Sagan Hinemlo’: from Vision to Action
Hagåtña, Guam – Governor Lou Leon Guerrero met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) at the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) today, picking up from discussions they had during their meeting in Hawaii on August 3, 2021. The USACE team included USACE Commander Lt. Col. Eric Marshall, Civil and Public Works Chief Rhiannon Kucharski, and Interagency and International Services (IIS) and Medical Program Manager Don Schlack. In the coming days, Governor Leon Guerrero will formally submit a letter of engagement to USACE to assist with planning and oversight assistance with her vision for a Medical Center of Excellence, which she coined Sagan Hinemlo’, a place of healing.
“We are grateful to Lt. Col. Marshall and his team for their time and commitment to this project, providing valuable insight and expertise we need to construct a Medical Center of Excellence for today and beyond,” said Governor Leon Guerrero. “I look forward to our formal engagement with USACE in executing a charette to bring together all our key stakeholders as we map out the future stages of our hospital plan.”
“It has been a pleasure to continue our work alongside the USACE team. Their assessments of the Guam Memorial Hospital prior to COVID-19 were pivotal in our Administration’s decision to construct a new public hospital, ultimately inspiring the creation of an all-encompassing medical campus that possesses the full capability of meeting the health needs of our people,” added Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio.
“We’re here today because of the relationships we’ve established years ago,” said Lt. Col Marshall during the meeting. “The Corps is really good at planning… We can pull from a center of expertise in the Corps. So the Corps is a 35,000 person agency in the federal government. We have the Research and Development Center in Pittsburgh, in Huntsville, we have our Center of Expertise for Medical Facilities, and we are also embedded with the other components of the federal government like the Veterans Affairs.”
Governor Leon Guerrero was joined by Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio, GMH Administrator Lillian Posadas and hospital leadership, Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) Director Art San Agustin, Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC) Director Therese Arriola, Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Vince Arriola, Department of Land Management (DLM) Director Joe Borja, Guam Veterans Affairs Office (GVAO) Director Tim Aguon, Community Defense Liaison Office (CDLO) Director Vera Topasna, and Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Advisor Jack Hattig.
At Governor Leon Guerrero’s request, in 2019, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the USACE conducted an onsite facilities infrastructure assessment of GMH. The assessment concluded that the current infrastructure of the GMH facility is in an overall state of failure due to age, environmental exposure, lack of financial resources to support pre-planned capital infrastructure replacements, and lack of previous facilities design adherence to building codes. Extensive repair and/or replacement of all GMH facility sections are required to ensure renewed compliance with hospital accreditation standards and to protect the life, health, and safety of staff, patients, and visitors.
The USACE team was invited to Guam by the Guam Bureau of Statistics and Planning (BSP) to present at BSP’s Sixth Annual Assembly of Planners Symposium on Wednesday, August 18, 2021.
To view the meeting in its entirety, visit https://youtu.be/yXJ5OnMFi8w.