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Management and Operations of the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home to Transition to the East Hawai`i Region of Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                         


Elena Cabatu, Director of Marketing

Phone: 808.932.3160 | Cell: 808.333.7223

Hilo, Hawai`i (September 25, 2020) – The governing board and leadership of the East Hawai`i Region of Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation, consisting of Hilo Medical Center, Ka`u Hospital, and Hale Ho`ola Hamakua, has reached an agreement with Avalon Healthcare to transition the operations and management of the Yukio Okutsu State Veteran Home to the state entity.

Avalon has been contracted to manage Hawaii’s only nursing home facility caring for our state’s veterans since it opened in 2007. Despite many years of successful operations, the recent, unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19 in the facility has caused a reassessment by the East Hawai`i Regional Board responsible for the management contract.

“We are humbled and privileged to be entrusted with caring for our veterans,” said Dan Brinkman, CEO of the East Hawai`i Region of HHSC. Over the next several months, we will be collaborating with the Avalon team to safely and effectively complete the transition.”

“Avalon deeply appreciates the service that our nation’s veterans have provided to our country,” said Allison Griffiths, a spokesperson for Avalon Health Care Group. “Throughout the pandemic, Avalon has diligently sought to implement the guidelines of the Hawai`i State Department of Health, the CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Avalon has been and continues to be deeply committed to the welfare of all of our residents and will work with HHSC to transition the facility to its leadership.”


About the East Hawai`i Region of Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation

As the Big Island’s leading providers of inpatient and outpatient care, the East Hawaii Region of Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation (HHSC), consisting of Hilo Medical Center, Hale Ho′ola Hamakua and Ka′u Hospital, delivers a full range of services and programs. Our three hospitals include 290 beds and over 1,300 employees. Our medical staff is comprised of 250 physicians, physician assistants and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, representing 33 specialties. The region’s East Hawaii Health is a network of clinics offering primary and specialty care. Hilo Medical Center functions as a Level III Trauma Center, which includes the second busiest emergency room in the state, providing 24-hour care and serving more than 50,000 patients annually. Hale Ho′ola Hamakua and Ka′u Hospital are designated as Critical Access Hospitals.

The East Hawai`i Region of HHSC is part of the Hawai`i Health Systems Corporation, a public entity established in 1996 by the State of Hawai`i to fulfill the promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare. For more information, go to:, or