Kona Community Hospital celebrates blessing of new chapel, rehab center

  • Kaui Wilcox poses with her daughter in the new chapel at Kona Community Hospital at Thursday's blessing. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The new rehabilitation center at Kona Community Hospital includes a simulated gravel driveway. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • A new rehabilitation center at Kona Community Hospital was unveiled at Thursday’s blessing. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • A new chapel at Kona Community Hospital was unveiled at Thursday’s blessing. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The Kona Community Hospital Chaplaincy Group, made up of various faiths, come together for the blessing of the new chapel on Thursday.

  • Father Jarek of Saint Michael the Archangel Church blesses Kona Community Hospital's new rehabilitation center on Thursday. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Kona Community Hospital Lead Chaplain Lynn Tomsha, left, speaks at the blessing of the hospital’s new rehabilitation center and chapel on Thursday. (Photos by Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Kona Community Hospital celebrated the blessing of a new chapel and rehabilitation center last week.

Lead Chaplain Lynn Tomsha spoke of the importance of a chapel within the Kealakekua facility.

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“We can meet God at any place but there is something sacred of having a place set aside for prayer and reflection,” she said. “In the hospital setting we take care of physical health, but sometimes we forget about spiritual health.”

She said the new chapel, blessed May 20, honors patients, family and employee needs.

“The staff daily has to deal with difficult situations. This is a place to have the spirit and soul renewed,” she continued.

Kona Hospital Foundation Chair Donna Hiranaka said the chapel has been a long time in the making.

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Allen Wilcox, former CEO of Alexander and Baldwin was a founding member of the foundation 37 years ago. His wife, “Steve,” had a dream of having a place for people to pray, meditate, or mourn at the hospital. Their daughter, Anne, was later a member of the board and headed the committee to bring her mother’s wishes to reality. Over the years, the Allen C. Wilcox and Barbara Wilcox Foundation donated money for the cause, culminating in the May 20 blessing.

Father Jarek of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Kailua-Kona blessed the chapel and adjacent rehab center.

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