Tripler Army Medical Center, a familiar landmark on the island of Oahu and the largest military treatment facility in the Pacific basin, and the surrounding residential area, the Moanalua Gardens Community, during rush-hour traffic on Sept. 8, 2017. (Photo by Leanne Thomas, Tripler Army Medical Center)
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- The Tripler Good Neighbor Program is currently underway at Tripler Army Medical Center, often referred to as TAMC or Tripler, a familiar landmark on the island of Oahu and the largest military treatment facility in the Pacific basin.
With over 4,000 staff members and several thousand more visitors traveling to the hospital daily, the Tripler Good Neighbor Program is a way to ensure those traveling to the hospital uphold a high regard for the civilian residential areas neighboring the facility.
The most senior enlisted advisor at Tripler, Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy S. Sloan, kicked-off the campaign in early July of this year sending a mass message to all employees.
"Please extend our tremendous 'ohana (family) feel and attitude to those with whom we share this beautiful mountain," said Sloan. "Jarrett White Road can be very dangerous. We ask that you reduce your speed, buckle-up and turn down your tunes."
Sloan described the concept of being a good neighbor as "nothing new" and added, "As you travel the surrounding neighborhoods, we urge you to be cognizant of how your behaviors affect those who call these areas their home. Many of the roads are narrow, so following posted speed limits and noise reduction ordinances demonstrate our commitment to safety and how respectful we are of our neighbor's quality of life."
Following the attacks of Pearl Harbor in 1941, plans were drafted to expand the original 450-bed Tripler Hospital, then located at Fort Shafter's historic Palm Circle, to construct a medical treatment facility with the capacity for 1,000 beds. This construction took place from 1942-1948 atop the Moanalua Ridge.
According to historic committee reports from the Moanalua Gardens Community Association, neighboring communities developed near Tripler in the late 1950s. The Moanalua ahupua'a (land from the mountains to the sea) developed into residential areas, and the Moanalua Gardens Community subdivision established land on each side of Tripler, the Salt Lake area and land areas mauka (towards the mountain) of the Moanlua Highway.
Although the jurisdiction of Tripler is governed by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, Col. Andrew M. Barr commander of TAMC, and Sloan, are devoting time and resources to promote the Tripler Good Neighbor Program and urge all TAMC patrons to be good neighbors while traveling to and from the hospital.
The TAMC Public Affairs Office and Visual Information personnel serve as the conduits for the internal information campaign; they are broadcasting TV ads and public service announcements, designing and displaying campaign posters and developing effective communication strategies.
The TAMC Director of Communications and Chief of Public Affairs, James B. Guzior, helps to ensure staff members remain appraised of any significant community matters.
"Many staff and patients are traveling from Fort Shafter and through the local neighborhoods to access TAMC. We want to ensure our staff and patients are reminded to adhere to the speed limits, be mindful of the noise and respectful of the local community as they drive through," explained Guzior.
Concerning traffic conditions, the deputy provost marshal at Tripler, James A. Ingebredsten, also commented, reporting, on average, 7,000 cars enter the Tripler gate daily.
With more than 7,000 vehicles entering the installation daily, instances of speeding or loud noise can quickly become a major issue. The command team at Tripler wants to remind visitors and staff members to be aware of how their actions outside the facility can negatively impact the community and urges them to embrace the "aloha spirit."
"The Tripler 'ohana is well known for a strong sense of community values and a commitment to excellence," said Sloan. "Let's continue to perpetuate this incredible reputation."