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Lawmakers prepare for state hospital inspectionUPDATED 8:40 PM HST Jun 10, 2014Video Transcript
Violent attacks, over-crowding -- and disfunctional staff. For The Hawaii State Hospital... the HEAT is ON. MONTHS into a Senate investigation -- lawmakers are preparing to tour the facility TOMORROW. KITV4's Lara Yamada sat down with the state's health director to highlight the problems -- and the drive toward SOLUTIONS. 15 45 ROSEN: 127-31 I consider it to be one of the biggest challenges for the department right now. Newly minted Health Director Dr. Linda Rosen says -- from Day One -- she knew the Hawaii State Hospital had a bullseye on it ... KITV has interviewed several Hawaii State Hospital staffers who say they were attacked by patients. 11/21/13 SOT: I got injured by him hitting me in the head and slamming against the wall. 1/7/14 SOT: Something has to be done because we're going to have a death. The full senate investigation that followed triggered more outcry. Dr. Rosen says years of over- crowding, under-funding, and discrepancies in staff training have exposed a system in desperate need of help. ROSEN: 250-56 The patients keep coming from the courts and there's only one place for them to go which is to us. GREEN: 2609-15 You see more patients that are young and violent making this situation far too dangerous. Senator Josh Green says an increasingly violent, drug- soaked mental health population has FURTHER crippled the State Hospital -- originally created for a more moderate patient-base. And despite what's recently come to light, he says lawmakers failed to pass -- what he calls CRITICAL funding -- to expand the hospital and build a separate space for more violent patients. ROSEN: 2200- 02 Change isn't going to happen fast enough. ROSEN: 2006- 11 But I think if we work on all these fronts we will see an improvement. Rosen 11 But I think if we work on all these fronts we will see an improvement. Rosen says they're planning to re-train staff -- practicing "mock scenarios" and de-escalating situations. Adding more protective equipment -- including barriers in vans and possibly hand-held ones. They're also pin-pointing specific times during the day -- when patients tend to be more violent -- to then staff accordingly. GREEN: 2956- 03 I think this investigation and this tour, and what have you, are really shining a light on what our needs e as a society. Lara maITV4 News. Rosen says they have the funding to create a Master Plan -- to EVENTUALLY -- reorganize and renovate the State Hospital. Senator Green says tomorrow's tour will focus on talking with staff -- and figuring out ways to improve the system.