Queen's Hospital will be initiating an organ transplant center in Hawaii following the signing of HB 608 into law Saturday morning.
Governor Neil Abercrombie signed the law at the Cyclotron Facility at Queen's Hospital, providing a financial boost for establishing a kidney and liver transplant center in Hawaii.
The law appropriates $1.5 million in state money to the center, requiring that the funds be matched by private sources. It also provides $300,000 to the National Kidney Foundation to help continue its chronic disease management program.
The kidney and liver transplant facility will fill a critical need following December's closure of Hawaii Medical Centers (HMC).
The bill stalled last year, but it was brought back as the urgency grew for a state organ transplant facility.
HMC doctors had performed dozens of organ transplants each year. The closure meant Hawaii patients would have to go to the mainland.
More than 400 people are on the organ transplant waiting list in Hawaii.
We'll have more on the bill signing into law at KITV 4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., including reaction from patients currently on the organ donor list.