DOI awards $5.5M to Guam for public health upgrades, medical equipment

149

The Government of Guam has been approved for $5.5 million in federal funds to help the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) and the Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) address COVID-19. The grant was awarded by the Department of the Interior under the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) COVID Technical Assistance Program (TAP).

The TAP funding will support upgrades and improvements for medical storage and facilities, provide specialized medical equipment for the hospital, and purchase medical transport vehicles and mobile clinics for community outreach.

The 2021 TAP grants provided to Guam are as follows:

= $2 million for the acquisition of a warehouse facility capable of storing medical supplies and necessary collateral equipment. Funds will be used to purchase a commercial building for a warehouse facility and necessary storage facility equipment vital to preventing future outbreaks. A streamlined facility is required for vaccines, specimen collection samples, and other required medical stockpiles and will reduce the risk of lost or damaged supplies not only during a public health emergency but also natural disasters.

= $1 million for the refurbishment and renovation of existing medical storage facility. A modern renovation of existing storage facilities will ensure faster response times and improved efficiencies in serving patients and the public during future pandemic crises and natural disasters. The necessary funding required will provide proper temperature control, improved shelving, and storage systems that will help improve response times.

= $500,000 for construction of improvements to the Northern Regional Public Health Center to accommodate the relocation of the generator from the Central Regional Public Health Center, as well as to accommodate the installation of the new modular laboratory. In late 2019, the Central Regional Public Health Center was shut down due to a fire, forcing staff and services to relocate. Part of the modifications includes relocating the back-up generator to the northern site to include building a concrete pad and a proper shelter for the back-up generator. Additionally, the construction of a new modular laboratory will be used to process tests and other procedures.

= $1.1 million for support to GMH for the acquisition of specialized medical equipment upgrades and to contract doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists. To meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, additional personnel are needed in the event GMH admissions and inpatient care are in excess of their capacity.

= $750,000 for the acquisition of a mobile clinic for DPHSS to use for community outreach and intervention, inclusive of collateral equipment. The Mobile Clinic will provide additional mobility for DPHSS and better response to the public in terms of testing and vaccinations. For individuals having difficulty reaching vaccination sites, the Mobile Clinic will be ready to respond to high-risk and vulnerable populations.

= $200,000 for the acquisition of Medical Transport Vehicles for the Guam Memorial Hospital. GMH lacks any vehicles to transport individuals that have been discharged from GMH after having been brought to the hospital. Given the need to transport patients who may be carriers of COVID-19, these individuals must be transported in an isolated fashion.

“The global pandemic tested each and every one of us, most especially our healthcare system. These federal dollars ensure we are able to provide support to our healthcare heroes–through facilities, equipment, and staffing–so they can continue their lifesaving work,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

“Our people are undeniably resilient. As we work towards recovery, now is also the time to increase capacity for our emergency response and pandemic preparedness,” said Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio.

Guam was awarded a total of $12 million under the COVID TAP funds. The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration will use these funds to address the pandemic and mitigate its effects on the community. These projects address not just the health and safety of our community but also will address ways to aid in economic recovery.

###