powerful partnership: the queen's empower health center story

Allison Valdez
Marvin Buenconsejo
February 06, 2023

Shiny new looks and fresh branding all around, the elegant Queen’s EmPower Health Center is now ready to serve the people of Oahu’s Ewa plain.

“‘Wow’ is an understatement. This has been an amazing journey to get here. Lots of mind power, brain power, and energy put into this to make it happen,” says Candace Corcoran, Queen’s Island Urgent Care administrator.

“As I’m walking through this building, there is tremendous focus on the people we serve. Lots of places for communication, education, collaboration between our providers, our urgent care providers, our labs,” says Jill Hoggard Green, The Queen’s Health Systems president and CEO.

The EmPower Health Center’s deliberate layout features conference rooms, exercise space, labs for testing, stations for telehealth visits and, of course, rooms for in-person patient care.

The EmPower Health Center features conference rooms, exercise space, labs, and more.

But the real innovation isn’t found in the structure or the technology. It’s found in the approach to health care — where a team of medical professionals, not just a single doctor, will tend to patients.

“This type of advanced primary care that deals with taking care of the whole person. Asking the person, ‘What matters to you?’ Not so much, ‘What’s the matter with you?’ That kind of thing here in this growing community, in this hub of West Oahu, it’s a dream come true, really,” says Dr. Mark Mugiishi, HMSA president and CEO.

But this isn’t just about health care and meeting the vital medical needs of a remote community. It’s also a story of a successful partnership — HMSA and The Queen’s Health Systems working together to offer a new, more patient-focused model of primary care with the help of technology and innovation for the health of Hawaii.

The partnership between HMSA and The Queen's Health Systems aims to improve the health of Hawaii.

“Both of our organizations are deeply invested in improving the health of the people we serve. And to do that, we need lifetime partners in health,” says Green.

“When you take two organizations that have the same DNA, the same purpose, the same mission — they’re out here to improve the lives of the people of Hawaii — that’s what this does. It optimizes people’s health, gives them pride in their community, it improves the overall health of our state. All of those things are terrific and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do when we build something like this,” says Dr. Mugiishi.

Location, location, location. That is a major component to this 15,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. The EmPower Health Center now addresses a glaring blind spot on the medical map of Oahu’s west side.

“It’s great that we have Queen’s West out here. It’s great that we have Waianae Comprehensive Health Center, but there’s not much in between. There might be a few primary care doctor’s offices, but now that we’re here, we can bring a lot of medical care,” says Dr. Robert Ruggieri, Queen’s Island Urgent Care medical director.

“The west side of Oahu is going to grow. It’s growing exponentially already.  I think what we’re looking at is how do we get ahead of health care? We’re looking at something that’s different,” says Jason Chang, The Queen’s Medical Center president. “We’re taking care of a population before they get sick, keeping them healthy, keeping them whole, making sure they have education if they have signs and symptoms, ‘what do I do?’ And, they know exactly who their partners in health care are. And that’s HMSA and Queen’s.”

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