Military shares supplies with Guam Memorial Hospital

(From left) Capt. Jamion Lewis, 36th Medical Group; Hospital Nursing Supervisor Roseann Apuron, Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA); and Lt. Amyra Ramos, U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, gather for a photo in Santa Rita, Nov. 15. Lewis, Apuron, and Ramos were instrumental in coordination efforts to provide lifesaving equipment to GMHA in anticipation of possible supply chain related delays. (U.S. Navy photo by Shaina O’Neal)

U.S. Naval Hospital (USNH) Guam and the 36th Medical Group provided lifesaving supplies to Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA), in anticipation of possible supply chain-related delays.

Five hundred intravenous (IV) pump tubes and 10 infusion pumps were provided to GMHA, which are used to safely administer lifesaving medications for patients admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Emergency Room.

“With an increased number of ICU patients [and] increased use of supplies and equipment, [GMHA] reached out to our military counterparts to put in a request in anticipation of any additional need for the community,” GMHA Hospital Nursing Supervisor Roseann Apuron said. “We have had a close pulse on COVID-19 supply chain delays. While there was no immediate shortage, GMHA teams forecasted the possibility of running into low supplies, and we didn’t want to wait until then. We reached out early enough so that we can ensure continuity of patient care.”

The request was initiated by GMHA on Nov. 6. Supplies from USNH Guam and Andersen Air Force Base were sourced, packaged and ready for transport to support Guam’s public hospital just two days later.

USNH Guam nurse Lt. Amyra Ramos was on duty Nov. 7 when she was received the request to prepare equipment and supplies.

“By the next day, we had our material management group come in and inspect those supplies and make sure that we provided the right amount,” she said. “It was a lot of communication. It was a little nerve-racking to make that call because I knew it would impact the hospital supply chain, but also at the same time, it was an important decision in order to support our island.”

36th Medical Group Tricare Operations and Patient Administration Flight Commander Capt. Jamion Lewis said there was no hesitation when they received the call Nov. 8.

“I think it’s no different than supporting our normal day-to-day ops, in our normal clinics or hospitals from the vantage point of like, that could be our family members, that could be my immediate family at GMH,” he said. “With the understanding that you’re supporting your patients, you’re supporting your family, and your friends, it’s too easy to make those decisions and I think that’s what enacted such a haste response – we got the call and we immediately supported with what we could.”

“GMHA is grateful for the collaboration and partnership that we have with our DoD (Department of Defense) counterparts,” Apuron said. “Everything makes a difference when resources are stretched thin, when staff who have been based in the pandemic are burning out. Just knowing and trusting that in the small island of Guam, we can reach out to our military counterparts who come from all over the world for that support each other in this fight we are all facing together.”

(JRM Release)