Press Update: March 29, 2011
Hafa Adai, my fellow Guamanians.
You deserve the best, and nothing but. No excuses.
The most obvious need for improvement is with our federal issues. While planning this military buildup, the Department of Defense made some missteps. Since coming into office, however, our military partners have shown they want to make it work.
In fact, I think the military has made a good faith effort to hear out our concerns, and meet us halfway, given outright concessions as well. And there are good reasons for that.
There is a big military community on Guam. They are a part of our island family. They are all heroes—our loved ones in the National Guard, Navy, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Marines. They make selfless sacrifices every day to keep Guam and our nation safe.
I want to make it clear: our individual friends and family in the military are not part of the federal establishment that gives us problems. When I talk about the sins of the past and present, like denying war reparations, or trying to make our government buy Fena, or trying to force federal representation on the Consolidated Commission on Utilities, or failing to pay the true cost of Compact-Impact, or denying our attempts to include China and Russia in our visa-waiver program, I am not speaking to the sons and daughters who fight and protect under our flag. I am talking to the establishment in Washington D.C. that continues to treat us like second-class citizens.
My dear people, we cannot blame the sins of an empire on those who protect us.
I have wonderful relationships with all the Commanding Officers on Guam. I’ve seen them—really seen who they are as people. They are Guamanians and Americans, through and through. They all want to see what is best for the common good. They know, what is good for us outside the fence, is good for them inside the fence.
That’s why you hear so many stories of people in the Navy, or the Air Force, or the Marines, or the Coast Guard cleaning up our schools, or visiting our students, or beautifying our villages.
Their good faith efforts always seem to get overshadowed by some bad decisions made in Washington D.C. I don’t want our brave U.S. servicemen and -women and Guam’s sons and daughters in the military to be blamed for the actions of the federal establishment.
I truly love and respect our servicemembers. I love and respect what they stand for: justice, freedom, and truth. That’s the higher standard I will hold the federal establishment to—the three tenants our military defend.
But it would be hypocritical to hold Washington D.C. to this higher standard without holding our government to it as well.
As your Governor, I am committed to, and I expect nothing less than excellence, especially at our hospital. GMH should be excellent from the top down. I’m committed to excellence in patient safety, and I am committed to excellence in patient care.
Since the new management team has been in place, we’ve made the journey toward this goal. They have already found a lot of gaps in services, a lot of leaks in finances, and a lot of room for improvement.
Most disturbing to me, are the things we found that shouldn’t be, the questionable practices, the many events under investigation.
My fellow Guamanians, we have many good doctors, nurses, and health professionals. They work long hours; they make due with stretched resources. I will continue to support them.
Nevertheless, I cannot say with a clear conscience that all is well. It may be a cliché, but it does come to mind, “One bad apple spoils the bunch.”
I have said it before, and I will keep saying it: I will not accept any deviance from best practices. I will not tolerate anyone who endangers the lives of Guamanians.
This is why I used my Organic authority to empanel the hospital’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Lizama, the Medical Director who found the gaps in service accountability, needs a board in place in order to take action and make needed changes. I could not allow another day to go by as patient care was in question, and the new management team was waiting for this board to implement solutions.
You will see a change for the better at GMH. Mark my words.
Thank you, and Si Yu’os Ma’ase.
**Video file will be delivered to PNC, KUAM and PBS today. It is available upon request.