A pioneer in nursing in Hawaii, Rosie died peacefully in her sleep on February 1, 2011; she was 92 years old. Born in Honolulu, she was the second child of Chung Chip and Mary Park Kim. She received a nursing degree from the Queens Hospital and later received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Hawaii where she was later honored as one of the University’s outstanding graduates. She was the first nurse from Hawaii to receive a Masters Degree in nursing when she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and later in life obtained a doctorate in public health. At Queen’s Hospital, now known as the Queen’s Medical Center, she was a head nurse, a clinical instructor, a general nursing supervisor, the Assistant director of the Queen’s Hospital School of Nursing and later the Director of Nursing. At the Queen’s Hospital School of Nursing she began reforms that upgraded recruitment practices and strengthened the curriculum.
During her illustrious career she undertook the task of reorganizing the mental health care at the Hawaii State Hospital, and as Director of Nursing was instrumental in getting the hospital its first accreditation. She then went on to become the Associate Director of the Regional Medical Program, a federal program that evaluated and assisted in community health initiatives for Hawaii, America Samoa, and the Pacific Trust Territories.
Rosie was one of the founders of the Hawaii League for Nursing and served two terms as president. She also served two terms as president of the Hawaii Nurses Association. She later was appointed to the City and County of Honolulu Ethics Commission and the City’s Liquor Commission. She served on the Hawaii Health Advisory Committee, Hawaii Commission on the Status of Women, and the Governor’s Commission to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Chinese in Hawaii.
A member, officer and past president of various social and professional organizations, she participated in many of the projects of the Chinese Women’s Club, the American-Chinese Club Auxiliary, the Organization of Chinese American Women, the Palolo Chinese Home Auxiliary, the Korean University Club and served as director of the Center for Asia-Pacific Exchange (CAPE).
She is survived by her son John Chang (Maylani), grandchildren Jennifer Chang and John Stephen Chang (Hee-Jin) along with sister Clara K. Amundsen and brother Earl Kim.
Visitation at Nuuanu Memorial Park on February 23, at 10:00, services at 11:00 with burial at 1:00 at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery, Kaneohe. Aloha Attire. In lieu of flowers donations are suggested to the Center for Asia-Pacific Exchange or ones favorite charity.