2003 News Stories

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A little over a year ago, Wendy Takeshita, President of the Queen's Health Care Centers and administrator over many programs at The Queen's Medical Center, came up with an innovative idea to take control of a long patient placement waitlist and help calm the anxieties of elderly patients and their families making their way through uncertain and difficult territory. Almost one year ago, Queen's Nursing Home Liaison Program was born. A year later, the team's members are now known in just about every nursing home in Hawai’i.

The aforementioned problems were interrelated, so key questions were asked to find solutions. Takeshita hired Josie Rejante, APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse), to be the fledgling program's point person. A geriatric nurse practitioner, she would oversee the waitlist for patients no longer considered acute, and be Queen's liaison with nursing homes and outside agencies. The program also includes Case Managers Chat Augustine, RN, and Wilma Nazareth, APRN; and Case Manager Assistant Enrica Kahele. The team takes care of everything-assuring families and patients throughout the placement process.

Social workers still work with most patients, but refer the most difficult cases to the Nursing Home Liaison Program, including those with behavioral problems (Augustine has a psych nursing background), and long-term ventilator patients.

The Nursing Home Liaison Program doesn't stop after a patient is discharged-Rejante checks up on patients from Kaneohe to Kapolei to assure their care is being properly managed and that they are not unnecessarily readmitted.

Queen's has invested heavily in geriatrics to meet the needs of Hawaii's aging population. One of the state's top geriatricians, Shari Kogan, MD, is Queen's Medical Director of Geriatrics and the Progressive Care Unit. Geriatrics Clinical Nurse Specialist Barbara Cannan is also available for consultation, and geriatricians Baron Wong, Shellie Williams, Lom Nguyen and Albert Leung are at various Queen's Health Care Clinics.

Referrals to Queen's Nursing Home Liaison Program can be made through CLiQ or by calling team members Josie Rejante at 808.691.5199 (cell) or 808.578.8040 (pager); Wilma Nazareth at 808.691.5263 (cell) or 808.578.8505; Chat Augustine at 808.578.8619 (pager); or Enrica Kahele at 808.578.8387 (pager).

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