East Hawaii Regional Board Announces Retirements and Welcomes New Board Members

At the June East Hawaii Regional Board meeting, Harry and Gary were acknowledge for a job well done during their two terms. (l-r) Dan Brinkman, East Hawaii Regional CEO of HHSC, Harry Yada, Kurt Corbin, East Hawaii Regional Board Chair, and Gary Yoshiyama.

Hilo, Hawaii (July 15, 2016) – The East Hawaii Regional Board (EHRB) of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation announces the retirement of two long-serving members. Gary Yoshiyama served for seven years in a variety of committee leadership positions, including a two-year term as Board Chair.

“Gary brought to our Board a lifetime of experience and understanding of labor perspectives from his career as Division Chief of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, Big Island,” said Kurt Corbin, current Board Chair.

Also retiring is Harry Yada, who served as Secretary/Treasurer, among other committee assignments, and who recently concluded his career at UH-Hilo where he was Director of Real Property. “Harry brought to us a broad expertise in facilities management of state-owned properties – absolutely critical given our sprawling campus and facilities across the East Hawaii Region,” stated Corbin. “The Board and our community will sorely miss their contributions and the wisdom that they brought to the discussion on plans to ensure high quality, accessible healthcare for all residents.”

In anticipation of their transitions, the Board has been engaged in identifying and recruiting the next generation of leaders. Recognizing the importance of organized labor constituents, the Board announces the appointment of Rae Yamanaka, a retired teacher and educator, who has served the past eight years as the Hilo Director for the Hawaii State Teachers Association.

Above, Rae Yamanaka and Kimo Lee are the latest community members to join the East Hawaii Regional Board of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. Below, Brenda Ho of Hospice returns to the board.

“Effective relationships are integral  to the success of any organization,” said Rae Yamanaka. “I am committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholder groups to bring high quality healthcare and services to the Big Island community.”

In recognition of the growing population and healthcare needs of the Puna District, the Board reached out to James “Kimo” Lee, Director of Development for W.H. Shipman. According to Chair Corbin: “The Board and Administration have undertaken a strategic initiative to address the current and future needs for the District in addressing access to emergency services, primary care and other socio-economic issues related to healthcare. Kimo will help us better understand the demographics and planning aspects of that equation.”

And finally, the Board welcomes back Brenda Ho, Executive Director of Hospice of Hilo. “Brenda served on our Board for the maximum of two-three year terms and was required by state statute to sit out for two years,” said Corbin. “We are enormously grateful for her return, for both the knowledge and expertise that she gained during her earlier service, and because she is a recognized leader in healthcare, not just in our community, but across the state.”

“It was with great humbleness and honor that I had the opportunity to serve on the inaugural East Hawaii Regional Board from 2007 to 2014,” says Ho. “To be given this opportunity again is even more profound and appreciated.”

The 14-member Board is responsible for governing Hilo Medical Center, Hale Hoola Hamakua, Kau Hospital and the Region’s 10 general and specialty clinics. Members serve three year terms.


Elena Cabatu, Director of Marketing, Public & Legislative Affairs, at (w) 808.932.3160 or (c) 808.333.7223 or ecabatu@hhsc.org.


About the East Hawaii Region of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation

As the Big Island’s leading providers of inpatient and outpatient care, the East Hawai`i Region of Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC), consisting of Hilo Medical Center, Hale Ho`ola Hamakua and Ka`u Hospital, delivers a full range of services and programs. Our three hospitals include 373 beds and over 1,300 employees and a medical staff comprised of 250 physicians, physician assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, representing 33 specialties. The region has a network of 10 outpatient clinics offering primary and specialty care. Hilo Medical Center functions as a Level III Trauma Center, which includes the second busiest emergency room in the state, providing 24-hour care and serving nearly 48,000 patients annually. Hale Ho`ola Hamakua and Ka`u Hospital are designated as Critical Access Hospitals.

The East Hawai’i Region of HHSC is part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, a public entity established in 1996 by the State of Hawaii to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare. For more information, go to: www.hilomedicalcenter.org, www.halehoolahamkua.org or www.kauhospital.org.