October 13, 2007 Mildred Courtney Honored by the First Pacific Air Forces By Dr. Chuck Kelley On September 14, at the Air Force’s 60th Anniversary Ball, our very own Mildred Courtney was presented with the prestigious Commander’s Award for Public Service. Mildred was honored for her years of dedication and her unrelenting service to the First Pacific Air Forces, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. She was acknowledged for always going above and beyond the call of duty by providing superior service and improving the quality General Paul V. Heser presents the first Pacific Air Forces Commander’s award for Public Service to Mildred Courtney of life for all service men and women. Her current involvement includes serving as the President for Friends of Hickam, a position she held since 1986. It was also noted that Mildred was singularly instrumental in reshaping the Command’s “Outstanding Airmen of the Year” week and ceremony, molding it into a world-class recognition program. She achieved this by rallying local business leaders to design and orchestrate a week-long series of events, showcasing the First Pacific Air Forces and the sacrifices of our great Airmen and their families. Mildred also spearheaded a project to secure Downtown Quarters, which now offers valuable support for Airmen and their families who have endured hardship beyond their control. As Military Liaison, Mildred continues to donate her services and enthusiastically supports many Air Force events and ceremonies. Her personal involvement enhances every event and reflects the true Aloha Spirit. We are deeply honored to have Mildred represent our company in her undying devotion to the U.S. Military and to the State of Hawaii. How to Fix the Health Care System This is the third in a series of articles on health care in the United States. In the previous articles I described the convoluted system currently used to deliver services to the customer. I also outlined the reasons why we don’t want to have a governmentrun equivalent of an HMO responsible for the delivery of health care. Today, I want to offer suggestions that are needed at the national and state levels to cut the cost of health care and improve access to it for all Americans. • Make the patient primarily responsible for selecting and paying for health care services. Currently, the patient or his/her family has very little involvement in the choices and economics of health care. Typically you go to the doctor and he or she might say, “You should have a couple of blood tests, a chest x-ray, an MRI of your lower back, and you should be seen by a neurosurgeon. My assistant will provide you with the forms. This should all be covered by your insurance.” This is the situation today. You get everything done but no one along the line discusses either choices or costs! There is no competition among providers. Weeks or months later you receive a statement from your insurance company showing the charges for the various services. You also receive bills from the service providers for any unpaid amounts. These can range from a couple of dollars to —sometimes—as much as several hundred or even more than a thousand dollars. If we want to get the patient involved and start saving money in the delivery of health Continued on page 6 Saturday Briefing Page 1 Dorothy Gray Teunissen Moreno By Chuck Shishido Our condolences to the family of Dorothy Moreno, who passed away September 20, 2007, in Cackamus, Oregon. Dorothy retired 6 years ago, in 2001, Dorothy Gray Teunissen Moreno after 12 years with Outrigger. She started as a Secretary to John Durham and eventually took on the added responsibility of assisting me with administrative duties as well. After retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her family, playing on her computer, reading, and cooking. Dorothy was 72 when she passed away. A memorial service was held this past Saturday, October 6, in California. We’ll all miss her friendly smile and bubbly personality. Saturday Briefing is published by and for employees of Outrigger Enterprises Group. Editor-In-Chief: Richard Kelley Senior Editor: Marie Casciato Assistant Editor: Lehua Kala‘i Circulation: Marie Casciato Contributing Writers: Employees of Outrigger Enterprises Group Visit us online at: www.outrigger.com/sb www.ohanahotels.com/sb Submit suggestions, comments, and news tidbits to Marie Casciato at [email protected] or via interoffice mail to OEH/Executive Office, or contact her at (808) 921-6601. © 2007 Outrigger Hotels Hawaii Saturday Briefing Page 2 An Equal Opportunity Employer A Second Chance By Kathy Oyadomari Thirteen years ago, Virginia Asakawa, Housekeeping Manager at the OHANA Waikiki Beachcomber, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctors told Virgie that her cancer was at stage 4, and stage 5 is considered terminal. Virgie clearly remembers starting weekly chemotherapy on August 15, 1993, for three months. In December that year, Virgie received very high doses of chemotherapy to prepare her for a bone marrow transplant. After the bone marrow transplant, Virgie got very sick and needed a blood transfusion. Virgie says, “Without the blood transfusion, I would have died.” Virgie is very grateful that the blood was available when she needed it. Before Virgie got sick, she was an avid supporter of the Blood Bank and gave blood regularly. Virgie shared that “It’s very important for people to be educated on the importance of giving blood. What happened to me, could happen to anyone.” I am happy to share that Virgie’s cancer has been in remission since 1999, and she is healthy and strong. Please consider being a blood donor on Tuesday, October 23. On behalf of Outrigger and myself, thank you very much, Virginia, for your willingness to share your personal story; we appreciate your openness to help others who are in need! As they say at the Blood Bank of Hawaii… Virginia Asakawa “Together We Can Save Lives.” Employment Opportunity Happy Birthday! If you are interested in the position listed below and meet the qualifications, please submit an in-house application obtained from your Supervisor or Human Resources. If you have any questions, please call Eric Ishikawa at (808) 921-6989. Application deadline for the following position is October 19. Oct 30: Laura X. X. Li, Amber M. L. K. Hudnall, Nenij Mark, Xorda C. Laurin, Jennilyn K. Sato, Elpidio A. Salud, Robert T. Owens, James M. Heather, Annette M. K. G. Creamer, Sean C. Ling, Jayson C. Abut, Brett S. Soboleski, and Danny I. Ojiri. Pool Attendant (Full Time) Responsible for all pool operations, including the safety, cleanliness, and overall maintenance of the pool area. Ability to operate heavy equipment J is required. Must O have excellent B communication skills and be S flexible to work any shift and day. Oct 31: Robert Giggey, Jessica A. Nagato, Ilaine M. Bartholomew, Ernesto Q. Yap, Robert L. Casco, and Cheryl C. Suda. Nov 01: Nestor P. Pacis, James E. Hodges Jr., Filomena Taylan, Thomas J. Fischer, Imelda V. Martinez, Celeste A. Rivera, Pamela A. Cabrera, and Doreen Nohara. Nov 02: Lucy M. Laborte and Toshiko Iida. Nov 03: Tita E. Aquino, Kathy A. Hansberry, Lapule L. Cummings, and Yuk Doong Chee. Nov 04: Leona S. McDermott and Agricola G. Molina. Wyland Waikiki Hosts “An Evening with Designer Rachel Pally” By Debbie Murakami The Wyland Waikiki Hotel played host to a dazzling Stoli Vodka hostesses were on hand to pass out samples event showcasing Los Angeles fashion designer Rachel Pally of their new Stoli Bluberi, and attendees munched on Penne on Saturday, September 29. Ms. Pally graduated from the Pasta with Basil Pesto and Calamari Fritte with Lemon Aioli University of California-Berkeley with a major in Urban provided by Spada. Beautiful models, sporting Rachel Pally’s Planning and a feminine, sensual, minor in Dance. Her designs strolled passion for design through the oceanand appreciation for themed Wyland lobby grace, fluidity, and to the delight of their expression led her to audience. Fashions create a contemporary were later available for women’s line, which purchase in the hotel’s debuted during Los Chill Room. Wyland’s Angeles Fashion Week Stacy Keen, Barrett Fall 2004, when she Winning, and Sandy was just 23 years old. Lee provided escorted Described as timeless familiarization tours and sexy, her designs of the hotel’s chic have become favorites contemporary rooms. of celebrities such as The attendees Sarah Jessica Parker and included Koko Kate Hudson. Cabana president Gina Friday’s “By Johnson, Nadine Kam Assistant General Manager Barrett Winning and Rachel Palling’s models Invitation Only” event from the Star Bulletin, was coordinated by Justin Yoshino of marketADvantage, The Debra Cohn from Modern Luxury, Molly Watanabe from Wyland Waikiki Hotel, and Spada Bar & Restaurant. Smart Magazine and Yu Shing Ting with Midweek. Outrigger Waikiki Employees and Managers Spruce up Kapiolani Park By Ethan Chang As part of Outrigger’s commitment to the community, managers and employees of the Outrigger Waikiki participated in helping to paint picnic tables and benches at Kapiolani Park. In all, about 20 picnic tables and benches were cleaned and repainted in order to enhance one of Honolulu’s largest parks. The volunteers at the Outrigger Waikiki traditionally help throughout the year on the upkeep of Kapiolani Park through community service programs and its partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation. Volunteers from the hotel participate in repainting and mulching quarterly throughout the year. Mahalo for all the hard work these First row: Brian Fong, Barbara Lam, and Robert Uchida Second row: Eric Matsumoto, Ethan Chang, volunteers give to beautify our environment Jo-Ann Yonamine, and Herman Lam Third row: Lorna Benigno, Carol Ogasawara, Jim Heather, and for their service to our community. and Ivy Kwok Fourth row: Gloria Daoang, Cindy Castillo, and Clint Jamile Saturday Briefing Page 3 Revenue Managers Meet in Denver for Annual Meeting By Kathy Sylvester Each year, the Revenue Managers and the Denver team get together for a face-to-face meeting. This year, Denver hosted, and those who attended were Bill Peters, Kathy Sylvester, Marion Beverly, Raymond Scott, and Shannon Nolder from the Denver team; and Elizabeth Cambra, Luke Hamada, Beverly Fidel, Connie Apuna-Diego, Jamie Wong, Mandie Burson, Aileen Geronimo, Grace Nakamura, Lynelle Akana, and Leda Tupinio from Honolulu. The meeting began on Tuesday, September 25, with an introduction and ice-breaker, as there were new attendees to this year’s meeting. After the introduction, the team spoke about its past, present, and future goals. We identified many areas we had successfully accomplished, specifically with communication and rapport building. Goals for this coming year were also discussed, and they include continued efforts in communication, updating of sales dialog in Stellex 2.0, property-specific needs, and the use of eLearning. A few eLearning areas were identified to focus on for this year, such as Stellex 2.0 training, property specific training, and other updates around the pricing and R&O season. We were honored by a visit from Dr. Kelley during the lunch hour. As we gathered to eat, Dr. Kelley told many stories about technology and how far advanced booking procedures had come over the years. He described a time when punch cards were used and explained the manual system of placing them in slots on the wall. He also talked about the stop sell process and that calendars were marked off by hand when a stop sell was identified. Dr. Kelley also spoke of some property changes in the company, including the new properties in Australia and Bali. The afternoon was spent with the Revenue Managers touring the Contact Center and sitting with agents in both Wholesale and Retail departments, listening to phone calls and seeing the booking processes in action. It is always an eye-opener to get a first-hand look at the different types of interactions the Center receives regarding to reservations, and many Revenue Managers had entertaining stories on some of the phone calls they heard. The last portion of the meeting was spent with each Revenue Manager reporting on occupancy trends for their specific properties. The next day offered a much different environment for all, a guided hike in the mountains. There was a main objective, however, which was a team-building exercise using GPS units, hosted by a Denver-based company, Get Out Colorado. Both the Revenue Management Team and the Denver team participated. The group was split into two teams including a mix of both Honolulu and Denver OHANA. The first team, called the Wild Imus, consisted of Bill Peters, Elizabeth Cambra, Jamie Wong, Marion Beverly, Raymond Scott, Leda Tupinio, and Grace Nakamura; and the second group, the Bad News Bears, included Luke Hamada, Kathy Sylvester, Mandie Burson, Beverly Fidel, Shannon Nolder, Connie Apuna-Diego, Lynelle Akana, and Aileen Geronimo. Continued on page 5 Sitting: Kathy Sylvester, Dr. Richard Kelley, Leda Tupinio, and Luke Hamada Standing: Shannon Nolder, Raymond Scott, Mandie Burson, Grace Nakamura, Beverly Fidel, Marion Beverly, Aileen Geronimo, Elizabeth Cambra, Connie Apuna-Diego, Jamie Wong, and Bill Peters Saturday Briefing Page 4 Revenue Managers Meet in Denver for Annual Meeting Continued from page 4 Their objective was to be the first team to find a hidden flag. Each team received several GPS units, and we were given a short lesson on how to use the equipment. Then, both teams, led by a tour guide, set out in different directions. The “game” began at a specific time, and each team had their own unique challenges. Wild Imus had a harder and steeper trail to navigate, while the Bears headed in the opposite direction from the flag. Each team also faced internal challenges within their teams. It was discovered later that the tour guides had asked Luke Hamada and Bill Peters to be “trouble-makers” on their respective teams, (which I might add, was not hard for them to accomplish), thereby adding another obstacle to the hunt for the flag. Wild Imus reached the general area where the flag was located first, however, as they were seeking the flag, the Bears arrived. The Bears found a small trail, off the beaten path, and found the flag first. After some celebration, the teams reconvened and discussed the team building exercise. It was also discussed how the lessons could be applied to our jobs. Then, the group had a picnic lunch at Red Rocks Amphitheater, an outdoor venue tucked into the rocks of the foothills, and enjoyed a terrific lunch with awesome views of Denver. The next day was spent back in the office with the Revenue Management Team conducting presentations to the reservation agents. The information provided was very helpful to the agents, and they had many gifts to give away. The agents enjoy visitors from Hawaii, and they look forward to learning more about the properties, which makes selling the properties easier. The entire meeting was a great experience. The Denver Team extends a warm Mahalo to the Revenue Management Team for joining us for business and team building fun. We are looking forward to our next meeting. front to back: Leda Tupinio, Luke Hamada, Marion Beverly, Connie Apuna-Diego, Elizabeth Cambra, and Jamie Wong front to back: Aileen Geronimo, Grace Nakamura, Shannon Nolder, Raymond Scott, Beverly Fidel, Mandie Burson, and Kathy Sylvester Front: Elizabeth Cambra, Bill Peters, Marion Beverly, and Raymond Scott Back: Jamie Wong, Grace Nakamura, and Leda Tupinio front to back: Kathy Sylvester, Connie Apuna-Diego, Lynelle Akana, Shannon Nolder, Aileen Geronimo, Mandie Burson, Beverly Fidel, and Luke Hamada Saturday Briefing Page 5 How to Fix the Health Care System Continued from page 1 care, the conversation should go like this. “You should have a couple of blood tests, a chest x-ray, an MRI of your lower back, and you should be seen by a neurosurgeon. My assistant will provide you with the forms and a list of several providers with their prices. ABC Labs usually has the best prices. The King Street Imaging Center is offering 20 percent off MRIs this month and they are open until 9 p.m. King Street also offers credit terms of no money down and no interest for 90 days. The Health Care Line of Credit on your Visa card will cover your other payments until you are reimbursed by your insurance company.” In this scenario, the patient is involved in the choices available and – just as for other goods and services – the providers will compete on the basis of price and levels of service. Generally, prices will fall and service will improve. If you don’t believe it, just look at Lasik, the laser eye procedure done by ophthalmologists to correct myopia. Lasik is not generally covered by health insurance, and as more providers have entered the market, the price of the procedure has fallen dramatically since it was introduced. Look Lasik up on Google or any major Web search engine and you will see offers such as “$299 per eye,” “$0 Down, No Interest!” or “Compare Quotes – Fast, Easy, Free!” The same is true in cosmetic surgery, which is not normally covered by health insurance. • Get state governments out of regulating health insurance companies and have one set of uniform federal regulations; these should be few in number. Right now, every state has a different set of rules and it’s crazy. In Hawaii, relatively few health insurance companies can operate because of the challenging regulatory environment. Lack of interstate competition increases costs. So do the multiple state mandates that force insurance to cover a wide variety of services most people don’t need or want. There is rarely any credit for living a healthy lifestyle and rarely any penalty for those who indulge in unhealthy activities. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to buy your health coverage, specially designed for your needs, from any company in the nation that offers you the right combination of price and service? • Make health care insurance portable and not subject to cancellation if you leave your job. People should not be locked into their jobs by their health care insurance, and no one should have to change insurance or their doctor if they change their job. • Make health care expenditures and savings tax-deductible. An employer could then give employees cash instead of an insurance policy and to the extent that that the employees use the money for health care or deposit it in a Health Savings Account, there would be no federal, state or local taxes on that money. This would also level the playing field for small business owners, independent contractors and self-employed individuals who must now pay for health care with after-tax dollars. Saturday Briefing Page 6 • Allow small companies to join forces to provide health care insurance for employees and their families without running afoul of anti-trust laws. This spreads the risk and will result in lower premiums for individuals and small businesses. • Institute tort reform for health care cases. Specialized federal courts should handle claims in the area of health care, much as federal tax courts handle tax cases. Both claimants and defendants will benefit from judges capable of understanding the medical issues involved. Frivolous claims should be rejected with the judge having the power to force plaintiffs to pay reasonable defense costs in cases that should never have been brought to court. • Fortify the Public Health Care Clinic System. Public health clinics that provide “free” medical care to those who cannot afford to pay for it are a very valuable component of our health care system. Unfortunately, in recent years, public funding of free health care programs has decreased, and access to these clinics has been complicated by insurance programs. Indigent patients have been pushed into a web of lower-cost insurance programs, such as Quest here in Hawaii, that enable them to receive care at private medical offices and clinics. While it’s an excellent idea to provide lower-cost insurance programs to those in need, what many indigent people need even more than complicated insurance programs is easy access to high-quality medical care. Strengthening our public health clinics will serve the indigent better, reduce the spread of communicable diseases, decrease cost shifting to the private sector, and lower the overall cost of health care. • Make sure that government programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and others are paying their fair share of the cost of health care. Many, if not most, government programs fail to pay physicians and hospitals on a par with private insurance companies. For example, for a new patient pediatric office visit in California, Medicaid pays $22.90 while the median private insurance reimbursement is $41, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics report updated in February 2007. Disparities like these throughout the health care system cause hospitals and clinics to try to stay financially afloat by raising fees for patients who use private insurance or pay cash. It has also led to the closing of many city-center hospitals across the nation that have a high percentage of patients covered by low-paying government programs. In summary, it will not an easy task to turn the health care system in our country around to a free market model. However, it is worth the effort because the alternatives of implementing a huge government HMO called “Universal Care” would be far more disruptive and costly. The experience of government-run health care in England and Canada has shown this all too clearly.
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