The Queen’s Hospital (now called The Queen’s Medical Center) was founded in 1859 by Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV.
In King Kamehameha IV’s initial speech to the legislature in 1854, the King voiced his desire to create a hospital for the people of Hawaiʻi.
At that time, the continued existence of the Hawaiian race was seriously threatened by the influx of disease brought to the islands by foreign visitors.
Queen Emma enthusiastically supported the dream of a hospital, and the two campaigned tirelessly to make it a reality. They personally went door-to-door soliciting the necessary funding.
Through six generations, The Queen’s Medical Center has become a major provider of health care to the people of our State and a part of the cultural fabric of Hawaiʻi.
The Queen’s Medical Center, located in downtown Honolulu, is largest private hospital in Hawaiʻi, licensed to operate with 505 acute care beds and 28 sub-acute beds. The medical center has more than 3,000 employees and over 1,200 physicians on staff.
Its Mission Statement is, “To fulfill the intent of Queen Emma and King Kamehameha IV to provide in perpetuity quality health care services to improve the well-being of Native Hawaiians and all the people of Hawaiʻi.”
The first official building of Queen’s Hospital was erected on the same site where Hawaiʻi’s leading medical center stands today. It was a two-story structure made of coral blocks and California redwood that held 124 beds.
This original building stood for more than 60 years and was called “Hale Mai O Ka Wahine Ali‘i,” or “Hospital of the Lady Chief.”
Most of the buildings on the Queen’s campus have been given Hawaiian names to honor Hawaiian Royalty or other prominent citizens in the hospital’s development.
Nalani Wing (a shortened version of Queen Emma’s name, Kaleleonalani) is all that remains of a structure built in 1922, over the spot where the original hospital stood.
The Nalani facade remains today, with its ornate crest emblazoned over the entrance to the main lobby. Still visible are the now-sealed arched windows which originally lined open walkways, welcoming the trade winds and cooling the occupants within.
The Bishop Wing was an 1893 building that was razed in 1989, making way for a new addition to the Queen Emma Tower, which now houses Hawaiʻi’s largest Magnetic Resonance Imager (MRI).
The first Pauahi Wing stood in the same location as the present-day building, which was constructed in 1971. Its name honors Bernice Pauahi Bishop, whose husband, Charles Bishop, donated the wing in memory of his wife.
Maluhia was the location of the first Emergency Department and means “Peace” or “Rest” in Hawaiian. Maluhia was razed in 1998 to make way for the new Emergency Room and Same Day Surgery Center.
Edward Harkness of New York donated more than half the cost of the Harkness building in 1932 for the original School of Nursing, and as a residence for nurses. It remains virtually unchanged in its appearance and is now home to many administrative offices.
Kīna‘u was the name of King Kamehameha IV’s mother. Built in 1945, it has housed a wide variety of patient services and units.
The first open heart surgery in Hawaii was performed in the Kamehameha Wing (constructed in 1954 and named for the co-founder of Queen’s, King Kamehameha IV,) which was considered the most advanced surgical center in the state for over 30 years.
Iolani means “royal hawk” in Hawaiian, and was one of King Kamehameha’s names. The Iolani Wing was completed in 1960. It houses the Pathology department, patient rooms, Emergency department and administrative offices.
The Hawaiʻi Medical Library was established in 1913 and moved to the Queen’s campus in 1916. It has served the medical community for over 83 years.
Kekela was the name of Queen Emma’s mother, and this building, built in 1973, honors her memory. The University of Hawai‘i School of Medicine occupies the upper floors and Queen’s Mental/Behavioral Health Services is on the lower floors.
Naea was the name of Queen Emma’s High Chief father. The building bearing his name is the home of the Radiation Therapy department and its three linear accelerators.
Paahana means “hard working,” and this building, built in 1981, is the site of the hospital’s utility services plant. It supplies the infrastructure services necessary to operate the facility.
Manamana was originally an apartment building; this structure now houses administrative offices and housing units for patients and their families who have traveled to Oahu for treatment.
Named in honor of Queen’s founder, the Queen Emma Tower was constructed in 1985. Its unique design features a triangular shape with an open central core.
Its ten stories are filled with patient care units and services. The top-most floor is occupied by the Maternity Department, where the charm of the birthing suite’s decor won a designation as “the most beautiful hospital room in Honolulu.”