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Nursing Team

Meet Our Team

Nursing at HBMC

Arthur Sampaga Jr.

is Hilo Benioff Medical Center’s Chief Nursing Officer. He has served as the Chief Nursing Officer since 2015, overseeing over 650 nurses and nursing assistants. His priorities include overseeing nursing practices and ensuring the organization optimizes quality care for every patient. He serves on multiple advisory boards throughout the state and is a well-known nursing leader in Hawaii.

Born and raised here on the Big Island, Arthur began his nursing career at Hilo Benioff Medical Center in 1989 as an LPN in the Medical Unit. He has clinical expertise in Critical Care, Trauma Care, and Angiography and brings a wealth of nursing management experience. Arthur has served in multiple leadership positions at HBMC, including Nurse Manager and Supervisor for several units, Director of Critical Care and Surgical Services, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Emergency Management Director.

As one of the main driving forces for obtaining funding and developing the simulation training center that has served thousands of employees to better their BLS/ACLS/PALS/Trauma skills,  Arthur demonstrates his continual commitment to advancing and improving our staff’s capabilities in providing life-saving care. He has led initiatives starting the Stroke, Heart Attack, and Trauma programs, which are currently certified. He is a leading advocate of providing our community with the highest standard of care by driving advanced nursing degrees and specialized certifications at Hilo Benioff Medical Center.

In 2013, Arthur retired from the Hawaii Army National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel with 30 years of service. During his services, including a combat tour to Iraq, the decorated war veteran served as a Chief Nurse and Deputy Commander for HIARNG Medical Command and a Primary Trauma Care Provider, Mass Casualty Leader, Joint Forces Liaison Officer, and EMS Director during combat deployment. Arthur earned a Master’s Degree in Nursing Management and Leadership from Grantham University, his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing from Hawaii Community College, a Certificate in Practical Nursing from Hawaii Community College, and Emergency Medical Technician from Kapiolani Community College. He lives with his wife in Hilo and has two grown children who reside in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Yvette Masaoka

Is the Critical Care Nurse Director at Hilo Benioff Medical Center with over 28 years of experience in the medical field. Born and raised in Hilo Hawaii, Yvette’s introduction to medicine and leadership was through the military where she served a total of 21 years as a combat medic and senior medical advisor. As a nurse at Hilo Benioff Medical Center, she has served as a nurse in the Emergency Department, as a house supervisor and for the past four years as our Critical Care Nurse Director.

Yvette graduated from Hawaii Community College with her Associates in Nursing, she completed her RN to BSN in 2016, RN to MSN in 2018 and then obtain her masters in Health Care administration in 2020 through Grantham University. She is a Certified Nurse Manager and Leader; and FEMA trained member of our Emergency Management Team.

Monica Figuera, RN, BSN,

Serves as the Director of Short Stay, PACU, Operating Room, and Anesthesia at Hilo Benioff Medical Center (HBMC). Born and raised in Hilo, Monica’s educational journey includes Kalanianaole Elementary/Intermediate, Hilo High, and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. With a remarkable 20-year tenure at HBMC, Monica’s professional trajectory began as a new graduate in the float pool in 2003, where she underwent training and floated across various departments, such as Surgical, Medical, Pediatrics, Behavioral Health, Extended Care, ICU, and ED.

Her diverse experience encompasses roles in floor nursing, Unit-Based Education, In-Service Education, and Process Management, ultimately leading to her current position as Nurse Manager. Monica holds a BSN, RN, CNML, and is presently pursuing a Master’s in Healthcare Administration at Grand Canyon University.

Monica has played a pivotal role in the growth of HBMC, contributing significantly to several initiatives. She was instrumental in establishing the first unit-based educators at HBMC and played a key role in creating and facilitating the Nursing Development Program, now known as NRP. Monica also facilitated the opening of the GI lab, introduced a Robotics Program, and currently leads the CDT and NPI Committees. Her influence extends to building the Malignant Hyperthermia response outside the OR for HBMC and chairing the Outpatient Patient Experience Team.

She finds joy in spending time with her family, connecting with the ocean, nurturing her garden, and expressing her devotion to the Lord.

Trudy Erece, RN, BSN,

Currently holds the position of Director of Medical/Surgical and Wound at Hilo Benioff Medical Center (HBMC). Trudy’s educational background includes an ADN from Hawaii Community College and a BSN from Chamberlain University. With a decade-long commitment to HBMC since June 2013, Trudy initially worked in an outpatient clinic before becoming an integral part of the HBMC family.

Her journey within the organization began as an RN on the Surgical/Pediatric Unit, progressing through roles such as Clinical Coordinator on the same unit, RN Case Manager in Patient Services, and ultimately assuming the position of Nurse Manager for the Surgical/Pediatric Unit. Trudy’s leadership continued to evolve, leading her to the role of Director of Nursing for both the Medical Unit and Surgical/Pediatric Unit, where she expanded her responsibilities to include Wound Care and the Transitional Care Unit.

Trudy has been a catalyst for numerous initiatives within HBMC, including spearheading and managing the first COVID pod on the Surgical/Pediatric Unit. Additionally, she successfully managed the Overflow Unit in ECD North – Riverside and played a pivotal role in initiating the Transitional Care Unit. Trudy’s decade of service reflects her dedication and impactful contributions to the growth and development of Hilo Benioff Medical Center.

Joyce Murata 

Director of BHU, Progressive Care Unit, Labor and Deliver, OB