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St. Francis Hospice Completes Major Modernization of Nuuanu Hospice Facility Comfort of Terminally Ill Patients Raised to a New Level

Patients at the 12-bed Sister Maureen Keleher Center in Nuuanu are now greeted with first-class comfort and special amenities following extensive renovations, as part of a $3.5 million major modernization project of St. Francis Hospice’s two inpatient facilities for the terminally ill.

“St. Francis Hospice is known for providing compassionate quality care to terminally ill patients, making their last days as meaningful as possible,” said Sister Agnelle Ching, OSF, chief executive officer of St. Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii. “We have worked hard to upgrade our hospice facility with well-appointed furnishings and the latest technology for the benefit of our patients and family members. Our goal is to make our patients as comfortable as possible.”

Improvements in the patient rooms included new air-conditioning units, flooring and lighting, and furniture and window treatments were replaced, utilizing soothing, earthy colors.  The rooms feature new head wall units, beds with pillow speakers and flat screen TVs to enjoy the LodgeNet interactive TV system, similar to what is available in hotel rooms. Patient rooms are also equipped with sleeper-loungers for a family member to spend the night.   

State-of-the-Art Amenities and Technology
The comprehensive education and entertainment system by LodgeNet, a first for a health care facility in Hawaii, provides information about St. Francis Hospice, patient/family services, education, as well as video-on-demand movies, music and games. With special touches unique to Hawaii, the LodgeNet system offers a Hawaiian music channel and custom menu screens feature the beautiful artwork of the late Peggy Chun, who was known for capturing the spirit of aloha in her painting.

The facility also features video conferencing capabilities that will allow patients to stay in close touch with family members and friends who are unable to visit. A comfort cart, filled with magazines, books, pillows, stationery, and other niceties, will also be brought to the patient’s room upon request.  

Major renovations to the Sister Maureen Keleher Center required patients to be temporarily relocated to Hawaii Medical Center East (formerly St. Francis Medical Center). The Nuuanu facility was originally a two-story home built in 1917 that St. Francis acquired, restored and turned into a beautiful hospice facility with a new patient wing in 1988.

The facility’s siding, roofing and gutters were replaced. Windowsills and frames and the asphalt driveways were repaired. The project also included exterior and interior painting, as well as landscaping. Work on the inside included a redesigned nurses’ station to improve work processes, a new entry, new lighting and wood flooring in the living room, and air conditioning in the chapel. In addition, the kitchen, pantry and dining room were upgraded, and the first floor restroom was renovated to become ADA compliant.  

One of the prominent art pieces in both facilities will be a two-foot by four-foot limited edition watercolor portrait of “Father Damien,” created by Peggy Chun earlier this year with the assistance of students from Holy Trinity School and Polish artist Magdalena Hawajska.

By March 2009: Renovations to St. Francis Hospice Facility in Ewa
Similar renovations are being done at the 24-bed Maurice J. Sullivan Family Hospice Center in Ewa which opened in 1997, including interior and exterior painting, flooring and a new air-conditioning chiller. Upgrades to the patient rooms are being done one at a time. New security cameras are also being installed at both facilities. The Ewa facility’s renovations are scheduled for completion by March 2009. 

Architects Pacific, Inc. provided the architectural design, and Tomco Corp. was the general contractor for both facilities.

St. Francis Hospice, established in 1978, is Hawaii’s first and largest hospice program and the only one in the state nationally accredited by The Joint Commission. While the majority of hospice care is provided in the home, St. Francis Hospice offers care at the two inpatient facilities for times when a patient cannot be managed at home.


Nuuanu Hospice

Hospice West

Nuuanu Hospice Living Room