(U.S. Navy graphic by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class David Ortiz/Released)


Hawaii Hospitals Participate in RIMPAC 2018


If a major earthquake and tsunami hits one of the Hawaiian islands, are medical facilities ready to handle a massive surge of injured? Are we ready to receive assistance from U.S. military, mainland states and even other countries?

Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management (HHEM), a federally-funded program of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii, is coordinating the participation of all of Hawaii’s acute care hospitals on six islands, as well as the American Medical Response ambulance company in the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) component of the U.S. Navy’s 2018 Rim of the Pacific Exercises (RIMPAC). Hawaii healthcare facilities are joining the international naval HA/DR for the fourth time this year on July 12 and 13.

On July 12, 2018, Hawaii hospitals will join military forces to simulate mass casualty care and movement of more than 300 people to and from 27 hospitals on six islands, Ford Island, the USNS Mercy hospital ship, and Washington state. All of the acute care hospitals in the state are participating in this exercise. Volunteers will receive lifelike stage makeup to simulate traumatic injuries and illness from infectious disease, receive simulated treatment, and will be transported via U.S. Army helicopters, U.S. Air Force Reserve Air Ambulance, and ambulance buses.

Temporary medical surge facilities set up on Ford Island will include a portable disaster hospital system equipped with procedure lighting, air conditioning, sanitary systems (shower, sink, toilet), and hospital field beds; and an infectious disease isolation area.

Patients and even domestic pets will be managed by the Hawaii Patient Tracking and Assessment System (HPATS). Patient information entered at the hospitals will be electronically relayed to facilities on the network, so that when patients are moved or transferred any participating facility can check where the patient went next, medical status, medications given, procedures, and even information about pets and family members found with survivors.

Hawaii statewide healthcare facility participation in the Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR) Exercise is primarily coordinated through the Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management Coalition (HHEMC), with the US Navy, and Regional Health Command Pacific. Kalawao Rescue, an all hazards disaster medical response and recovery team and a capability within the HHEM Coalition, will be deploying a 50-person team consisting of physicians, RNs, paramedics, APRNs, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, admin and logistic support professionals.

On Friday July 13, HHEM is coordinating exercise participation for 92 other medical facilities statewide (including long term care, dialysis centers, assisted living facilities, community health centers, ambulatory surgical centers, and specialty hospitals).

The purpose of HHEM and healthcare facility participation in this exercise is to further enhance emergency response procedures, policies and processes that would be utilized during major emergencies and disasters in Hawaii, coordinating local response with that of mainland, military and even international agencies.

In addition to federal and state government agencies, the UN and other international NGOs, U.S. and foreign militaries and private medical facilities, this year volunteer Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) from the Kailua and Ewa Beach communities on Oahu will participate by simulating search and rescue and gathering wounded in various communities to collection points for medical treatment and transport.

27 Participating Hospitals, AMR ambulance, Others

Hawaii County:
Hale Ho`ola Hamakua
Hilo Medical Center
Ka`u Hospital
Kohala Hospital
Kona Community Hospital
North Hawaii Community Hospital

Maui County:
Kula Hospital
Lanai Community Hospital
Maui Memorial Medical Center
Molokai General Hospital

Kauai County:
Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital
Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital
Wilcox Medical Center

Honolulu City and County:
Adventist Health Castle
Hawaii State Hospital
Kahuku Medical Center
Kaiser Foundation Hospital
Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children
Kuakini Medical Center
Pali Momi Medical Center
Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu
Straub Medical Center
Sutter Health Kāhi Mōhala
The Queen’s Medical Center
The Queen’s Medical Center – West Oahu
Tripler Army Medical Center
Wahiawa General Hospital

What is Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management?

Hawaii Healthcare Emergency Management (HHEM) is a statewide all hazards comprehensive healthcare coalition emergency management program within the Hawaii Hospital Education and Research Foundation (HHERF), a part of the Healthcare Association of Hawaii (HAH), that works in partnership with the Hawaii Department of Health’s Public Health Preparedness Branch. HHEM is funded by the federal government.

HHEM provides healthcare emergency management services that include statewide integrated healthcare communication and information sharing systems, the coordination of healthcare response and recovery operations, administration of the statewide patient tracking system,  deployment of a variety of emergency medical response teams and various strike teams, the mobilization of healthcare delivery systems such as field hospitals, logistic support and coordination, medical countermeasure deployment, planning and preparedness activities such as training, workshops, tabletops, and functional and full scale exercises to more than 165 healthcare coalition members throughout the state of Hawaii.

These include hospitals, long term care facilities, assisted living facilities, home care and hospice, community health centers, air and ground ambulance, ambulatory surgical centers, blood banks and clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical, medical gas and durable medical equipment providers. These healthcare emergency management services are provided in close collaboration with the State Department of Health and other federal, state, and county agencies.

What is Kalawao Rescue?

Kalawao Rescue is a statewide all hazards disaster medical response and recovery team that supports and assists medical surge capability and capacity for the healthcare system. It is made up of physicians, RNs, paramedics, APRNs, physician assistants, respiratory therapists, admin and logistic support professionals. Kalawao Rescue is a capability within the HHEM Coalition.

In the case of a real medical surge need, members of Kalawao Rescue will set up and staff temporary field hospitals, or within an existing medical facility campus, in order to assist with increases in medical surge capacity and capability.

HHEM deploys emergency response teams (Kalawao Rescue and specialty strike teams and task forces) to provide casualty care, aeromedical transport, infectious disease transport, medical surge, functional assistance and incident management statewide within Hawaii and the Pacific.



Media Please Contact:
Stacy Wong
Manager, Communications
Healthcare Association of Hawaii
707 Richards St., PH2, Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 521-8961
Cell: (808) 521-1885