Advancing Cardiology Services at Hilo Medical Center

Plans to expand Cardiology Services at Hilo Medical Center involve interventional cardiac catheterizations that can stop heart attacks in progress and save lives. The American College of Cardiology recommends interventional cardiac catheterizations as a “best practice” for treating heart attacks and reducing long term disability in rural areas like Hawaii Island. See our video, “Improving Heart Attack Care at Hilo Medical Center,” that shows the care we currently provide and the care we envision. Hilo Medical Center is well-positioned to provide this care as our hospital already equipped with a Siemens Artis Zee Biplane system for cardiac imaging and has a cardiologist and support staff that are currently performing diagnostic cardiac catheterizations.

Legislative Support to Improve Cardiac Care

The Hawaii State Legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 1235 SD 2 that appropriates $2 million for Hilo Medical Center to recruit two additional cardiologists, train staff and purchase equipment so we may perform interventional cardiac catheterizations on Hawaii Island. Click on the link to read the February 27 story in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, "Supporters lobby for bill that would help Hilo hospital treat heart attacks." 

On February 28, Dan Brinkman, East Hawaii Regional CEO of HHSC, and Dr. Jerry Gray, member of the East Hawaii Regional Board and retired emergency department physician, traveled to the state capitol to testify in person — see their testimonies featured in Big Island Video News. The bill is experiencing broad support from our local community, business, unions, government and partners in healthcare — read testimonies in support.    

Other Advancements in Cardiac Care 

  • In 2017, board certified Cardiologist Dr. David Griffin joined Hilo Medical Center as the Medical Director for Cardiology Services. We are actively recruiting for additional cardiologists to join our hospital.
  • In November 2017, Hilo Medical Center opened its new Cardiology Clinic on the first floor of the hospital is more accessible to patients.
  • March 13, 2018 marks the start of the first cohort for Hui Pono, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine at Hilo Medical Center, a program to reverse cardiac disease through exercise, nutrition, group support and stress management.  

Click on the images to see The Pulse, our newsletter on cardiology services:


THE BIG WHY: According to the Hawaii State Department of Health, cardiovascular disease is the state‘s leading cause of death with cardiovascular disease and stroke responsible for almost 4,000 deaths per year. Over 18,000 hospitalizations every year in Hawaii result from cardiovascular disease, accounting for about 22 percent of all Hawaii hospital costs.