Governor Neil Abercrombie this morning signed into law House Bill 608, which appropriates state funds to The Queen's Medical Center to perform kidney and liver transplants and to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i to maintain its chronic kidney disease management program.
"Without operational organ transplant services in the state, patients with end-stage diseases must register on transplant waiting lists for mainland transplant centers and many of these patients will face a longer waiting time," stated Governor Abercrombie who signed HB 608 at The Queen's Medical Center. "This was a collaborative effort where the Legislature, community members, and health providers understood that lives were at stake. I'm grateful that we are able to make a positive difference."
This is the first bill enacted by the Governor this session. The sum appropriated, which are subject to dollar-for-dollar private matching funds, include:
* $1.5M to The Queen's Medical Center to support services to perform kidney and liver transplants in Hawai'i.
* $300,000 to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i to maintain its chronic kidney disease management program.
"We are very appreciative of the efforts of the Governor and the Legislature for their commitment to save this vital program," said Art Ushijima, President of The Queen's Medical Center. "Establishing the Queen's Transplant Center as quickly as possible has been a top priority."
According to the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i, there are currently 400 patients on the transplant waiting list.
"We are truly grateful that the community, especially to The Queen's Medical Center, the state elected officials and to Governor Abercrombie, responded to the true need for a transplant center in Hawai'i," added Glenn Hayashida, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai'i. "Everyone understood that not everyone could travel to the mainland for a transplant."