Who’s Who in Healthcare

March, 2015

Q&A with Howard Lee
President and Chief Executive Officer of UHA

Howard Lee President & CEO UHA

Howard Lee
President & CEO


Q: How can companies collaboratively make a difference in their communities?

A: Our vision is that of a vibrant and healthy Hawai‘i.  That’s why we’re strong believers in the value of effective and sustainable workplace wellness programs that result in happier, healthier and more productive workplaces – and ultimately a happier, healthier Hawai‘i.


As the first in Hawai‘i to offer health plans focused on prevention and wellness, we work closely with companies who are committed to building a corporate wellness culture. Lex Brodie’s, Bowers + Kubota, Child & Family Service and Aloha Petroleum are among those companies we’re proud to call our “wellness partners.” Such partnerships positively impact the well-being of Hawai‘i’s worksites, families and communities through encouraged participation and shared support of events like the upcoming Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes.


Q: What’s been UHA’s grassroots level of involvement in wellness and prevention programs? What’s your motivation?

A: With our distinction as Hawai‘i’s only physician-founded health plan, a long history of wellness and preventive care and being an innovator in health care offerings, it was natural for UHA to form the Hawai’i Health at Work Alliance in 2013.


Open to all Hawai‘i employers, this unique alliance has quickly grown to currently represent more than 225 organizations.  Quarterly meetings provide the opportunity to learn from subject matter experts about emerging concepts in employee health and wellness, share best practices, and participate in problem solving workshops. Members share their first-hand experiences and network with other like-minded Hawai‘i employers of all sizes and industries.







Topa Financial Center
700 Bishop Street, Suite #300
Oahu: (808) 532-4009
Neighbor Islands: 1(800) 458-4600, ext. 301




Q&A with Ray Vara
President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawai’i Pacific Health

Ray Vara President and CEO of Hawai‘i Pacific Health

Ray Vara
President and CEO of Hawai‘i Pacific Health


Q: The cost of health care is a major concern for all Americans.  What is your perspective on this as head of Hawai‘i’s largest provider network?

A: With its current structure, health care is unsustainable. Right now it accounts for 17.6% of the nation’s gross domestic product, and that will only continue to rise in the future. If we don’t improve the general health of our population, the situation will only get worse.


The thing is, taking care of people only when they’re sick in our hospitals, clinics or emergency rooms isn’t enough. There’s more to the issue than that. Factors like education, economic status and housing heavily influence a person’s ability to maintain good health.


The issue is bigger than health care alone.  We also need to look at the entire picture – improving the lives of the people in our communities.


Q: What’s in store for health care with all these new health care reform efforts?

A: Reform is about bending the cost curve of health care. The best way to do that as a health care provider is to improve the quality of care we provide and offer patients better value.


For example when hospitals, doctors and other health care providers collaborate, we can reduce unnecessary or repetitive medical tests for our patients. We can be more proactive in identifying trends and potential health issues for individuals. That’s what electronic health records help do for us. They give us the means to collaborate on our patients’ behalf.


With this system, patients also have the tools they need to participate in their own care.  Our patients can see their own test results, look up past health records and even communicate with their doctors using our MyHealthAdvantage online health records. Good health starts with personal choices and a big part of that is the ability to have all your information at hand.





Hawai‘i Pacific Health – Corporate Office
55 Merchant Street
Honolulu, Hawaii   96813
949-WELL (9355)
Toll-free: 1 (877) 709-WELL (9355)




Q&A with Michael A. Gold
President and Chief Executive Officer of HMSA

Michael A. Gold President and Chief Executive Officer HMSA

Michael A. Gold
President and Chief Executive Officer

A Healthy Hawaii – One Community at a Time
Health is no longer just about treating the physical symptoms of disease. To truly support health, we need communities that nurture healthy lives. HMSA is doing just that: advancing the health of Hawaii one community at a time.


Q: Why focus on communities when HMSA is a health plan provider?

A: HMSA is Hawaii’s most experienced health plan. But for some time, we’ve been expanding our focus beyond offering health plans to also concentrate on how to improve the well-being of communities. This moves us closer to fulfilling our mission to advance the health of Hawaii.


Q: What kind of initiatives?

A: One of our most exciting new community-based initiatives is getting underway this year. It’s Blue Zones Project® in Hawaii. It helps communities make small changes that add up to big improvements in health and well-being. The first three Blue Zones Communities® have been identified. More will be added in coming years.


Q: What’s in it for businesses?

A: Healthier communities mean a more productive and happier workforce and controlling the cost of health care. In the case of Blue Zones Communities on the Mainland, for example, there’s evidence of lower health care costs and improved workplace attendance. And that’s not counting community-based changes, such as healthier students, more people exercising, and easier healthy choices in restaurants and grocery stores. Those outcomes are good for business and good for Hawaii.


Blue Zones Project® and Blue Zones Communities® are trademarks of Blue Zones, LLC. All rights reserved.





HMSA Center
818 Keeaumoku St.
Honolulu, HI 96814
Phone: (808) 948-6111
Fax: (808) 948-5567




Q&A with Arthur Ushijima
President & CEO, The Queen’s Health Systems
President, The Queen’s Medical Center

Arthur Ushijima President & CEO, The Queen’s Health Systems President, The Queen’s Medical Center

Arthur Ushijima
President & CEO, The Queen’s Health Systems
President, The Queen’s Medical Center

The Queen’s Health Systems (QHS) has greatly extended its mission to provide quality health care to Native Hawaiians and all the people of Hawai‘i. Since 2012, Queen’s has reopened the organ transplant center, affiliated with North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, and opened The Queen’s Medical Center – West O‘ahu. QHS now includes four hospitals including Moloka‘i General Hospital, which became a subsidiary in 1987.


Q: What led to Queen’s expansion over the past three years?

A: The Affordable Care Act is focused on making high quality care more accessible. We are expanding Queen’s as a system to have a physical presence where services are needed most. We first apply our mission template to determine if a venture fulfills the intent of our founders, and then we ensure there is strong community support for our entry into the market.


Q: What else is Queen’s focused on?

A: Clinical integration with our physician community is a priority for Queen’s. We have more than 1,000 physicians throughout the state that we are partnering with to provide innovative, leading edge care. By working together in new, more integrated ways, we will improve overall health and well-being in our state.


We are also working with health insurance companies for the benefit of patients, and forming partnerships with other parts of Hawai‘i’s health care system, such as long-term care facilities.


Q: What are Queen’s plans for the future?

A: QHS is forming a 10-year capital plan to expand Queen’s health care further. We’ll continue to find ways to seamlessly connect our patients to primary, specialty and acute care throughout the Queen’s system. We’ll also look for new opportunities for Queen’s to serve in communities across our State.





The Queen’s Health Systems
1301 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 691-1000





Q&A with Harold Morse
General Manager CVS Health/Longs Drugs, Hawaii Operations

Harold Morse General Manager CVS Health/Longs Drugs, Hawaii Operations

Harold Morse
General Manager
CVS Health/Longs Drugs,
Hawaii Operations

In conjunction with our removal of tobacco products, last fall we launched a comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking cessation campaign to help millions of Americans to quit smoking.  Smoking cessation services delivered by our pharmacists are available at all locations daily and MinuteClinic nurse practitioners can provide counseling through the Start to Stop program which begins with an assessment to create a customized treatment plan.

Patients in stores will also have access to smoking cessation informational materials. From the cessation campaign’s launch on Sept. 3 through Dec. 2014, our pharmacists counseled more than 67,000 patients filling a first prescription for a smoking cessation drug or prescription nicotine replacement therapy and consulted with thousands more smokers seeking advice about over-the-counter NRT products.


Q: How can Longs Drugs/CVS Health pharmacists help me on my path to better health?

A: Our pharmacists dispense prescriptions and provide services such as flu vaccinations as well as face-to-face patient counseling with respect to adherence to drug therapies, closing gaps in care, and more cost effective therapies. Our integrated pharmacy services model enables us to enhance access to care while helping to lower overall health care costs and improve health outcomes.


Q: Nearly 500,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related illnesses and over 16 million Americans already have at least one disease related to smoking. What is Longs Drugs/CVS Health doing to address this growing health concern?

A: Last September, all CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores ended the sale of tobacco products, making us the first national pharmacy to be tobacco-free. There is evidence developing that indicates that removing tobacco products from retailers with pharmacies will lead to substantially lower rates of smoking with implications for reducing tobacco-related deaths.  If retailers with pharmacies across the country were to forego sales of tobacco products, the result could be 25,000 to 60,000 fewer tobacco-related deaths annually.









Longs Drugs/CVS Health
Regional Business Office
1025 Opakapaka Street, Kapolei, HI 96707

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