VIDEO: $4 Million from GovGuam For DMHSA, Un-Spent; And GMH Gets None of It, For Now

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Guam – One GovGuam supported institution that didn’t get the funding it was hoping for this past week was Guam Memorial Hospital.

GMH was counting on the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse [DMHSA] to come through with a $1 million dollar payment that it said it would provide this month.

But Federal Manager Dr. James Kiffer told PNC News that DMHSA won’t be able to make that payment until March at the earliest, and probably later.

The District Court has now received $4 million dollars from GovGuam for use by the Federal Management team to implement their “Plan of Action” which is meant to bring DMHSA into compliance with outstanding court orders to improve the care of the island’s mentally ill.

The first installment of  $2 million was made on November 3 of last year. The second $2 million dollar installment was one of the final acts of the former Camacho administration last week.

The $4 million now on deposit is only part of the nearly $16 million in total payments GovGuam will have to cough up over the next 3 years.

However, Federal Manager Dr. James Kiffer says they do not yet have access to any of those funds because the Judge wants all of the money released through a Trustee Account which has yet to be set up. Kiffer said that an RFP has gone out for a Trustee Account and he expects it to be in place by February 1st.

And while the $4 million sits,  projects planed by the Federal Managers wait. In particular Dr. Kiffer says they at least 40 new personnel they want to hire, can not be brought on board until the funding mechanics have been worked out.

The Federal Managers had also hoped to be able to pay off the $1 million dollar debt it owes to Guam Memorial Hospital,  but that can’t yet happen either. Kiffer said it was their intention to make the payment to GMH because they had originally asked for a $3 million dollar January payment, but the Judge ended up ordering GovGuam to deposit only $2 million this month.

GMH Spokesman Connor Murphy told PNC News the hospital is “disspoainted”  that DMHSA was unable to make the $1 million dollar payment this week. Meanwhile, GovGuam must come up with another $1 million dollars for the Department of Mental Health by February 1st.

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kk pnc news