Getting the Bigger Picture

Holistica Hawaii and the Hilton Hawaiian Village unveil a new use of technology that saves lives and attracts tourists.

October, 2000

It seems like spas have been opening up all over the Islands, faster than beach umbrellas on a three-day weekend. Tourists and visitors alike are being primped and pampered, de-toxed and exfoliated from one end of Waikiki to the other. But what if you want to get in touch with your inner self, your real inner self? How about a little yoga, a little light workout and a body scan?

Late last month, the Hilton Hawaiian Village took health and wellness tourism to a different level when it unveiled Holistica Hawaii, the first health clinic of its kind in a resort setting. The facility, which will eventually have a permanent home in the resort’s Kalia Tower next year, features board-certified doctors who will give visitors thorough medical evaluations before starting them on a seven-day lifestyle program. The program will feature yoga and exercise sessions along with lectures on nutrition, cooking and other lifestyle matters. For several evenings during that week, participant will also dine at a number of prominent restaurants around town, sampling Pacific Rim fare with a light touch.

The centerpiece of Holistica’s clinic will be a $1.75 million Ultrafast CT scanner, a high-end version of the x-ray, computer controlled scanners used to provide a cross- sectional views of the bodies internal organs. Holistica, like about 40 or so clinics throughout the mainland, will use the technology proactively, scanning otherwise healthy patients and predicting possible health problems in the future—far into the future—and fix them.

According to Holistica officials, CT scans of the heart can reveal potential problems 10 years down the road, time enough to change high-risk behavior and reverse the affect of heart disease.

While the use of the scanner has its critics, the process is FDA approved and has the blessing by the American Heart Association. In 1998, the association selected the use of imaging to identify potential health problems as one of its top ten advancements in research for that year.

“We are very excited about welcoming Holistica on board,” says Peter Schall, general manager of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. “We have paid very close attention to our customers needs and we’ve noticed that today’s consumers are very proactive about their health. And with the Kalia Tower we saw an opportunity to meet that need.”

According to Schall, who grew up in the German town of Freudenstad, famous for its health spas, the Kalia’s medical clinic was never intended to treat people with ailments. Rather it was envisioned more as a lifestyle consulting center. Holistica Hawaii provided this and more.

Dennis Ling, branch chief at the Dept. of Business, Economic Development and Tourism agrees, citing Hawaii’s weather, multicultural population and acceptance of complimentary and alternative medicines as contributing to a relaxing and healthy setting.

“Holistica Hawaii fits nicely with the Islands,” says Ling. “There is a growing trend of health and wellness tourism in general and in Asia in particular. The Japanese are looking for spa opportunities and this just looks like the next step.”

According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, although it is a relatively new sector, health and wellness tourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry. HTA estimates that almost 35 million Americans will be over the age of 65 by the year 2000. In the Asia-Pacific region that number hovers somewhere around 30 million, most of which are from Japan. This Japanese market alone is worth some $700-$800 billion alone, growing to $1.24 trillion by 2010.

“We believe that this type of health tourism business will work in Hawaii,” says Dr. John Klock, chairman of Holistica Hawaii. “It is non-evasive—people are scanned with their clothes on—and it will be done in a resort setting. Let’s face it. People don’t like going to a hospital, especially if they aren’t sick. People really love to come to Hawaii. The weather is good the air clean, things you would associate with good health. This is a natural.”

It will also be expensive. The cost of the seven-day program will range from $7,000 to $9,000, while individual scans will cost between $200 to $500. So far health insurance will not pay for the procedure.

Holistica officials believe that they can accommodate 20 people on its seven-day program and scan about 20 to 25 people a day. They hope to gross between $10 to $15 million in Holistica’s first year of service. Officials intend on marketing their services directly to high-end executives and elite athletes. Klock sees particular promise in affluent and tech-savvy Silicon Valley.

Klock makes it clear that Holistica Hawaii is not a health clinic in the conventional sense—not servicing sick people and it isn’t all about money. He is currently working on outreach programs in the community.

“We are interested in building a model for health tourism for a Hawaii and building a model for screening for healthy people in their 50s and older, “says Klock. “Let’s say that you’re 49 and you are ready to start thinking how you will spend the next 30 years and you are a little overweight and you have a little extra income and you want to learn about your health. This is for you.”

For now Holistica Hawaii calls Hilton’s Alii Tower home but when it moves to the Kalia it will have a 9,000- sq.-ft. space next door to the new Mandara Spa. The facilities will be separate but guests will most likely take advantage of both. The cost of construction of Holistica’s facilities is estimated at $2 million.

Schall says that at the moment Hilton is not planning another like Holistica for it other resorts but will be watching its progress very, very closely.

“We are going to take this one step at a time,” says Schall. “With think this is great for Hilton, great for our guests and a big plus for the community.”

“I think it is a victory for consumers,” says Klock. “They can now take control of their health. This is especially heartening in light of all the things we’ve been hearing about HMOs and other aspects in our health care system.”



Company Chief Executive ’99 (% change) ’98 Employees Year Founded Parent Company DBA’s Subsidaries or divisions
  1. Kaiser Permanente Medical Care
Michael E. Chaffin MD,

PR/Hawaii Perm. Med. Grp.

Bruce Behnke -PR

485.3 (5.0%) 462 3150 1958 Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (CA),

Kaiser Foundation Hospitals,

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.,

Hawaii Permanente Medical Group Inc.

  1. The Queen’s Health Systems
Robert C. Oshiro -CHB,

Richard L. Griffin-PR, CEO

424 (2.2%) 415 3876 1859 The Queen’s Medical Center,

The Queen Emma Foundation,

Molokai General Hospital,

Queen’s Development Corp.,

The Queen’s Health Care Centers,

Diagnostic Laboratory Services, Inc,

Queen’s Health Management,

Queen’s Island Care,

Queen’s Hawaii Care,

Queen’s Preferred Plan,

The Queen’s Health Care Plan,

Hawaii Medical Library,

Hamamatsu/Queen’s PET Imaging Center LLC,

CareResources Hawaii,

Queen’s Insurance AIF Inc.

  1. Kapi’olani Health
Roger Drue-PR, CEO

Chuck Sted- Ex, VPO, CFO

Frances Hallonquist -Ex. VP,

CEO/Kapiolani Medical Center

Gail Lerch -VP/Human Res. and Mktg.

411 (6.5%) 386 2350 1890/1986 Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children,

Kapi’olani Medical Center at Pali Momi,

Kapi’olani HealthHawaii,

Kapi’olani Medical Specialists,

Kapi’olani Health Foundation,

Kapi’olani Service Corp

  1. Straub Clinic & Hospital Inc.

Jonathon D. Grimes – CEO

Raymond Dockery MD-COO

Ken Robbins MD -PR/Board

Larry Smith -CFO

336.8 (1.2%) 332.9 1800 1921 Straub Development Corp.
  1. Hawaii Health Systems Corp

Thomas M. Driskill Jr.-PR, CEO 226 220 3145 1884/1996 Maui Community Hospital,

Hilo Medical Center,

Hale Ho’ola Hamakua,

Kau Hospital,

Kona Community Hospital,

Kohala Hospital,

Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital,

Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital,

Leahi Hospital,

Maluhia Hospital,

  1. St Francis Healthcare System of Hawaii

Sister Beatrice Tom – CEO

Sister Gretchen Gilroy-COO

R.Don Olden -Ex. VP, CFO

213.5 (3.0%) 207.2 2100 1984 (HI) St.Francis Medical Center,
  1. Kuakini Health System

Margaret Oda – CHB

Gary Kajiwara -PR, CEO

Darryl Ing -SR. VP, COO

Ross Sugibayashi -VP, CFO

183.7 (-5.5%) 194.3 1160 1900/1983 Kuakini Medical Center,

Kuakini Geriatric Care Inc.,

Kuakini Foundation,

Kuakini Support Services, Inc.,

Kuakini Development Corp.,

Kuakini Pacific Corp.

  1. Castle Medical System

Larry Dodds – CHB

Robert J. Walker -PR, CEO

101.6 (3.7%) 98 744 1963 Adventist Health (CA)
  1. Wilcox Health System

David W. Patton Ph.D. -PR, CEO

Arnulfo Diaz MD -PR/Medical Staff

Lee A. Evslin MD -PR/CEO Kauai Medical Clinic

79 (1.3%) 78 989 1938/1984 Wilcox Memorial Hospital,

Wilcox Health Foundation,

G.N. Wilox Health Center Properties,

Kauai Medical Clinic,

Wilcox Memorial Hospital,

Wilox Health Foundation,

  1. Wahiawa General Hospital
Edmund Whang MD- CHB

Tyler Erickson-Admin

63 (-1.6%) 63 352 1944 Wahiawa Hospital Association, (HI)

General Hospital, Wahiawa

Services Corp., Holloway Medical Foundation


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