Office of the Governor – News Release – Gov. Green Expands Health Care Infrastructure, Education

Posted on Jun 13, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom, Office of the Governor Press Releases

KAHULUI, HI  ̶  Governor Josh Green, M.D. has signed legislation to expand access to health care on Maui and to uplift career advancement opportunities for health care workers in the state.


“These bills emphasize the importance of our health and education systems, in meeting the healthcare needs of residents across our state,” said Governor Green. “Both bills represent the collaborative efforts between my Administration and the Legislature to help address these needs.”


“An acute-care hospital is greatly needed for West Maui. The island has seen tremendous growth and protected rates of growth and visitors going forward are unprecedented,” he said. “In addition to providing greater access to health care for the people of Maui, completion of a West Maui Hospital and Medical Center will also generate excellent job opportunities for residents in the community.”


To address the statewide shortage of health care workers, Governor Green signed HB 353, which appropriates $130,000 for instructional costs for the Certified Nurse Aide-to-Practical Nurse Bridge Program at University of Hawaiʻi Maui College; and $200,000 to provide student aid to participants in the CNA-to-LPN Program at the school. The appropriation includes funds for tuition, fees, supplies, and related costs. The program is designed especially for working certified nurse aides and other health care professionals who want to become licensed practical nurses, and will enhance the quality and provision of health care services on Maui.


“This funding contributes to a robust education system in providing health workforce education and training, to enhance the quality of health care in our community and address the dire shortage of health care workers in our state,” said Governor Green. 

The program partners with Hale Makua, ʻOhana Pacific Health, and Kaiser Permanente Hawaiʻi and provides eligible Maui and Oʻahu health care professionals with the opportunity to become LPNs while they are working.

State Senator Gil Keith-Agaran called the bills Maui community bills. “These two bills came out of the community and were actually driven by the community,” he said. “Getting the financing (for West Maui Hospital and Medical Center) has been going on for a long time … that is not something we can take credit for. The other bill, from Representative Hashimoto, again came through the community. HB353 was probably one of the easiest bills to move through the legislature this year … because the expansion will also provide more health care positions on Kaua‘i and O‘ahu – this is helpful for health care throughout the state.”

“We are so very grateful to Governor Green for signing this bill, authorizing up to $20M in special purpose revenue bonds to help our foundation with financing costs for the long-planned West Maui Hospital and Medical Center,” said Jo Anne Johnson Winer, of the West Maui Hospital Foundation. “Our West Maui community can now see its long-time hopes and dreams become reality.”


“This is a proud day for UH Maui, as we will be able to contribute greatly to helping our state’s health care system staff up, while at the same time, affording certified nurse aides an opportunity to advance their careers through the bridge program,” said UH Maui College Chancellor Lui Hokoana.

Act 73, H.B. No. 1255, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, C.D. 1, Relating to Special Purpose Revenue Bonds

Authorizes the issuance of up to $20M in special purpose revenue bonds to assist West Maui Hospital Foundation, Inc. in the construction of West Maui Hospital and Medical Center in the county of Maui, including any necessary infrastructure. (CD1)


Act 74, H.B. No. 353, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, C.D. 1, Relating to Health Care Education

Appropriates funds for the expansion of the certified nurse aide to practical nurse bridge program at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui college, including funding for instructional costs and student aid. The allocation for the Certified Nurse Aide-to-Practical Nurse Bridge Program at University of Hawaiʻi Maui College will receive $130,000 for instructional costs, while $200,000 will be provided for student aid to be applied toward tuition, fees, supplies, and related costs. (CD1)


Photos and video from today’s bill signing are courtesy Office of the Governor.


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Media Contacts:   

Erika Engle 

Press Secretary 

Office of the Governor, State of Hawai‘i 

Phone: (808) 586-0120

Email: [email protected] 


Makana McClellan   

Director of Communications   

Office of the Governor, State of Hawaiʻi  

Cell: (808) 265-0083   

Email: [email protected]