Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital Opens
July 16, 1999
Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital and Kuanshan Pohai Hospital held a contract signing ceremony, officially handing over the hospital operations to Tzu Chi.
March 15, 2000
With a 50-bed occupancy, Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital began operations, forming an eastern Taiwan medical network with the Tzu Chi hospitals in Hualien and Yuli.
March 9, 2003
To celebrate Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital’s third anniversary, Tzu Chi held medical screenings, free clinics, and street cleaning.
January 23, 2007
The superintendent of Kuanshan Hospital, Poon Wing-him, led the staff to visit the Holy Cross Sanatorium to donate rehabilitation equipment.
July 16, 1999
Tzu Chi Companion Issue 324, Edition 1
On July 16, Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital and Kuanshan regional Pohai Hospital signed a contract to formally take over hospital operations. Located on Provincial Highway 9, Pohai Hospital was built in 1995 by Mr. Huang’s construction company. The construction funds were raised by five shareholders. Originally, it was planned to open at the end of 1996. However, there were issues with funding and manpower, so construction was stopped. At the time, the infrastructure of the hospital was mostly complete, with fifty hospital beds. Kuanshan local representatives reached out to Tzu Chi Hospital and asked them to take over. A consensus was finally reached after several negotiations, and a contract was signed on July 16.
The mayor of Kuanshan, Xu Ruigui, said that, in the five townships in the Huadong Rift Valley, including Chishang, Kuanshan, Haiduan, Yanping, and Luye, medical resources are quite scarce. Kuanshan town has a population of more than 42,000. Under the standards of the Taiwan health department, hospitals can have fifty beds for every 10,000 residents, so there should have actually been 190 beds at the hospital. However, there were only general clinics in the local area with no hospital beds. After Tzu Chi took over the operations of Pohai Hospital, the area finally had access to modern medical services. Hence, the local people have been looking forward to this for a long time.
In addition, Provincial Highway 9, with a straight section of 15 kilometers, often has major speeding accidents. There are also frequent accidents three or four kilometers away at the Southern Cross-Island Highway entrance. In the past, people injured in accidents could only be sent to Taitung city or Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, which critically delayed the time for emergency treatment. The Director of Tzu Chi medical development, Huang Jia-Jing, said that Pohai Hospital initially planned to focus on internal medicine and surgery; in the future, they had planned to become a branch hospital with advanced surgery and acute medical treatment facilities.
The plan for Tzu Chi Hospital’s Kuanshan branch has been submitted to Taitung county health bureau and Taiwan health department for approval. If the plan is approved, it is expected to officially be in operation early next year. There are three doctors at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital who have volunteered to station in the Kuanshan branch.
August 1, 1999
Tzu Chi Companion Issue 325
The mayor of Kuanshan township and other leaders in the towns of Huadong Rift Valley all supported Tzu Chi’s plan to assume management of Kuanshan Pohai Hospital. The contract was signed on July 16. The local people raised and donated NT$3,090,000 to fund the construction of the hospital in a few days. The vice president of Tzu Chi Foundation, Lin Pi-yu, said this is a sensitive responsibility and pressure. Faced with everyone’s hopes and anticipation, Tzu Chi would do their best.
The Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch contract signing ceremony was held at the Kuanshan town office. The mayor of Kuanshan town, Xu Ruigui, expressed in his speech that Tzu Chi’s new hospital branch in Kuanshan is the year’s most important construction and development project in the region. The chairman of Pohai Hospital, Ruan Jia-Rui, also hopes that the establishment of the Kuanshan hospital branch will help bolster local medical facilities and protect local people’s lives. Moreover, one of the five shareholders, the construction business owner Huang Ru, expressed that he had the same level of concern of finding a good match for the hospital as he did for finding a husband for his daughter. As such, he rejoiced at Pohai Hospital having found a good home.
Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch is located on the straight section of Huadong Highway, beside the Kuanshan section of Provincial Highway 9, four kilometers from the entrance of Southern Cross-Island Highway. The nation’s first water park and bicycle path are also in the area. Medical services for tourists are in great need, but there is a lack of professional hospitals. Patients with major diseases or injuries can only be sent south to Taitung or north to Hualien, delaying treatment time.
The vice president of Tzu Chi Foundation, Lin Pi-yu, said that, after the establishment of Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital, they will focus on acute treatments to provide timely and appropriate medical care for accident-related injuries. As a first step, general internal medicine and surgical departments would be set up and gradually develop into a specialized hospital with injury treatment, endoscopy, and laparoscopic surgeries. Besides rescuing patients from traffic accidents and taking care of residents’ health, it can ensure the safety of tourists with modern medicine.
Lin Pi-yu expressed that this is different from how Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital developed into a comprehensive general hospital. The Tzu Chi Hospital Yuli branch focuses on outpatient medical care and hospitalization in a remote area. Meanwhile, the Kuanshan branch will focus on emergency medical treatment in the future. As a first step, the branch is preparing to set up the most crucial general internal medicine and surgical departments. As for the other departments, they will consider local medical resources to achieve integrated resource-sharing.
March 16, 2000
United Daily News
Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan Branch Opened Yesterday
Reporter: You Minghuang
Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch held an opening ceremony led by Master Cheng Yen. The locals in Kuanshan received everyone joyfully. The master said in her speech that the Kuanshan branch acts as a hub between Hualien and Taitung’s medical network. During the ceremony, the repeated sirens of ambulances interrupted Master Cheng Yen’s speech. She said, “This hospital is really needed.”
The Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch opening ceremony was held at 10 am yesterday. The communities in Kuanshan town arranged performances to celebrate the occasion. The vice president of the Legislative Yuan, Rao Yingqi; the secretary-general of the county government, Chen Yingzhong; the mayor of Kuanshan, Xu Ruigui; former county head, Zheng Lie; local legislators, officers from the Taiwan health and health insurance bureaus, and another 200 members of the general public came to attend the ceremony.
Superintendent of Tzu Chi Hospital, Chen Ing-ho, said that, faced with a lack of medical resources in Taitung County, it was the local people’s support and fundraising that made the establishment of the Kuanshan branch happen so smoothly. In the early phase, there will be fifty beds and the focus will be on emergency medical care. In the future, we hope to link up with the originally reserved lot of Taitung Hospital Kuanshan branch to expand the scale of Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch.
The mayor of Kuanshan, Xu Ruigui, spoke of his hope for there to be more than 300 beds in the future, making Kuanshan a “Tzu Chi Town.” Master Cheng Yen emphasized that when the Yuli branch was established last year, the mayor of Kuanshan, Xu Ruigui, told her that the population of Kuanshan Rift Valley was 50,000 to 60,000 people, but there were no large hospitals. It is a pity that there is a hospital that has been empty for two years and unable to start operations. A year later, due to causes and conditions, the Kuanshan branch was successfully established. Injured patients no longer need to be sent to far away Hualien or Taitung for delayed treatment.
Before Master Cheng Yen finished speaking, Kuanshan and Chishang Fire Bureau dispatched three ambulances, one right after another, to carry a couple who were severely injured in a car accident (the injured woman did not survive). Then, an elderly woman who had had a heart attack was sent to the emergency room. When Master Cheng Yen heard the urgent sirens of the ambulances, she was shaken and said Tzu Chi must exercise great love to help them.
March 16, 2000
Min Sheng Daily
Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch Begins Operations to Guard the People of Huadong
Reporter: Zhan Jianfu
Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital now has another new location, the Kuanshan Tzu Chi branch. Yesterday, Master Cheng Yen went to the Kuanshan branch to host the opening ceremony. The master hopes for the Tzu Chi medical team to guard the people in Hualien and Taitung by working hard to improve the health of eastern Taiwan.
Under the Department of Health’s plans, the Kuanshan Tzu Chi branch was originally Pohai Hospital, but the operations were handed over to Tzu Chi under the Build–Operate–Transfer (BOT) agreement. The superintendent of Tzu Chi hospital, Chen Ing-ho, mentioned that Kuanshan is in the middle of Huadong Rift Valley, located on the exit of Southern Cross-Island Highway. Medical resources are extremely scarce there. If patients have a medical emergency, they can only be sent to Taitung or Hualien, which usually takes one to two hours. Therefore, Tzu Chi decided to integrate the manpower of the medical staff at Hualien General Hospital to invest in medical care in Kuanshan.
The Kuanshan branch initially opened with fifty general-patient beds and fifty special-patient beds. Responding to the local need of treatments for traumatic injuries, orthopedics and surgery were the planned main services. In addition, in conjunction with growing community health awareness, the hospital would cooperate with the town office to set up community health projects and gradually establish a tourist health check center for attracting tourists.
Yesterday at the Kuanshan branch opening ceremony, ambulances continued to travel back and forth from the emergency room. A man and woman in a car accident both fractured their legs and were quickly sent to the emergency room. Another two patients with myocardial infarction and peritoneal perforations were also given proper care by the medical staff. Fortunately, these two suffered no major harm.
March 16, 2000
Tzu Chi Companion Issue 340
March 15 of last year marked the opening of the Tzu Chi Hospital Yuli branch in Hualien County. One year later, at 8 am, the Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch in Taitung County officially opened an internal medicine and surgery outpatient clinic. This clinic is connected with Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, forming a medical network in eastern Taiwan to care for people in remote areas.
On March 15 at 10 am, Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch held an opening ceremony. Master Cheng Yen; vice president of Tzu Chi Foundation, Lin-Pi-yu; superintendent of Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Chen Ing-ho, and local representatives attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. There is a water park in front of the Kuanshan branch, and tall, green mountains behind it. “It is very beautiful!” With gratitude and relief, Master Cheng Yen said, “Although this branch hospital can only fit fifty beds, it is well equipped and spacious. I believe it will benefit the local people.”
Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch is located at the section of Huadong Highway beside the Kuanshan section of the Provincial Highway 9. There are frequent traffic accidents here. Superintendent Lin Yousheng said that due to the geographic location, the orthopedic and surgical departments, as well as emergency treatments, would be the main focus. Taking into consideration the large population of old and young, in the future, the hospital will develop chronic medical care, basic preventative care, and more. They will also gradually look for doctors in family medicine and internal medicine to make Kuanshan branch a full-scale hospital.
Kuanshan branch now has neurology, cardiology, pain, orthopedics and gastroenterology, and general surgery departments, with eleven specialist doctors stationed here.
Outpatient hours are Monday through Sunday, 8 am to noon and 3 pm to 7 pm. The emergency room is open 24 hours a day.
March 25, 2000
Tzu Chi Monthly Volume 400, Edition 26
Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan Branch Opened the First Hospital in Kuanshan
Author: Zhang Duanrong
“When I saw the car coming straight ahead, I had no time to react. There was a loud crash, and I was flying through the air.” Police officer Lin Jinyong lives in Chishang town in Taitung, but he serves in the Taitung Kuanshan branch office. While riding his motorcycle to work on the freeway, he collided with a car on Degao overpass bridge (in Taitung) at 8 am on December 18 of last year.
To this day, Lin Jinyong is still traumatized when he describes the moment of falling to the ground and how his mind went blank. When he tried to stand up, he realized his legs had no strength and no feeling. It was then that he realized his legs were possibly broken.
As he lost consciousness, he heard someone coming to help and tell him: “We are nurses from Tzu Chi Hospital on our way to Kuanshan, but there is no first aid equipment in the car. We can only help you with simple first aid procedures. Bear with us. We will wait until the ambulance is here before we leave.” When he heard “Tzu Chi,” Lin Jinyong calmed down as he gradually lost consciousness. When he woke up, he found himself lying in a hospital in Taitung.
He stayed in the hospital for three days, but the injury did not improve. His broken legs were swollen and had turned black. Friends and relatives who came to visit advised him, “If this drags on, your legs may need to be amputated. I think you should transfer to Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital right away!” So, he and his wife decided to transfer hospitals immediately.
“The main reason I made such a quick decision was that, at the time of the car accident, the thoughtful support of the Tzu Chi nurses really touched me.” Lin Jinyong said with a smile.
The second day after transferring to Tzu Chi Hospital, a thorough re-examination was done. They discovered that the heavy impact of the car accident caused severe internal bleeding, the main artery in his upper body ruptured, his patella bones were fractured, and there was a severe open fracture on his right thigh. Out of his whole body, only his head was intact. “Fortunately, I transferred to Tzu Chi Hospital. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known how severe my injuries were.”
Lin Jinyong stayed at Tzu Chi Hospital for more than two months. During that period, he underwent countless surgeries. After surgery, Mrs. Lin attentively took care of him without rest. Because their house was in Chishang town, the distance from Hualien was about a two-hour car ride. Without any other option, Mrs. Lin had to live mostly at the hospital. On the weekends, she went back home to take care of the children or to bring them to the hospital to visit their father. However, she said her kids became sick after coming to the hospital, so she did not want to bring them anymore. Therefore, she had to take more trips back and forth. For two months, she would stay at the hospital for two days, then go home for two days, traveling back and forth.
Therefore, when they learned that Tzu Chi Hospital would set up a branch in Kuanshan, they were filled with anticipation and planned to transfer to the Kuanshan branch.
“Speaking of it, there truly is an affinity. After transferring to Tzu Chi Hospital from Taitung, I met the nurses who gave me first aid on the day of the accident,” said Lin Jinyong. On the second morning at Tzu Chi Hospital, a nurse came to ask him, “Are you the officer who got into a car accident that day on the overpass bridge?” He suddenly realized, “Oh, you are the nurse who gave me first aid!” The two of them had a good laugh and even became friends.
It turned out that the nurse who gave him first aid that day, Chen Yafang, is one of the medical staff at Kuanshan branch and was then serving in the 2-5-East patient ward at Tzu Chi Hospital.
Having a special affinity with Tzu Chi, Lin Jinyong said he prepared a surprise for everyone to thank the doctors and nurses. As for what kind of surprise, he smiled mysteriously and said, “I can’t say it until I leave the hospital!”
“There is currently a lack of respiratory care centers in eastern Taiwan. We are quite looking forward to the support of Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch. Maybe my child will be the first to benefit from this,” Huang Yuxiu said earnestly.
One night seven years ago, Huang Yuxiu woke up to feed her four-month old daughter milk and noticed that the child’s breathing was suddenly in distress. Her breathing was weak, and she was almost suffocating. Yuxiu and her husband were frightened and quickly sent their daughter to Taitung Mackay Hospital for emergency treatment. Fortunately, her life was saved, but from then on, she had to live on a ventilator.
The doctor told them the name of an illness which they had never heard of before—“hereditary degenerative muscle neuropathy.” All that is known is that it is genetically transmitted. Currently, it is almost impossible to prevent or cure, as it is a rare disease.
As this was a special case, a week later, the hospital advised them to transfer to Taipei Mackay Hospital for further examination.
After three months, the situation did not improve, and the real cause could not be found. Since the couple worked on the east side and lived in Kuanshan town, Taitung, they decided to transfer the child back to Taitung Mackay Hospital.
In order to cure their daughter’s illness, they traveled to almost all the clinics and hospitals in Taiwan, and they tried all kinds of Chinese and western medicine treatments, none of which made a difference. The two of them had to travel back and forth from Kuanshan and Taitung. Although it was exhausting, they had no complaints or regrets.
Starting at two years old, Dai Wenda said that, due to severe muscle atrophy, his daughter’s muscles had stopped moving, and that her limbs and body had also stopped growing. She was only able to move her head, and she could not even speak a word. Fortunately, she was very expressive with her face. Even just a little bit of muscle movement on her face would make the couple very happy. This is the reason why they had never given up after so many years.
In the blink of an eye, seven years passed. Throughout these seven years, their child has been living in the intensive care unit on a ventilator. Although it was still under construction, when they found out Tzu Chi Hospital was going to establish a branch in Kuanshan, they went to inquire about the hospital facilities and opening date.
“She really is a good child, but she is living in pain! I just hope she can peacefully enjoy her last few years in Kuanshan,” Huang Yuxiu said as tears ran down her face.
After understanding the Dai family’s thoughts and wishes, Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch said they would coordinate with the respiratory therapist and do their best to support the little Dai.
“Although our child currently is in need of a respiratory therapy center, we are still very happy to hear that Tzu Chi will establish a Kuanshan hospital branch because it has given us a ray of hope again,” the Dai’s said with a smile.
March 25, 2000
Tzu Chi Monthly Volume 400, Edition 26
Kuanshan Branch Opens – Wherever There Is a Need, They Will Go
Author: Zhang Duanrong
“Instead of having so many patients come from Taitung to the outpatient clinic in Hualien, why don’t we go to Taitung to serve more people!” The doctors who came from Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital to serve in Kuanshan hope not only to serve in small towns, but to truly use their medical talents to contribute to the local people.
“Although we are small town doctors, we hope to be great doctors here!”
A hepatobiliary and gastroenterology surgeon from Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, Li Mingzhe, who is also one of the four surgeons at Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch, talked about his ideas and aspirations for serving somewhere as remote as Kuanshan.
In 1991, because of the cooperative education program between NTU and Tzu Chi Hospital, he came to serve in Hualien as the chief physician and attending physician. In 1997, he went to study abroad. Then, he returned in February, 1998 to serve at Tzu Chi Hospital. For Li Mingzhe, Tzu Chi is like his mother; the flesh and blood relationship is very hard to let go.
Originally, when he proposed the idea of serving in Yuli to the superintendent and assistant superintendent, his family had agreed and he was prepared to go. However, last year in July, Tzu Chi signed a contract to take over Kuanshan Pohai Hospital, and is expected to re-open it in March of this year. When there was an urgent need for healthcare workers, the hospital asked Li Mingzhe if he was willing to serve in Kuanshan. Originally, he was going to Yuli, but now he is going south to Kuanshan. His original plans and ideas were not disrupted. Without even thinking, Li Mingzhe agreed.
“At that moment, I only had one thought: as long as I can go somewhere where I can do many things, I will go,” said Li Mingzhe. After the Tzu Chi general hospital was upgraded to a quasi-medical center, the doctors at the hospital had to make time to teach classes and prepare class material, which reduced the opportunities for him to serve patients.
In addition, sixty to seventy percent of all his patients came far away from Taitung. They had to spend a whole day in order to see him. “The local people in Taitung really love me. I thought, instead of letting so many patients come from Taitung, why don’t I go to Taitung to serve even more people?” Li Mingzhe said with a smile.
“In my blueprint, a ‘community hospital’ is where I want to go to be able to directly serve more local people, and Kuanshan branch happens to be in accordance with my aspiration,” Li Mingzhe said excitedly.
A community hospital should be operated with warmth and kindness, where it is possible to interact with people in the most sincere way. “I hope the Kuanshan branch can be a hospital for educating people, where I can have the most heartfelt face-to-face interactions.”
Therefore, under Doctor Li Mingzhe’s “call,” Doctor Wu Wentian and Zheng Dunren joined. Zheng Dunren explained how he came to Kuanshan to serve in primary care. The staff and equipment are not as complete as the general hospital, so the doctors must know how to do many different tasks, which also motivates him to study and improve himself. He had the same idea as Li Mingzhe, hoping to not only serve professionally, but also to guide and help patients spiritually. Zhen Dunren showed strong ambition by setting the goal to “challenge himself.”
Because Wu Wentian lived in Yuli, he went to Kuanshan to serve. Compared to Doctor Li and Doctor Zheng, he said with slight embarrassment that he did not have as much aspiration, but he has a hard-working spirit. “Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital is like a mother, and we are like her children. So, we need to go out and train ourselves to gain more experiences. We cannot always hide under our mother’s wings! We can only make progress if we are willing to bear hardships!”
The three doctors smiled at each other and could feel each other’s excitement. They each shared their different thoughts. “We are confident in our professional knowledge to serve people in remote areas!”
“Not letting patients go all the way to Hualien for medical treatment is the service we want to offer most, and it is also our biggest wish!”
“By serving in Kuanshan, we are not only training ourselves, but even more so, giving ourselves a challenge. If we can get through this ordeal, then there is nothing that can stop us!”
“I will go wherever Tzu Chi needs me!” said Su Yahui, former head of nursing in the 6-east ward of Tzu Chi Hualien Hospital, now head of nursing of the medical & nursing department at the Kuanshan branch.
Su Yahui was in the second class to graduate from the Tzu Chi School of Nursing. Starting at age 20, she worked as a nurse at Tzu Chi Hospital. About two years ago, she decided to switch to medical administrative work. Coincidentally, there was a job opening. She passed the interview and took a class to prepare and show her capabilities in a different career. “Unexpectedly, last July, the Kuanshan branch sprang up. Under the urgent need of manpower, I agreed to take a position in Kuanshan!” Su Yahui said with a smile.
Since her home was in Tainan, she originally planned to transfer to Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, but with the right causes and conditions in place, she transferred to the Kuanshan branch. At the end of last year, she started her busy life with a series of preparatory tasks for the Kuanshan branch.
She expressed how she had mentally prepared herself for a long time for her choice to serve in a remote area. She still remembered participating in the eastern region town sports tournament last year. There was one child who was injured in an accident, but because Su Yahui was only participating, she did not bring any first aid supplies with her. With the lack of resources, she retrieved some bottled mineral water to wash the child’s injury and found a board to use as a splint. She had to come up with all of these ideas on her own.
“I admit that seeking challenge is one of the factors that attracted me to serving in a remote area, but that experience made me want to go even more,” Su Yahui expressed sincerely. Chen Chunmei, previously at the health examination center at Tzu Chi Hospital and now serving as assistant head of nursing at the Kuanshan branch, also spoke freely about her aspiration to serve in Kuanshan.
Chen Chunmei came to serve at Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital from Xi Zhi, Taipei ten years ago. The feeling she had that year came again. “Although I came to a remote area, we often call ourselves a group of pioneer heroes!” Coming from bustling Taipei to the remote and desolate Hualien allowed her to see the totally different medical resources between the two places, and to experience the different human interactions between the city and countryside.
She expressed how she often encountered elderly people or people with mobility problems that prevent them from travelling all the way to see a doctor. It is a hard sight to bear. Therefore, she constantly reminds herself that caring for patients in remote areas is what she wants to do and that this aspiration is needed most urgently.
“Everyone is kindhearted and simple. Even when just measuring their blood pressure, they are so happy. The feeling is very heartwarming!” Chen Chunmei recalled the many times she participated in free clinics and home visit events and easily made good friends with local people.
“Tzu Chi Hospital has many patients from Taitung. So, it is only because I have come to Kuanshan that I have been able to interact closely with them.” Chen Chunmei emotively said, “I hope to get back the enthusiasm of ‘pioneering the frontiers’ that I felt the year I moved from Taipei to Hualien.”
When the Kuanshan branch opened, not only were the locals of Taitung excited to welcome it, but the joining medical staff also brought their dreams and visions with them. They said, “We do not fear being tired; we only fear that we have not done enough and are unable to give patients our best and most comprehensive service.” We sincerely look forward to our Tzu Chi Kuanshan branch soon establishing a world of its own!
March 25, 2000
Tzu Chi Monthly Volume 400, Edition 26
Opening the Kuanshan branch – Putting Aside Career Plans
Author: Zhang Duanrong
Lin Yousheng candidly stated that taking over the role of superintendent at the Kuanshan branch was a big challenge. In addition to the responsibilities from Tzu Chi and the expectations of local people, this is a new career milestone for him.
Director of Anesthesiology at Tzu Chi Hospital, now also the superintendent of the Kuanshan branch, Lin Yousheng used his break between surgeries to accept an interview despite not having the time to remove his surgical gown, cap, and mask. It is also said that he will be hosting the Kuanshan branch meeting in the afternoon. It is obvious that he invested a lot of time and energy into opening the Kuanshan branch.
It has been almost eight years since he came to Hualien. Before that, he used to serve in Yuli Hongde Hospital for four years, Lin Yousheng deeply comprehended the difficult situations of the indigenous people. “They do not have many job opportunities. Earning an income is not easy; transportation is inconvenient; and they lack medical resources. This makes me feel that they are a group who really needs help!”
The deep connection he had with the Hualien-Taitung Region is the driving force that motivated Lin Yousheng to serve in Kuanshan. When he discussed the ideals and goals after the takeover, he said, “The interior of the hospital must have the atmosphere of a home.” Lin Yousheng emphasized how only when there is a homey atmosphere can there be a high degree of cohesion to form a humanistic environment for medical services.
As for the goals and plans for each stage of the Kuanshan branch project, Lin Yousheng shared that the planning group has drafted a blueprint. The first short-term goal to meet local needs is to focus on orthopedics, surgery, and emergency medical care. However, the local population consists mostly of the elderly and children, so medical care for chronic diseases and regular preventative care have to quickly follow so that emergency medical care and medical care for chronic diseases can develop simultaneously in balance.
As for long-term goals, currently there are fifty beds in the Kuanshan branch. In the future, they will get filled up, so expansion of the hospital must be considered. Lin Yousheng said that after the opening of the Kuanshan branch, they will start a series of investigations in different areas, including public health, the age demographics in different areas, disease classifications, new specialty assessments, and so on. These are all related to the types of talent needed in the future and the integration of the medical environment.
In addition to developing comprehensive medical care, Lin Yousheng had another hope for the Kuanshan branch. “Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital, the Yuli branch, the Kuanshan branch, and even the local hospital in southern Taitung should all be regarded as one whole medical system. In order to develop into a comprehensive medical network, they should not run independently.”
Taking over the position of superintendent for the Kuanshan branch, Lin Yousheng candidly stated that this was a big challenge. In addition to the responsibilities from Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital and the expectations of the local people, this is a new career milestone for him. “There is not much pressure in the profession. It is mostly in the administration work, as well as internal and external communication and coordination. This is the part I am not as familiar with and need to learn more.”
However, Lin Yousheng has encouraged himself to see this as an additional educational opportunity. Although he has only begun to explore and learn, he especially cherishes the opportunity. “I always tell myself to see more, listen more, ask more, and just do it!”
Currently, his family all lives in Yuli. Before, he would travel back and forth between Hualien and Yuli. Now, he has transferred to Kuanshan, and next year his child may attend high school in Hualien. Then, his family will be separated again. “I am very grateful for my family’s support, so I don’t have to worry!” You can see the tenderness in his eyes when speaking of his wife and children.
“We all have a common vision to serve in Kuanshan today, so by no means is it a sacrifice. We are just fulfilling our duty to do what must be done.” So, Lin Yousheng said, individual advanced study plan and career plans have to be temporarily put aside.
March 25, 2000
Tzu Chi Monthly Volume 400, Edition 26
Opening of the Kuanshan branch – Strength from Everyone
Author: Zhang Duanrong
When hearing about the opening of the Kuanshan branch, even the local grandpas and grandmas came to inquire about volunteering. Some local people donated money, and some donated their time and effort. “Everyone in the town of Kuanshan has mobilized!”
“Tzu Chi monthly events here are what we look forward to the most!” head of the elderly association in Kuanshan town, 76-year-old Mr. Zhong Chengchun, said cheerfully.
To play the role of guardian angel of community health, Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch started participating in Kuanshan community events beginning last December. Twice a month, it held blood pressure checks and public health lectures for seniors. This attracted more than 200 seniors from the area to participate.
Grandpa Zhong spoke frankly, saying it is not easy for information to circulate in rural areas. The seniors usually lack common knowledge and do not know how to take care of their health. The medical staff of Tzu Chi hospital not only help them measure their blood pressure and take their pulse, but also patiently guide them to prevent disease and protect their health. The medical staff also gave out a “health passport” for the seniors to document their own health conditions, informing them of things they need to pay attention to regularly. These can be carried with them at all times.
“We are so grateful to Tzu Chi for carefully taking care of the seniors!” Grandpa Zhang excitedly said that, because many seniors participated in the “senior health lectures,” they now know to exercise and pay attention to their diet. When they occasionally meet with friends, they will urge one another to remember the doctor’s reminders.
“You can say Tzu Chi cares for the seniors and children meticulously. Now, their establishing a hospital in Kuanshan really is a blessing for the local people, especially the seniors!” The events chair of the seniors association, Huang Youmei, cheerfully said that some local grandpas and grandmas came to inquire about volunteering. Though they are slightly older in age, they participate in announcements, broadcasts, and so on, to call on the local people to support the establishment of Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch.
“We are old and have nothing to do; this kind of work is not a problem!” Grandpa Zhong patted his chest and said, “If there is anything on your mind, just come to the seniors association to announce it and everyone will be mobilized!” After he spoke, everyone laughed. We can see that the seniors are full of eager anticipation.
But it is not only the seniors who feel this way. Cai Wenzhen, one of the leaders of the mothers’ group in Kuanshan town, also showed her support in action. Before the Kuanshan branch opened, she had already helped recruit more than ten hospital volunteers.
“Tzu Chi came all the way from Hualien to take care of us. As local residents, we should give back to the town by serving everyone!” Cai Wenzhen said happily.
In addition, Huang Yimei and Luo Chunzhi, two commissioners who were just certified this year, also recruited twenty to thirty volunteers each; and the numbers are still increasing.
“It’s nothing! On one hand, it was the help of Cai Wenzhen, while on the other, it was everyone’s sincerity.” Huang Yumei expressed this modestly as she was serving as a hospital volunteer at the Tzu Chi Hospital Yuli branch. She found out that the establishment of the Kuanshan branch needed a great amount of manpower, so she utilized the opportunity of collecting donations to also mention this matter, and everyone was happy to support the effort.
“This time the whole town of Kuanshan really mobilized!” Luo Chunzhi said happily. Fan Jinlian, the standing director of the Kuanshan women’s association, also said that this association has already been established for some time. This organization has a charity work team and an environmental team. “We regularly do home visits, recycling, disaster relief, and sponsor orphans,” she said happily. The work is actually very similar to Tzu Chi. After the Kuanshan branch is established, she looks forward to interacting with and learning from each other so as to bring a pure stream of love to the community.
“Tzu Chi establishing a hospital in Kuanshan is a blessing to the local people; of course it is our obligation to help!” Fan Jinlian has always wished to join Tzu Chi as a volunteer. “Now that the Kuanshan branch is established, I am 200% excited to welcome it because it has fulfilled my long-time wish!”
Some local people donated money and some donated their efforts to express their approval and support for Tzu Chi through their actions. Fang Ruiqing, the current Kuanshan town councilor, is a big supporter of Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch. When he first heard of Tzu Chi establishing a hospital in Kuanshan, he donated NT$1 million without a second thought.
Fang Ruiqing said shyly, “I am just doing what I can.” He said that, because his parents are of old age and are not in good health, he often takes them to Tzu Chi Hospital to see a doctor. Thus, he can deeply feel the goodness of Tzu Chi.
“For example, the way doctors, nurses, and Tzu Chi’s volunteers treat their patients makes others feel they are kind and sincere! Even an illiterate senior coming to see the doctor alone does not need to worry about what to do after arriving because Tzu Chi volunteers earnestly help everyone!” Fang Ruiqing believes that the establishment of Tzu Chi Hospital’s Kuanshan branch will not only solve the problem of local people traveling far to receive medical care, but will also reduce the worries and troubles in many families.
“There are actually many sincere people!” Fang Ruiqing said. When local people who work outside of Kuanshan hear that Tzu Chi is establishing a hospital here, they immediately want to donate money to the hospital. Some entrust the donations to others, while some came home specifically to donate. Because they did not publicly ask for donations, some people even went to Fang Ruiqing afterwards and said, “Why did no one tell me? I want to donate, too!”
Fang Ruiqing said that Kuanshan has always lacked medical resources. The local people always hoped for a larger hospital to be established, and the first hope is Tzu Chi Hospital. “Although there were many obstacles in the process, Tzu Chi still did their best, which was very touching. This made us determined to fully support them,” said Fang Ruiqing.
The Mayor of Kuanshan, Xu Ruigui, embraced the opening of Tzu Chi Hospital’s Kuanshan branch with deep gratitude. He repeatedly expressed how Huadong Highway Provincial Highway 9 is a popular tourist spot and how traffic accidents often occur on this straight stretch of road. The five towns located in the Huadong Rift Valley—Chishang, Kuanshan, Haiduan, Yanping, and Luye—have a population of more than 100,000 with no hospital to care for them. The lack of medical resources has worried him for a long time.
In March of last year, Tzu Chi Hospital Yuli branch opened. Xu Ruigui immediately explained to Master Cheng Yen the lack of medical resources in Kuanshan. Not long after, Tzu Chi actively made arrangements and plans. In July of last year, after Tzu Chi signed a contract to take over Kuanshan Pohai Hospital, they proposed a plan to gradually develop community health. Starting in December, they executed successive health lectures and events.
Xu Ruigui said that he is just a middle man, and that he could only describe himself as “surprised” by how fast Tzu Chi began its work. Besides gratitude for Tzu Chi, he also thanks everyone for their diligent cooperation. This is all due to the blessings and aspirations of the local people in Kuanshan.
“I am grateful to Tzu Chi for actively benefiting the health of Kuanshan’s people. As a leader of Kuanshan town, my words to them are still, ‘We are so grateful!’ We hope that from now on Kuanshan can take in the volunteer spirit led by Tzu Chi so that it will become a town of volunteers, a Tzu Chi Town, in the future!” Xu Ruigui said passionately.
October 17, 2004
Winter 2004: Footprints of Master Cheng Yen
At the closing ceremony of the Yuli and Kuanshan Hospital Staff Humanistic Culture Retreat, the master recalled the story of Dr. Cao Wei, who ran the predecessor to the Yuli branch, Hongde Hospital. At the end of his life, he entrusted the master with his last wishes to hand over the hospital. The master also recalled the affinities of Kuanshan branch with Tzu Chi.
Dr. Cao was supportive of Tzu Chi. His wife, sister Jing Zhi, is also a senior commissioner. However, life is impermanent. Before Dr. Cao died of illness, he asked Master Cheng Yen to take over Hongde Hospital, which he had managed painstakingly. With the right karmic conditions, Dr Cao’s final wish came true; five years ago, Tzu Chi Hospital Yuli branch was opened.
On the day of the opening ceremony, the mayor of Kuanshan was also present. During lunch, the mayor mentioned that for more than two years, Kuanshan had built a hospital but no one could manage it. So, he asked if the master could take it over.
At the master’s inquiry, the mayor talked about the affinity for establishing this hospital. “He said that when the Southern Cross-Island Highway was under construction, there was a civil engineer who felt that accidents would often occur there. He also said that if accidents happened on the southern end of the highway, there were no doctors at the exit to Kuanshan, and they would have to be sent to Taitung or Hualien. Due to the long distances to these places, medical treatment was often delayed and many patients could not be saved.”
“This civil engineer told his friend, who was a doctor, and invited him to travel on the Southern Cross-Island Highway. The doctor thought that Kuanshan had a nice climate and scenery, and decided to build a hospital in Kuanshan. Just as the hospital was completed, the doctor unexpectedly died in a diving accident the night before its opening. The hospital was thus abandoned and unable to open.”
“Because I felt that doctors would be hard to recruit in such a remote area, at that time, I told the mayor I would take a look when I got a chance. Later, in one of my travels around Taiwan, on the way back to Hualien through Taitung, I saw a big sign in the distance that read “Pohai Hospital.” I asked the driver to slow down. While small, it looked exquisite and well-built from the car window!”
“After some consideration, I asked Tzu Chi’s vice president, Lin Pi-yu, and the director of the medical development office at that time, Huan Jiajing, to visit the hospital. Later, when I went to Yuli, under the guidance of the mayor of Kuanshan, I also went to take a look inside the hospital. I saw two plaques with the quotes ‘Spread the wings of ambition’ and ‘Wondrous hands of healing’ scattered on the floor. They were made as gifts to celebrate the original opening of Pohai Hospital, yet they never had the chance to be hung on the wall.” Master Cheng Yen lamented how the building of this hospital came from a story full of love. Sadly, the doctor who had a great aspiration to serve here could not bring this spirit to fruition. This made her feel even more heartbroken.
“Thinking of the aspiration the doctor had two years ago for this hospital that was not achieved and the lack of medical resources in Taitung, I decided to take over. However, it is quite difficult to find doctors willing to go to Kuanshan, especially so near the exit of the Southern Cross-Island Highway, which is prone to car accidents and difficult medical cases. At that time, Dr. Chen Ing-ho, the superintendent of Hualien hospital, highly recommended Assistant Superintendent Poon, praising him for his earnestness and kindness.”
“I am very grateful for Assistant Superintendent Poon’s willingness to go to Kuanshan.” The master expressed with gratitude that Superintendent Poon did not fail to live up to everyone’s expectations to guard Kuanshan and integrate the hospital into the community so that the local people would see the hospital as their home. The entire hospital is filled with a warm atmosphere.
October 17, 2004
Winter 2004: Footprints of Master Cheng Yen
The Affinities of Tzu Chi Hospital’s Yuli and Kuanshan Branches with Tzu Chi
In Master Cheng Yen’s teachings, she has mentioned the reason for establishing Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch. Tzu Chi Hospital’s Kuanshan branch was previously Pohai Hospital. The doctor who founded the hospital saw how Kuanshan was on the exit of the Southern Cross-Island Highway, where medical treatment was lacking for hundreds of miles. So, he decided to build a hospital there. But before the opening of the hospital, this doctor died unexpectedly in a diving accident. Since then, Pohai Hospital was left abandoned for two or three years. When Tzu Chi Hospital Yuli branch was opened, the mayor mentioned Pohai Hospital to the master with the intention of Tzu Chi taking over. After evaluation, Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch was opened.
“After all, this is a remote area. Not many doctors are willing to come here. It is not easy to find humanitarians these days. But although it is understaffed, I am very grateful to everyone for coming here with such unity. Although the infrastructure of the hospital is very bright and Kuanshan is a beautiful place, it is difficult to stay here long-term without sincere love. The willingness you have to guard this place makes people feel very grateful.”
Master Cheng Yen shared that, as Dr. Poon just said, “Lives are saved from the roadside.” It is because of their great love that they have dedicated their lives to bringing patients back from the roadside. When doctors go to remote areas, they send daily supplies needed for the poor. The master praised them, saying, “This is love. It is the integration of Tzu Chi medicine and humanistic culture. Tzu Chi humanistic culture is the integration of the four missions. Doctors are not only doctors, but also Tzu Chi volunteers. Whatever Tzu Chi volunteers see, whether medical, international relief or cultural work, they will undertake it under any circumstances.”
“A few days ago, I heard that the local people of Kuanshan got a warm feeling seeing Tzu Chi’s doctors and volunteers cleaning the streets, because it is rare to see medical workers serving the community like this. Tzu Chi Hospital Kuanshan branch is like a home in the Kuanshan area. Doctors are members of this community and this home. It is very heartwarming to see everyone contribute to the community. This is the unique trait of Tzu Chi’s Mission of Medicine.”
(1). Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital website
(2). A love relay in the local medical field makes Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital Possible
(3). The love on Provincial Highway 9 – Tzu Chi Hospital Yuli branch. Tzu Chi Hospital the Kuanshan branch
(4). [Witnessing the Vitality of Taiwan] 20150322- Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital 15th anniversary celebration special edition
(5). From Hong Kong to Kuanshan, Poon Win-Him made love grow
(6). Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital is beautiful and sorrowful
(1). Kuanshan Tzu Chi Hospital 10th anniversary special edition (March, 2010 Published by Tzu Chi Foundation Medical Mission Development Department, Humanistic Communication Office)