Tamuning, Guam. Legislative Health Committee Chairman, Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., at a Press Conference this morning announced the convening of a Special Legislative Task Force on the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority with two specific goals: 1) Build a brand new state-of-the-art hospital facility, which includes a specialty Heart Center, a modernized maternity ward, and other specialty services not offered on island, and 2) Develop a new business model that includes a public-private partnership.
Senator Rodriguez has set an aggressive initial timeframe of no more than 60 days for the Task Force to complete its work. The task force is expected to issue a report that will include a comprehensive plan of action to achieve the goals. A Vision Statement that focuses on the mission ahead will guide them.
“I have some of the finest experienced people on board to assist in making this a reality. The ultimate objective is to elevate the delivery of health care services for all the people of Guam at our public hospital. This plan will also ensure the appropriate resources and tools are provided to the dedicated GMH employees who have always been shortchanged in supplies and equipment,” Rodriguez said. “We will work hand-in-hand with our private sector partners, especially the Guam Regional Medical City to ensure services are not redundant. Both hospitals, including our private providers of outpatient services should be able to coexist and this effort will create an environment to make it happen. I will make certain any public/private proposal will take into consideration our legal mandates to provide care to all residents regardless of ability to pay, as well as the protection of our hardworking GMH personnel,” Rodriguez concluded.
Members of the Task Force who attended today’s announcement all expressed their desire to see long lasting improvements to GMH. “We all have a vested interest to improve our hospital. This hospital has been the place we take our families to be cared for,” Task Force member Anthony P. Sgro indicated.
“I have two young children and another on the way, so I want to make sure we have the best hospital for our island. When (Sen. Rodriguez) asked me to help with this initiative, it was very easy for me to say yes to help our hospital improve,” said Rich Huang, another Task Force member.
“The efforts of Senator Rodriquez with this task force is a step in the right direction in addressing service delivery issues of the Guam Memorial Hospital. I am more than willing to help out in whatever way I can. Healthcare is a basic human need and providing quality healthcare to our island is essential. I look forward to many good things coming out of this commission,” said former Senator Lou Leon Guerrero. Mrs. Leon Guerrero is a former senator in the Guam Legislature as well as former chairperson of the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority Board of Trustees.
In an effort to pave the way to fund the construction of a new GMH facility, Senator Rodriguez introduced Bill 80-33 relative to refunding the 2007 and 2009 General Obligations Bonds. The savings from this refunding is anticipated to result in upwards of $45 million dollars, without the need to incur additional debt service obligations.
Should the Task Force plan require additional government contributions to fund the construction of a new facility, Senator Rodriguez is confident that experts from GEDA and BBMR will be able to provide several options to consider. Senator Rodriguez indicated that the $45 million to be realized through Bill 80-33 will be “seed” financing and that a mixture of resources will need to be utilized.
BBMR Deputy Director Lester Carlson and GEDA Business Development and Public Finance Manager Tina Garcia both are members of the Legislative Task Force and are committed to provide the expertise needed. “GEDA is ready to offer whatever financing assistance is needed to move this process along,” Tina Garcia from GEDA indicated.
Attached is a copy of the Vision Statement the Task Force will use to pursue its goals. Although the initial time frame to complete a report is no more than 60 days from its first meeting, Senator Rodriguez indicated that he would like to see a brand new GMH facility within the next 4-5 years.
Task Force Members:
Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., Chairman, Committee on Health, 33rd Guam Legislature
Former Senator Lou Leon Guerrero, CEO, Bank of Guam
Mr. Anthony P. Sgro, President, Fitness Solutions
Mr. David John, President, ASC Trust
Mr. Chris Felix, President, Century 21
Mr. Rene Ramos, President, MedPharm Group
Mr. Ling-chi (Rich) Huang, President, American Chocolate Factory
Mrs. Jenny Cruz, President, GMHVA
GEDA: Mr. John Rios, Administrator & Mrs. Christina Garcia, Business Development & Public Finance Manager
BBMR: Mr. Joey Calvo, Acting Director & Mr. Lester Carlson, Deputy Director
GMHA: Dr. Florencio (Larry) Lizama, Interim CEO & Mrs. Benita Manglona, CFO
For more information, please contact the Office of Senator Rodriguez at 649-8638 or 649-0511.