GMH board says their last goodbyes - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GMH board says their last goodbyes

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by Nick Delgado

Guam - The outgoing members of Board of Trustees at the Guam Memorial Hospital think that Governor Eddie Calvo's decision to change out the board and management was totally without fact and without merit. The members during their final meeting Thursday evening expressed their dismay, saying there was no need for the governor to disgrace them with his message.

Acting board chairperson Lou Leon Guerrero says the decision has already instilled some fear in other hospital employees. She says, "When I walked in here and the guards came up to me and said hi Lou, and I said hi, and they said do we still have a job." Leon Guerrero says GMH administrator Peter John Camacho, deputy administrator Joe Mesa and chief financial officer Jane Flores were very disappointed because they felt that the hospital was moving in the right direction to become financially stable.

A major concern, members say, is the threat of the hospital losing its accreditation. Leon Guerrero says, "When the JCO people were here one of their concerns is the governor going to remove all of you guys, and we told him no because that was our understanding." She adds that the Joint Commission members emphasized having a consistent management team at GMH. She says that JCO was very impressed by the board's governance and the management team, and recognized the hospital is simply faced with a cash flow issue.

Dr. Teresa Damian Borja admitted that come March the hospital will have one more measure of success to complete and that they must score above 90%. Borja says to the administration, "The problem here is since your disrupting this organization, we're hoping that the staff and middle management will stay cohesive in the endeavors to pass." Board members feel this move is also having impacts on morale and is causing confusion for hospital staff.

Dr. Bevan Gemlani says he respects the governor's decision, "We tried our best and did what we felt we needed to do here." He adds that he will still be available to assist the new members.

Gloria Mortera also thanked the staff for supporting the board, " We hope one day those who think that we didn't do anything for the hospital will think otherwise because we are confident that we achieved, it's just that there were so many insurmountable problems along the way. "

The board said for now it will be middle management who they recommend should initially take the lead to help maintain accreditation. Leon Guerrero tells the incoming GMH board and management, "Get up to speed with the national standards of patient safety and quality, that's very key and make sure that they have money, make sure that the governor pays them; make sure that they get the cash that's needed to run the hospital."

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