January 22, 2018


(Hagåtña) — For years, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority team has pleaded with the Legislature to properly fund the hospital’s mission to save lives.


Today, GMH Administrator PeterJohn Camacho addressed the critical state of GMHA’s accreditation status with the Joint Commission in a press conference held today alongside the hospital’s administration team of CFO Benita Manglona, Dr. Vincent Duenas, and Dr. Larry Lizama. They shared the following message: 


–       The root of all GMH’s issues, including accreditation, is funding.

–       We have an unfunded mandate to take care of everyone.

–       The Legislature has failed to fully fund GMH for 40 years.

–       If you want accreditation to continue, support GMH and provide us with a dedicated funding source. We will use this to appeal.


In front of GMHA’s condemned Z Wing, Camacho stated that the hospital’s accreditation status is in jeopardy of being revoked largely due to over 40 years of an unavailable stable financial source, underfunded federal mandates, and as the island’s only public hospital — the inability to turn away non-paying patients. The current technical status of the island’s hospital is “Preliminary Denial”, which is recommended when there is justification to revoke accreditation to a health care organization for significant non-compliance with Joint Commission standards.


“Obviously this is not a situation we want to be in. Accreditation is something we worked very hard for to obtain, and we’ve been working to maintain it,” Camacho stated. “And the reality is the hospital is not in the best position it can be in to meet Joint Commission standards. Many of these standards require resources that are regularly needed to ensure an environment where our staff can focus on the delivery of services in a manner that is consistent with accreditation standards. That is simply not happening.”


If the final determination is to revoke accreditation, Guam stands to lose its status as the region’s most trusted medical facility and the hospital’s reputation — particularly in the eyes of the industry and to physicians the hospital seeks to recruit in the future — will have been stained. GMHA fully intends to appeal the Joint Commission’s decision and work to address Joint Commission requirements for full accreditation.


Throughout his term, Governor Eddie B. Calvo has presented solutions to Legislators which identify an immediate dedicated funding source for GMHA. His latest attempt is a bi-partisan effort with Speaker BJ Cruz and Senator Dennis Rodriguez, Jr, in Bill 230-34. The Governor’s latest bill is scheduled for a Public Hearing on Monday, January 29, 2018.

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