Not as many healthcare stabilization grant applications as expected

GEDA administrator Melanie Mendiola says so far the agency has received 20 applications.

A grant to help the island’s healthcare industry hasn’t done as much business as expected.

The Guam Economic Development Authority launched the Healthcare System Stabilization Grant last month.

The grant was created to help Guam’s healthcare industry cope with financial struggles resulting from the pandemic.

GEDA administrator Melanie Mendiola says so far the agency has received 20 applications.

About $450,000 has been approved to aid Tier 1 medical facilities.

And about $250,000 has been approved for Tier 2 facilities.

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Mendiola says they didn’t receive as many applicants as they expected.

She’s encouraging all qualifying healthcare facilities to take advantage of the program before time runs out.

“We had anticipated over 100 applicants for this particular grant program and thus far we received 20. And so we’re still really assessing..we really want to make sure that we’re doing the right thing and that we’re not missing the mark here. But at the same time, we do have a limited amount of time under this current program and a limited amount of resources. And so we do hope that clinics and providers move forward quickly and get their applications in,” Mendiola said.

Mendiola says GEDA is in an ongoing process of monitoring the program to evaluate its performance and outcomes.

She said GEDA is in a unique position to help the healthcare industry even though the agency typically doesn’t deal much with that specific field.

“You know GEDA spends a lot of time working with businesses in the networks the private sector. Kind of outside of healthcare. More so what’s going on kind of in tourism..what’s going on with our local main street types of businesses. Because this grant program…when the governor announced and we administered the program… I would say that we’re not the specialists in healthcare. And so they expressed..they certainly expressed business difficulty similar to other small businesses,” Mendiola said.

The deadline for applications is November 30th.