ultrasound to relieve anxiety that I could possibly have a tubal pregnancy.  As it turns out, a $25,000 ultrasound machine I understand is supposed to be at the Pahoa Women’s Center is not there.  It is located in Helms’ office in Hilo.  But Helms’s schedule was too full to see me before July 14.  I drove myself to the Hilo Medical Center emergency room (ER) and, five and a half hours and an ultrasound later, was assured my fetus is safe and sound in the womb, but I have an ovarian cyst.  Pressed for details, the ER doctor said I would have to consult with my ob-gyn. Enter Helms.

The day of my scheduled appointment with Helms, driving from rural Puna into Hilo, I had trouble finding the new office of the Bay Clinic and ended up being 10 minutes late for my appointment.  The nurse tried to reschedule, but I was determined to see Helms and discuss the results of my ER visit. I waited for nearly two hours and, thanks to my persistence, I ultimately saw Helms.

When conversing with him,  I shared that I am a “cheerleader for midwives.”   I told him my plans to meet the new Hilo Medical Center medical director, Dr. Ted Peskin, later in the week to see about incorporating some of the successes in Waimea in Hilo.  Helms prefaced with, he didn’t want to be discouraging, before speculating that it would be “five to 10 years” before midwives are allowed access to the Hilo Medical Center. He then shared with me that if he is to be my ob-gyn for labor and delivery at the Hilo Medical Center, I would not be permitted to have a midwife present.   Read more

Kona News — Man Commits Suicide In Hospital Parking Lot

(Media release) — Big Island police are investigating a shooting at Kona Community Hospital on Friday, June 4, 2010 as a suicide.

Kona Patrol officers responded to a 4 p.m. call on Friday reporting that a man had a gun in the hospital’s parking lot. While en route, officers received information that witnesses had reported that the man shot himself while still in the parking lot.

Hospital personnel took the victim to the emergency room, where he was pronounced dead at 4:45 p.m.

Police have not positively identified the man, who is believed to be in his mid 50s.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday to determine the exact cause of death.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation.

Kona News — Two Die In Kealakekua Bay Aircraft Crash

(Media release) — Big Island police have initiated two coroner’s inquest cases in connection with a small aircraft that crashed into Kealakekua Bay on Wednesday morning.

The pilot and sole passenger were both killed in the crash. The pilot has been identified as 38-year-old Tedd Robert Hecklin, owner of Tedd’s Flying Adventures in Kailua-Kona. Police identified the passenger of an aircraft that crashed as Kathryn Grace Moran, 37, of Kailua-Kona.

The Fire Department received a report of the crash at 9:36 a.m., 20 minutes after the Airborne Outback XT-912 SST Tundra micro-light aircraft departed from the Kona airport.

Eyewitnesses on commercial boat tours in Kealakekua Bay said the aircraft was banking left when they heard a loud popping sound, observed the aircraft’s wing fold up and then saw the plane fall into the ocean. Read more

Ka’u News — Ran Over After Church Hay Ride, Seven-Year-Old Ocean View Girl Dies

(Media release) — A 7-year-old girl died of injuries she sustained in a hay ride during a Halloween night church function in Hawaii Ocean View Estates.

The victim was identified as Emily Midgley of Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Responding to a 7:08 p.m. call Saturday (Oct. 31), Ka’u. patrol officers determined that a 48-year-old Hawaiian Ocean View Estates man was operating a 1998 Dodge pickup with a trailer hitched to the truck. Read more