Guam needs more healthcare workers in the war against COVID

Dr. Janna Manglona, central medical director for Public Health, has retired.

Guam needs more healthcare professionals to assist during the pandemic, industry professionals reiterated during the recent GCC workforce conference.

With the critical need to strengthen the healthcare workforce at this point, there are opportunities for those who are looking for a way to enter the industry and there are also opportunities for those who want to shift careers.

Dr. Janna Manglona, central medical director for Public Health, says that she cannot make long term employment projections at this point…since a vaccine could be available in the future. But currently, she said the island needs more boots-on-the-ground professionals to assist in the pandemic.

“Right now, we need tracers and nurses and medical personnel because right now, the only way to stop the chain of transmission is through contact tracing…identifying who are the people are out there. But we need these people right now. I can’t tell you in five years because if there is a vaccine, all of these might go away. Right now, we need boots on the ground people. And we need people to treat and clean up this mess. So we need people out there doing like bug detectives,” Manglona said.

Charlotte Huntsman, the senior vice-president in charge of human resources at GRMC, says the private hospital — just like GMH– is ramping up its efforts to recruit more medical and healthcare workers for Guam.

GRMC is working with GCC and UOG and also the Guam Marianas Training Center in recruiting healthcare professionals.

Huntsman said they knew that they were lacking healthcare workers from a long time ago. But with the pandemic, it has never been of this utmost importance.