NHCH Celebrates Its "Sweet 16"
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NHCH Celebrates Sweet 16 After decades of dreaming and planning, NHCH officially opened our doors sixteen years ago on May 28, 1996.   Over the last sixteen years, NHCH continues to proudly serve the nearly 30,000 residents and visitors of North Hawai‘i. 

In many ways, NHCH is the continuation of a loving legacy.  Makahikilua (the site on which the hospital stands) had centuries ago been a gathering place to celebrate peace and camaraderie. In the early 1900’\s, Lucy Kalanikumaiki'eki'e Davis Henriques and her cousin, Lucy Keahi’ehi’e Peabody, shared a dream to build a medical center in Waimea to serve the families of North Hawaii.  In 1928, Lucy Peabody left 12 acres of land in Waimea to her cousin Lucy Henriques.  Lucy Henriques in turn left these 12 acres in a trust upon her death in 1932 for the establishment of a medical facility to care for the families of North Hawai‘i and to fulfill the dream she and her cousin shared decades earlier.

In 1977, Lucy Henriques Medical Center opened as the initial phase of what the community hoped would someday become a full-service hospital. And in the mid 1980s, the healthcare environment in North Hawaii began to shift and change in such a way that this dream, which had seemed distant and obscure, began to come into focus. Hundreds - if not thousands - of people gave their time, money and energy over the following years to bring NHCH to life.

Today, NHCH proudly continues this loving legacy by focusing on our mission to improve the health status of the people of North Hawai‘i by improving access to care and providing high quality services at a reasonable cost. 

The following are 16 interesting facts about NHCH’s history . . .

1.  Early 1900s: Lucy Davis Henriques and her cousin Lucy Kahi’ehi’e Peabody shared
     a dream to build a medical center in Waimea. 
2.  1928: Lucy Peabody left 12 acres of land in Waimea to Lucy Davis Henriques.
3.  1932: Lucy Henriques bequeathed land and trust to fulfill the dream she and her 
      cousin shared. 
4.  1977: Lucy Henriques Medical Center opened.
5.  From 1970 to 1990: North Hawaii became the fastest growing area in the state, 
     making a greater need for a full hospital.
6.  1990: Earl Bakken, inventor of the pacemaker and founder of Medtronic, became
      involved in planning of NHCH.
7.  1991 to 1992: North Hawaii community raised over $12.5 million to match a state
      grant, making NHCH a reality.
8.  May 21st, 1994: NHCH groundbreaking, with construction completed 16 months
9.  Public viewing of NHCH on Feb 10, 1996.
10.  Public Blessing on April 20th, 1996.
11.  Total project cost $30 million.
12.  May 28, 1996: NHCH official opening.
13. The first day NHCH was open: 9 patients in ED, 4 patients admitted, 1 surgery and
      1 patient airlifted to Oahu.
14. The second day: the first baby was born - named Madison (girl).
15.  After 10 weeks: ER treated 1243 patients; 3000 radiology exams; 187 surgeries;
       23 births and 296 admissions.
16.  May 31, 1997: NHCH celebrated 1 year with a run/walk and health fair.