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Today, twelve Senators introduced landmark legislation relative to providing court ordered Assisted Outpatient Treatment for persons with certain mental illnesses.  Bill No. 115-33 (COR) is to be known as the Baby Alexya Law.  Assisted Outpatient Treatment is practiced in forty-five (45) States as an extension of inpatient treatment, while allowing the qualified patient with a treatable mental illness or condition to receive court ordered treatment on an outpatient basis.  The continued treatment and management of the patient’s condition on an outpatient basis has also been determined to greatly reduce incidents of violence and arrests.

Bill No. 115-33 (COR) was introduced by Senators D.G. Rodriguez, Jr., R.J. Respicio, V.A. Ada, B. Mccreadie, N.B. Underwood, Ph.D., T.A. Morrison, F.F. Blas, Jr., F.B. Aguon, Jr., M.C. Torres, T.R. Muna-Barnes, M.F.Q. San Nicolas, and J.T. Won Pat, Ed.D.

Leading the nation, when New York City established Kendra’s Law, it took the tragic death of Ms. Kendra Webdale, a young woman who died in January 1999 after being pushed in front of a New York City subway train by a person who was not receiving treatment for his mental illness.  “On Guam, we had the recent case of ten (10) month old baby Alexya being punched in the face while in the arms of her mother under similar circumstances by a person not receiving treatment for her mental illness,” Senator Rodriguez stated.

“It took an unfortunate act because of the cracks in our mental healthcare system to raise our people’s level of awareness that we too are seriously in need of this kind of program,” Rodriguez added.  “I too had an initial reaction of anger, just as many did.  But as I learned more about the circumstances my feelings changed to compassion for a mentally ill woman who fell through the cracks in a system not legally prepared to address her situation and numerous others,” Rodriguez concluded.

Senator Rodriguez was joined at the introduction of Bill 115-33 by Baby Alexya and her parents, as well as representatives of the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, and Senatorial co-sponsors.

 

Alexya Law

Senator Rodriguez reaches out to Baby Alexya as her parents Alyssa and Fred Esser look on during the introduction of Bill 115-33(COR) at the Guam Legislature.

 

Alexya Law

Sen. Rodriguez, Baby Alexya, her parents Alyssa and Fred Esser, Sen. Tony Ada, Sen. Nerissa Underwood, Sen. Frank Blas, Jr., and Guam Behavioral Health Admin and Staff- Director Rey Vega, Dep. Dir. Paulino, Dr. Ariel Ismael and Ms. Jeremy Lloyd look on as Sen. Rodriguez explains Bill 115-33(COR)- known as the Alexya Law, during the introduction of the bill at the Guam Legislature.

Senator Dennis G. Rodriguez, Jr., and the 33rd Guam Legislature, on behalf of the people of Guam presented Legislative Certificate No. 43-33(LS) to Chief Stanley Torres of the Andersen Air Force Base Fire Department.

Chief Torres' recognition is well deserved as he is the first Chamorro from the Marianas to be promoted to this position.

"I wish to express my sincerest congratulations to Chief Torres on his promotion, especially as a son of Guam and the CNMI.  Chief Torres' success is evident in the trust he has from his colleagues while making us proud of our island's contributions to the military and civilian populations on Guam and the CNMI'" Senator Rodriguez stated.

In attendance at the presentation were Sen. Tina Muna Barnes and Sen. Frank Aguon, Jr., Chief Torres' wife and daughter, parents Deputy Fire Chief of AAFB, Guam Fire Department counterparts, EMS Commission & Health Professional Licensing Office representatives.

Chief Torres

Senator Rodriguez with Chief Stanley Torres, flanked by his family, fire department couterparts, EMS & HPLO representatives and Sen. Muna Barnes and Sen. Aguon during a Legislative Certificate presentation congratulating him as the first Chamorro Fire Chief of the Andersen Air Force Base Fire Department.

In the 32nd Guam Legislature, Sen. Dennis Rodriguez, Jr., introduced Bill 97-32 that was signed into Public Law 32-53 authorizing the use of Guam Territorial Highway Funds to address flood mitigation and other related projects under the Department of Public Works.

After months of planning, two of the projects have been completed.  The Taitano Road flooding issue in Dededo has been addressed and completed early 2015, and yesterday, May 26th, the official completion of Chalan Lamasu in Dededo was marked with a ribbon cutting.

These projects are among others identified in PL 32-53, and were proposed by DPW and the respective mayor.  Many projects are in different phases of work, continually being monitored closely by Sen. Rodriguez to ensure completion.

chalan lamasu

Senator Rodriguez joins other government officials and private partners in cutting the ribbon for the official opening and completion of Chalan Lamasu in Dededo.

 

 

Senator Dennis Rodriguez was honored to present Legislative recognitions to the University of Guam Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates and the 2015 Senior Citizens' Month Centenarians.

 

UNIVERSITY OF GUAM NURSING

The Nursing graduates were celebrated during their Pinning Ceremony at the Sheraton Laguna on the evening of May 19, 2015.  In attendance were all the Nursing graduates, their families, friends and their Nursing Professors.  Receiving the certificate on behalf of the class are Michelle Radovan, Class President and Resha Juanillo, President of the Student Nurses Association of Guam.

uognurse

 

2015 SENIOR CITIZENS CENTENARIANS

The 2015 Centenarians of Guam were recognized and honored during a celebration at the Government House today, May 20, 2015.

The Centenarians celebrated are:

 Mrs. Rita Calvo Artero, 102 years, awarded posthumously

 Mrs. Regina M. Reyes, 101 years

 Mrs. Josefina DMY Blas, 100 years

 Mrs. Maura R Robeniol, 102 years

 Mrs. Magaealena SN Bayani, 100 years

 
centenarian

  Family of the Late Rita Calvo Artero, 2015 Centenarian Honoree, awarded posthumously.

 

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.

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