Guam and CNMI partner in pandemic response

Photo courtesy of the Governor's Office

Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) are working together to combat COVID-19, according to the Governor’s Office.

On Wednesday, the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) received a donation of surplus personal protective equipment (PPE) from the CNMI Office of the Governor. Inventory included 1,000 surgical masks, over 14,000 face masks, and 9,000 isolation gowns to be used by frontliners at GMH, Guam’s COVID-designated hospital. The PPEs are valued at over $154,000.

According the news release, the donation follows the philanthropic work of Dr. Joleen Aguon, GMH Medical Director and Guam’s COVID-19 Medical Director. Following an invitation and request from CNMI Governor Ralph Torres in June, Dr. Aguon took a trip to Saipan to visit their newly constructed Alternate Care Site (ACS). Being one of the few Pulmonologists and Intensivists in the region, Dr. Aguon provided valuable expertise on treatment of COVID-19 patients.

“We thank CNMI Governor Torres and the NMI for this generous donation of PPEs. Our islands face similar challenges in the ongoing pandemic, including the tyranny of distance and limited resources, most especially human resources,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero. “Dr. Aguon has been at the forefront of our island’s response, and she is one of many COVID heroes to be celebrated.”

“This exchange is a true reflection of our cultural values—that what we have, we have to share,” said Lieutenant Governor Joshua Tenorio. “Our administration will continue to coordinate with Governor Torres, as well as Speaker Tina Muña Barnes who helped initiate this donation. We all have the same mission—to keep our people healthy and safe from this deadly virus.”

“There are not enough words to express my gratitude to CNMI Governor Torres and the NMI for this donation of PPE. This is our armor in the fight against this invisible enemy, and the protection we need to not only do our best work to save lives, but also to keep the families we come home to safe,” said Dr. Aguon.

(News release from the Office of the Governor of Guam)