The Queen's Medical Center Receives $2 Million Gift for the Expansion of Its Life-Saving Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Program


HONOLULU – The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation has generously donated $2 million to support the expansion of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Program at The Queen’s Medical Center (Queen’s).

Currently, Queen’s has a program that utilizes ECMO machines as part of the therapy options to help patients whose lungs and/or heart are unable to function on their own. The machines pump and oxygenate the patient’s blood, allowing the lungs and heart to rest and recover. This comprehensive treatment program also involves education, outreach, and social support for these critically-ill patients and their families.

The $2 million donation will enable Queen’s to expand the life-saving ECMO Program through the purchase of additional equipment, as well as education and training for more physicians and nurses.

Most recently, the program has been used to treat a handful of patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

“The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation’s support is unparalleled. At a time when COVID-19 devastated the health of Hawaiʻi and negatively impacted the world financially, the foundation was unwavering in its support. Their commitment in the face of such adversity has set a high bar for philanthropy,” said Dr. Erick Itoman, founder of The Queen’s Medical Center’s ECMO Program.

“Our ECMO Program has saved the lives of dozens of patients since its inception in 2017,” said Dr. Whitney Limm, The Queen’s Health Systems’ Chief Physician Executive. “And not only do these patients survive, many go on to have a very good quality of life. Had our ECMO Program not existed, all of these patients would have either died or survived with very significant disability.”

“We are deeply grateful to The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation for their generosity in supporting our ECMO Program,” said Jill Hoggard Green, PhD, RN, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Queen’s Health Systems. “We are constantly looking for innovative treatment options for our patients. This is one way of demonstrating our strong commitment to having the necessary equipment and staff to treat the sickest patients in our community.”

In recognition of the donation, Queen’s is renaming the program “The Clarence T.C. Ching ECMO Program.” The ECMO treatment area will be renamed “The Clarence T.C. Ching Hall.”

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