Monday, March 30, 2009

MTM: Queen's Hospital

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo F. Buscaglia

“How many desolate creatures on the earth have learnt the simple dues of fellowship and social comfort, in a hospital.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Original Queen's Hospital

Queen Emma & Kamehameha IV 1859

“I remember when I used to sit on hospital beds and hold people’s hands, people used to be shocked because they’d never seen this before. To me it was quite normal.”
Princess Diana

In the 19th Century, introduced illnesses and diseases were decimating the Native Hawaiian population of these islands. Though Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV were sovereigns of ALL of Hawaii's residents, including American, European, and Asian subjects of the Kingdom, they felt a special Kuleana (responsibility) to preserve their own people to whom they were bound by an ancient genealogy. The two monarchs did not disdain to humble themselves, visiting private homes all over O`ahu to solicit funds for a modern hospital at the foot of Punchbowl Crater.

2009 is the 150th Anniversary (1859) of the founding of The Queen’s Hospital (today: The Queen's Medical Center). The only hospital in the nation with a royal pedigree, Queen's serves all of Hawaii and the Pacific. Once can scarcely read Honolulu history, or literature that is set here (From Here to Eternity, House of Many Gods, Molokai, Honolulu) without "visiting" this hospital that is such a major part of our community.

Trippler Army Medical Center, Kuakini (Formerly the Japanese Hospital) Kapiolani Women's & Children, Shriner's, Kaiser Moanalua, and The Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific, are local hospitals that also serve us with great distinction; but to enter Queen's is to enter the fabric of Honolulu in a unique way. You're likely to notice a Kupuna ( senior citizen) softly playing a ukulele in the lobby. A portrait of the Queen herself, along with distinctive Polynesian & historic art is on display in this cutting edge modern facility.

Here we interact with so many ethnicity's and life stories: Micronesians suffering the lasting effects of nuclear testing, neighbor islanders wary of the big city, tourists from every nation who find themselves unexpectedly and deeply ill, so very far from home - all find solace and Aloha here at Queens. Mostly it is the local staff, from physicians, nurses, skilled technicians to maintenance and office workers, who keep the graciousness alive.

While pondering this week's My Town Monday post I realized that it was a no brainer. I have spent lots of time at the hospital recently visiting my Dad. This place with it's precision, history and warmth has become dear to my heart. I hope this brief post has touched yours today!
You can read more about the Royal couple here:
A L O H A! Cloudia