Guam Memorial Hospital Authority this year plans to start the renovation of its leaking roof, the demolition of its condemned Z wing, the expansion of its parking lot, and several other capital improvement projects. This is according to a news release, where GMHA also announces its renewal of a pursuit to regain accreditation that was lost during the Calvo administration.
The news release from GMHA with details of these efforts follows:
The Guam Memorial Hospital Authority continues to prioritize, support and respond to our island’s medical needs, during yet another COVID wave. Despite this response, in its pursuit to provide the absolute best care for our people, GMHA is excited about our many undertakings in 2022.
“We are on a relentless pursuit to provide excellent, accessible healthcare for our island. COVID might delay us, but it will certainly not hold us back in our mission and goals,” said Lillian Perez-Posadas, GMHA Administrator and CEO.
A major pursuit for GMH this year, is hospital accreditation through the Center of Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ). This organization has been given the full, 6-year deeming authority by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), meaning it is one of the most trust-worthy, credible, and reliable accrediting bodies in the nation. GMHA is coordinating with Accreditation Resources Services (ARS) to schedule mock surveys to ensure a smooth transition towards achieving and maintaining accreditation. Of note, GMHA is a CMS certified facility, and our Laboratory is CAP and CLIA accredited. The CIHQ accreditation will be an added seal of approval, reflective of the national-standards of healthcare provided at our hospital.
Additionally, among the multitude of projects underway at GMH this year, patients, staff and the greater Guam community can look forward to major Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) to ensure the longevity of the current critical infrastructure, until a new hospital is designed and built. These major CIPs include the much needed roof and envelope repair. This will enhance the structural and mechanical integrity of the hospital during heavy rainfall, mitigating against potential leaks. This project is currently in the award phase of the RFP and will be a phased approach, expected to wrap up by late 2022.
GMHA has finalized plans to demolish the vacant Z-Wing portion of the building and is in the award phase of this procurement. This is a multi-phased capital improvement that includes, (1) the demolition of approximately 85% of the building, (2) a small, salvaged footprint on the first floor, which will be used for additional office space, and (3) an expansion of parking spaces at the hospital. We anticipate beginning the Demolition Phase permitting process this month.
“It’s no secret our building is old. We’ve been working to maintain it for years and these major CIP undertakings will ensure this facility is fully functional, with a safe environment of care, until our move to the new hospital,” said William Kando, GMHA Associate Administrator of Operations. “We’re incredibly proud of all our teams for working non-stop for our community. These upgrades will ensure our infrastructure lives up to the excellent healthcare our teams deliver.”
In addition to the major projects GMHA is undertaking, there are simultaneous smaller-scale repairs and upgrades. These include Operating Room surgical light updates, HVAC upgrades, and the Emergency Room rotunda ceiling renovation.
“While we are working to stand up a comprehensive medical campus to serve our people, including a new public hospital, we continue supporting the stability of the current facility and improvements that will secure the best quality healthcare for Guam,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Our administration has invested more than $13 million to ensure GMH operations remain sound and strong throughout the pandemic. We will continue enhancing the hospital to meet the growing needs of our people.”
Beyond physical upgrades, the GMHA clinical teams will soon be employing updated technology and programming for patient care. The hospital plans to launch the long-awaited Electronic Health Records (EHR) system, which has been delayed due to the many COVID waves on Guam. The new EHR program will digitize all of our medical records, along with the patient registration and physician charting processes. This exciting new program will also include the launch of an online patient portal, where GMHA patients may access their records, schedule appointments, pay bills and speak to their providers online, in a one-stop secure portal.
GMHA is also following through on the Alternate Care Facility (ACF) plans for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) in Barrigada Heights. The improvements will include the isolation of the B-Wing, to ensure the safety of SNF residents, should there be a need to treat COVID patients at the ACF, in response to the ongoing pandemic. Two 134-ton chillers have already been manufactured and installed at the SNF as part of the emergency preparedness upgrades. Additionally, GMHA is awaiting the arrival of multi-purpose patient/ resident beds at the SNF, along with IT infrastructure improvements that support the facility’s operations, and other ancillary support equipment.
GMHA is excited and proud to be making these investments in our island’s trusted public hospital and the SNF, so we may continue to deliver excellent, accessible healthcare to all.