$10,000 in Scholarships to Support Hospital Employees and Family Members Pursuing Careers in Healthcare

Members of the Medical Staff presented $10,000 in scholarships to support hospital employees and family members pursuing a career in healthcare. (l-r) Shainah Yogi, Dr. Jon Martell, Chief Medical Officer, Jordan Melchor, Dr. Francis Cavanaugh, Chief of Staff, Hiilei Ishii-Chaves, Lorinda Barretto, Dr. Lovina Sabnani, Medical Staff Treasurer, and Dr. Douglas Calvert, Medical Staff Chief-Elect.

Hilo, Hawaii – Physician leadership of Hilo Medical Center’s medical staff presented $10,000 in scholarships to invest in healthcare careers and improve the quality of care in East Hawaii.

Four, $2,500 scholarships were awarded to the following Hilo Medical Center employee and family members:

Lorinda Barretto, RN

Lorinda is a nurse on our Progressive Care Unit (PCU) for the past three years. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.  Lorinda was a member of the second nursing class hired through Hilo Medical Center’s Nursing Development Program.  Two outstanding letters of support highlighted Lorinda’s contributions to the PCU team, her ability to meet challenges, work well under pressure and collaboratively with team members, while exhibiting a high level of professionalism.  Recently, Lorinda attained her certification in Progressive Care. 

Hi’ilei Ishii-Chaves

Hiilei is the daughter of Pat Ishii, a case manager in the Patient Services Department.  She was accepted to be part of a new program for Native Hawaiian students aspiring to medical school and was accepted at Chaminade University to study Biology with a Pre-Medicine emphasis.  A letter of recommendation from a Hilo pediatrician where Hiilei completed an internship noted her maturity and leadership characteristics that are well beyond her years.  Another letter highlighted her work ethic as reliable, hardworking, self-motivating, and dedicated.  Hiilei’s goal is to be a pediatician or obstetrician and plans on returning to the Big Island to give back to this community. 

Jordan Melchor

Jordan is the daughter of Pam Melchor, a nurse in the Utilization Review Department. Jordan attends the University of Oregon where she has made the Dean’s List, joined the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Alpha Phi Omega – a co-ed fraternity that focuses on community service and builds leadership skills.  Her goal is to be come a radiologist.  She first became interested in radiology when she broke her thumb playing soccer and the doctor showed her the images and explained the meaning of the images. She has also been inspired by her mother’s 25-year career as a nurse to help improve healthcare in our community. 

Shaniah Yogi

Shaniah is the daughter of Taryn Yogi, Food Service Manager in the Food and Nutrition Services Department. Shaniah volunteered at the hospital and was inspired to pursue a degree in nursing.  She is currently studying at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and is on track for a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree.  She was inspired by the culture of our community to care for others and hopes to specialize in either geriatrics or pediatrics.  She hopes to be an inspiration to future generations to explore career paths in the heatlh care field because we all will alwys need people to care for us and help create a better quality of life. 

“On behalf of the Medical Executive Committee and the Medical Staff at Hilo Medical Center, it is my privilege to present these scholarships to these deserving recipients,” said Dr. Francis Cavanaugh, Chief of Staff.  “I am proud to be a member of a Medical Staff that acknowledges the significance of investing in the future of our community’s healthcare.  I wish each of this year’s scholarship recipients the very best in their pursuit of a meaningful and rewarding career in healthcare.”

The scholarship program was created by members of Hilo Medical Center’s medical staff. Physicians funded this program with the goal of investing in and supporting Hilo Medical Center staff and their family members. The scholarships may be used to further education and skills related to a healthcare profession, including paying for tuition, books, on-line subscriptions, and, for those students living away from home, room and board.


About Hilo Medical Center

As the Big Island's leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care, Hilo Medical Center (HMC) delivers a full range of services and programs. Our 20-acre campus consists of 276 beds located throughout the 137-bed acute hospital, 20-bed behavioral health unit and a 119-bed long-term care facility. We have 1,000 employees and a medical staff comprised of 250 physicians, physician assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, representing 33 specialties. As a medical center, we have a network of nine outpatient clinics offering primary and specialty care. The hospital is a Level III Trauma Center which includes the second busiest emergency room in the state that provides 24-hour care to nearly 48,000 patients annually. 

HMC ranks in the top 2% of hospitals in country and best in the state of Hawaii for preventing Hospital Acquired Conditions, according to CMS in 2015. The hospital is also a recipient of the 2015 Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ and a past recipient of the Mountain Pacific Quality Health's Quality Achievement Award. In 2016, we received the American Heart Association Gold Award for cardiac care. In 2016, we were also recognized for quality long term care by Providigm for Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement Accredited Facility and Embracing Quality Award for the Prevention of Hospital Readmissions. Our long term care met the requirements for the American Health Care Association's Three Tier Level Quality Initiative Recognition Program.

In 2014, HMC's EMR team, HealthConnect, attained the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) Meaningful Use Stage 2. In addition, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recognized HMC for achieving Stage 7 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM. HMC was received the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award for Excellence in 2015 for demonstrating EMR utilization to improve quality of care and financial management.

We are 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.