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Arthur Ushijima
President and CEO of Queen's Medical Center
and Queen's Health Systems.
Back row: 3rd student from left [click on photo to enlarge]
Back row: 3rd student from left [click on photo to enlarge]
Arthur, the only child, was born and raised in Dream City and attended Kahului Elementary School.

A high school classmate noted that the nicknames "Mud", and  "Mr. Clean" was bestowed on him  because he always looked so neatly dressed. Another classmate commented that he rarely wore shorts and his legs were so white ("shark bait" legs). Right now, he is a shark at the top of the food chain.
Camera 2; SRT 3,4; NHS 3,4; S.B. Pres. 4; Class Play Comm. 1,3,4; Class Treas. 2,3.
Camera 2; SRT 3,4; NHS 3,4; S.B. Pres. 4; Class Play Comm. 1,3,4; Class Treas. 2,3.
Among other things, Arthur Ushijima was the 1965-1966 Student Body President of our innovative Student Government, and Grand Marshall of our 1965 Homecoming Motorcade. Do you remember who our Queen was? 

Arthur was also one of our class scholars with a 3.5 grade point average or higher in the National Honor Society, and also one of the 40 selective members of out Student Round Table. With a couple of girlfriends during high school, where did he find time?

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Included in the following are some excerpts from an article in MidWeek by Sarah Pacheco on October 14, 2009
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Cornell College, Iowa (BS Biology)
Cornell College, Iowa (BS Biology)

Arthur graduated from Baldwin High before moving to the Mainland for college. After he obtained his bachelor’s of science in biology from Cornell College in Iowa, he spent a year of grad school studying molecular biology and getting his MA at the University of Iowa before deciding to switch career paths.

 

“I realized I wasn’t going to win the Nobel Prize,” he says. “I realized working in the lab was really not what I wanted to do with my life, that I needed to have something that would be more meaningful to me.”

 


Switch career paths
Switch career paths

At the suggestion of a friend’s father, Ushijima enrolled in Iowa University’s hospital administration program. After two years he obtained his degree and moved on to working as a healthcare administrator with the Air Force. Arthhur served as a captain in the US Air Force medical service corps (1973-80).

He then served at a Catholic hospital in Kansas City, Mo., for five years, then at a teaching hospital in Akron, Ohio, for another five as the chief operating officer.

 

“At that point I hadn’t thought of coming back to Hawaii - it wasn’t in my career path. I thought I’d just stay on the Mainland,” Ushijima admits. “In health-care many people move around just because that’s how you build a career, because it’s hard to get all the experiences you want at one institution.”

 


Queen's Medical Center, Hawaii
Queen's Medical Center, Hawaii

As fate would have it, Ushijima got a call about a position at Queen’s that had opened up. He interviewed for the role of COO and executive vice president for QMC over Memorial Day weekend in 1989.

 

Needless to say, he got the job and returned to the Islands with wife Ruth (a fellow Maui native) and their son in tow. In 1993 he was promoted to president of the medical center, then to CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems in 2005.

 


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“It was time for me to come home, and it was time for me to make a difference,” Ushijima says. “Hawaii’s a challenging place to work, and I look back and all of my life up until that time was gaining a set of experiences that enabled me to serve this role.”



And what a role to have. Queen’s was and remains a leader in medical advancements, being the first hospital in Hawaii to:
(1905) Perform a blood test;
(1940) Establish a diabetic clinic
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(1959) Perform open heart surgery;
(1960) Aquire supervoltage radiation therapy equipment;
(1991) House an MRI system;
(1996) Open a Neuro-Intensive Care Unit, which remains the only one in the state;
(1997) Use 3D simulation for radiation therapy cancer treatments;
(2007) Institute D2B (Door to Balloon) to treat heart attack;
(2007) Perform a Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery;
(2008) Partner with Emergency Medical Services to provide portable EKG units in City & County ambulances.


In addition, Queen’s is the only trauma center in Hawaii verified by the American College of Surgeons.

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Mr. Ushijima is a board director of Hawai‘i Residency Programs, Inc., a nonprofit corporation established by the UH medical school and six major acute care facilities in Honolulu.

His other current board affiliations are Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i, Aloha Medical Mission Advisory Board, and VHA Inc., a national health care alliance based in Texas. He also served as a member of the search committee for the UH medical school dean.

"I lead a pretty dull life as most of my time is focused on my work - typically six day work weeks and lots of evening obligations.  So, I don't have hobbies - I don't play golf; I don't fish.  I like to read in my spare time - usually business-related stuff.."

Aloha,
Arthur