Head of Maui hospitals stepping down before privatization



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WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The head of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation is stepping down as the collection of Maui hospitals transitions to new private owners.

The Maui News reports (http://bit.ly/1NMjbJB) that CEO Wesley Lo will step down as head of Maui County's three hospitals and its parent regional organization on July 1, the same day Kaiser Foundation Hospital's Maui Health Systems is scheduled to take over operations.

"I just thought it's time for me to let go and not try to slow down the change," Lo said Saturday, a day after announcing his departure. "Some point in time, you got to let go and allow the people to do what they need to do. My goal was to be the catalyst for the change and get us to this point."

The quasi-public HHSC will step back and become owners of Maui Memorial Medical Center, Kula Hospital and Lanai Community Hospital on July 1, leasing the properties to Kaiser.

"My personal commitment to this community, and to all of you, is to see this transition through to completion," Lo said. "Kaiser should and will choose its own leadership team without the pressure of my incumbency."

Lo started at Maui Memorial Medical Center as chief financial officer 13 years ago. In 2004, he became an interim CEO at Maui Memorial and continued on to oversee all three of HHSC's Maui County facilities.

"I'm excited about the future. I think Kaiser is going to do an excellent job here," Lo said. "I'm so excited for the community. I think health care is going to see a great change."

Laura Lott, a spokeswoman for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, declined comment, saying the focus should be on Lo.

Avery Chumbley, chairman of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. Maui Region board, could not be reached for comment by the newspaper.

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Information from: The Maui News, http://www.mauinews.com

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The Associated Press

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