VIDEO: GMH Cuts the Ribbon on $7.5M ER Expansion

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Guam -The Ribbon was cut this morning for Guam Memorial Hospital’s newly contructed Emergency Department & Critical Care Unit/Intensive Care Unit. 

The $7.5 million dollar project expanded the existing emergency department to 15,000 sq. ft. and the CCU/ICU about 7,900 st. ft, making both units approximately three times larger. The project also adds an additional 6 beds to the CCU-ICU raising the total number of beds to 14 beds, including two isolation rooms. Each room has been nearly doubled in size from 120 square feet to 200 square feet.

CEO and Hospital Administrator Joseph Verga is excited about the change and said from all his years, he has never seen a nicer, more modern, state of the art facility. 

“I have just arrived in Guam a little over a year ago when we planned the Capital Improvement Project and much has been accomplished by GMH since that time. We still work to do and improvements to make but I’m very proud of the dedicated professionals and staff at GMH. They work very hard and they’re dedicated and have passion for what they do,” said Verga. 

Verga said more staff will be needed at GMH because there are more areas to cover and more patients to be expected. 

Chairman of Committee on Health & Human Services Senator Dennis Rodriguez Jr. said, “It’s known that the hospital has challenges. You heard from the Governor…and I want to reaffirm the commitment to our nurses, doctors and people of Guam that our legislature will do our part to ensure that beyond this beautiful facility, there are resources provided to you to ensure services provided are the best tools for doctors and nurses here.”

A release from Adelup calls the project significant for the Governor himself because when he was a Senator it was his bill that eventually became law [P.L. 29-19, later amended by P.L. 29-52] that provided the means for the expansion.  

The release quotes the Governor as saying “the completion of this major expansion means people will be seen by a doctor quicker; families of patients will be more comfortable; and patients will receive a higher quality of medical care.”

Governor Calvo adds, “It’s an important time now for all of us. It’s a collaboration with our elective leaders and different branches of government working collaboratively with our management team and the board, coming together to build this new facility here and we’re committed to doing more.” 

Only the first phase of renovations to the Emergency Room has been completed. GMH will start using the new CCU/ICU this Saturday and ED a week later after staff training and final inspections. The final phases of the project, which include renovating the old Emergency Room and adding a pharmacy, won’t be completed until April of next year. 

READ the release from the Governor’s Office below:

“The patients who use the ICU or the ER at GMH need quality medical care immediately.  The completion of this major expansion means people will be seen by a doctor quicker; families of patients will be more comfortable; and patients will receive a higher quality of medical care.  Our administration will keep pushing for projects like these because they save lives—and that’s the greatest mission of our island’s public hospital.”
– Governor Eddie Baza Calvo

More patients treated at GMHA thanks to $7.5 million in expansion
You will see improvements in healthcare at the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority with bigger, nicer, and modern facilities.  This morning, Governor Eddie Baza Calvo officially opened the new Critical Care and Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department.  These important units of the hospital were expanded and renovated over the past year. Because of the improvements, GMHA can continue its mission to provide safe, quality patient care, smoother and more effective patient flow, enhanced patient privacy and confidentiality, and more-accommodating family waiting areas.

The final phases of this $7.5 million project are scheduled to be completed in mid-2014.

ICU rooms now bigger, family waiting room added
Just last fiscal year, GMHA served 384 CCU-ICU patients with only eight beds in the unit. More patients can now be seen after this major improvement.  This recent project expanded the CCU-ICU unit to 14 beds, including two isolation rooms. Each room nearly doubled in size from 120 square feet to 200 sq. ft.

There are also several new features and amenities in the expanded CCU-ICU.  The space now has:

  • Utility rooms for clean and soiled outpatient supplies
  • Multipurpose conference room
  • Family waiting room
  • Nourishment and medication rooms
  • Rooms for the Medical Director and charge nurses
  • Medical staff lounge, and
  • Medical supplies and equipment storage rooms.

Major improvements to the emergency room

The first phase of renovations to the Emergency Room has also been completed.  GMH processes approximately 30,000 outpatient visits per year in this facility.  The new ER now has:

  • Two state-of-the-art trauma rooms
  • Two multipurpose isolation rooms
  • Twelve state-of-the-art monitored examination stations
  • Two non-monitored examination stations
  • A multi-purpose exam room
  • A multipurpose suture/cast room
  • A satellite laboratory room
  • A small internal decontamination system
  • A large, external permanent decontamination system, and
  • An upgraded waiting, triage, registration, utility, storage and office areas.

The old emergency room remained open during the first phase of the expansion.  This area will now be closed to complete the second phase of the hospital’s Emergency Department renovation/expansion project.

ICU rooms now bigger, family waiting room added
Just last fiscal year, GMHA served 384 CCU-ICU patients with only eight beds in the unit. More patients can now be seen after this major improvement.  This recent project expanded the CCU-ICU unit to 14 beds, including two isolation rooms. Each room nearly doubled in size from 120 square feet to 200 sq. ft.