2008 News Stories

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This year, The Queen's Medical Center honors two outstanding physicians for 2008: Whitney Limm, MD, as Hospital-Based Physician of the Year, and Morris Mitsunaga, MD, as Community-Based Physician of the Year.

Dr. Whitney Limm earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Stanford University. He earned his medical degree from the UCLA School of Medicine, then completed his internship and general surgery residency at the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). He completed his fellowship at the Cardiovascular Research Lab at Queen's. During his residency, Dr. Limm also completed a clinical transplantation fellowship at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Dr. Limm serves as medical director for Queen's Operating Room and Same Day Surgery Center and is an associate professor at the Department of Surgery at JABSOM. His private surgical practice is with Surgical Associates, Inc. Last year, he agreed to be the physician champion for Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) Core Measures, a national effort in which hospitals voluntarily incorporate measures proven to reduce surgical complications such as infections, blood clots and myocardial events.

Those who work with Dr. Limm say he is an effective leader who always listens and requests feedback and ideas from everyone. "You always leave feeling you were in a collaborative discussion and never in a directive one," a colleague wrote in nominating him as Physician of the Year. Others said that Dr. Limm treats everyone with respect, and that, above all, his goal is to always do what is right for the patient.

Dr. Limm notes that he has devoted most of his professional time to Queen's because it uses its resources to help the community. "Queen's has been very supportive," he says. "For example, the minimally invasive surgery program, APEC (Anesthesia Preoperative Evaluation Center, the Women's Health Center, Queen's Cancer Center, Same Day Surgery Center and the new ER have all been in response to community needs and physician input."

Dr. Morris Mistunaga serves as Chief of Orthopedics at Queen's. Dr. Mitsunaga entered pre-med training at Creighton University, earned his medical degree at Creighton University School of Medicine, developed an interest in orthopedics and performed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic. Always intending to return to Hawai’i, he naturally came to Queen's, "where the action is." Dr. Mistunaga is serving his second consecutive appointment as Chief of Orthopedics.

Dr. Mitsunaga is very proud of the Orthopedics Department, citing all the advances in technology; high independent health rating scores; the starting of the Human Motion Institute and Spine and Joint Centers; volunteerism from many physicians to cover the Queen Emma Clinics; attendings stepping up to help residents; the core group of doctors who take trauma calls; the SCIP initiative to improve patient care; and the establishment of clinical pathways so physicians can follow best practices and give efficient medical care. "Patients always come first," he concludes.

His team, in turn, gives credit to a great leader, calling Dr. Mitsunaga a humble, approachable, caring, upbeat man of action. "He supports resident training with time and monetary support," one of his POY nomination forms said. "[He] is always helpful to staff for orthopedic consultation with a friendly attitude." Dr. Mitsunaga thanks everyone at Queen's—all the people who make things happen day to day. He says, "I'm thankful to all the people who help me take care of patients."

Queen's two Physicians of the Year represent just a few examples of excellence among over 1,200 physicians. It is with pride that we acknowledge these outstanding individuals who represent the Queen’s family.

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