FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tamuning, Guam. Today Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr. released the work of the GMH Task Force that started in April 2015. The results of their efforts represent a shift in thinking from previous groups and provide a 10-point plan to chart a new direction for Guam Memorial Hospital. This plan provides specific legislative and other actions that will begin a process for the long term resolution of the problems faced by GMH for many years.
Initially tasked to complete the effort in 60 days, the Senator realized more time would be needed. As the team started their work they found they would need help going through the vast amount of information available and thus engaged Dr. Roseann Jones from the University of Guam to assist in their undertakings. The next reality was coming to understand that to truly “fix” GMH, they would need to look at the healthcare system. A review of the history of GMH showed many efforts since the inception of the hospital. "I view the efforts of the past to deal with the decades old challenges of GMH to that of Sisyphus, wherein previous attempts to make progress by pushing the rock up the hill, only to see it roll back down and having to start again." Senator Rodriguez said, referring to the Ancient Greek myth of Sisyphus."By reviewing previous efforts, I've found that those efforts only focused on the hospital therefore limiting the results produced. We ought to take a holistic approach that addresses the system of care to this situation. Part of the 10-point plan lays the path to transition government operation of our public hospital into a public private partnership that will provide quality hospital services which are accessible to all the people of Guam." Rodriguez concluded.
As the healthcare sector on Guam grows; with the addition of a new hospital, the challenges of the Affordable Care Act implementation and the ever increasing cost and complexity of providing healthcare, it is imperative that we gain an understanding of how each of these factors work together. The hospital is but one piece of a system. Each piece impacts the other. It is therefore prudent to address the system In order to have greater, long term impact and to put in place the tools needed to move to this system thinking.
Today at the Lotte Hotel in Tumon, an inaugural meeting was kicked-off with stakeholders from throughout the Pacific as they gathered to discuss Non-Communicable Diseases with the Guam NCD Consortium from the Department of Public Health and Social Services.
Senator Rodriguez was given the honor of addressing those present, speaking on the "Power of Collaboration" among entities. He stressed that the work the NCD Consortium produces in collaboration with many governmental, private and non-profit organizations, locally and regionally, is vital to bringing awareness and education to the people. He further emphasized that this collaboration has seen many successes in advocating for government policy reform, better health practices among communities and true education outreach providing true results toward eliminating the NCDs on Guam and in the Pacific.
Participants included Leadership Teams from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Island Team (Diabetes, Tobacco and Evaluation), Pacific Islands Health Officers Association (PIHOA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
Over the two day meeting, the NCD Collaboration will focus on the roles and commitments each of the visiting leadership teams will have, in the region and with the Pacific Island Jurisdictions (PIJs); World Health Day April 2016: Diabetes; a panel discussion on strengthening NCD prevention efforts in the region and how to fill gaps; data, surveillance & monitoring in the PIJs; and country reports on prevention efforts.
Senator Rodriguez with members of the American Samoa delegation participating in the inaugural NCD Consortium Collaboration Meeting at the Lotte Hotel in Tumon.