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Outgoing GMH board members meet

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - Instead of preparing for next month's evaluation regarding maintaining the hospital's accreditation, during last night's Guam Memorial Hospital board of trustees meeting, members were left saying their final goodbyes. This after receiving word just hours before the meeting was scheduled to start that they'd been replaced.

"Come March, we have one more measure of success to complete and if we don't score above 90 percent and it will jeopardize what we're doing that's on our part," said Dr. Teresa Damian Borja. Outgoing board members like Borja said the new board and management at the hospital will have their work cut out for them. She added, "We're hoping that the staff and middle management will still say cohesive in that endeavor to pass this last measure of success in March."  

Accreditation was no easy feat, and despite Governor Eddie Calvo's statements in his special address Wednesday evening criticizing the hospital's leadership impeding progress, during Thursday's night's board meeting they made sure they're message got out that they took offense to his statements and not to mention they had to find out through the media.

"I think to say that we are incompetent, uncaring, unprofessional is just a totally a wrong characterization of the board and the management," said Lou Leon Guerrero. The now-former acting GMH board chair and former senator added that the governor's decision could have an impact on the hospital's accreditation.

Said Borja, "I think it would add concern definitely because when the joint commission people were here. One of their concerns was is the governor going to remove all of you guys, we said no because that was our understanding, and of course they emphasized a consistent management team."

Bottom line, Leon Guerrero maintained the problems at GMH were not because of its leaders but rather cash flow, a lesson she says the new management team will quickly learn. "They will see exactly what we are saying when they do come in," she said.

And as they start their first day today, outgoing member Dr. Bevan Geslani said last night despite being replaced he's still willing to work to better GMH. "We just like to be available to the new team if they want to find out what we have done so far," he said.

As for Gloria Mortera, who has served on the board for a decade, she thanked all the staff and management at GMH from top to bottom for a job well done through the years, no matter what some may say. "We are confident that we achieved what we're supposed to achieve its just that there were so many insurmountable problems along the way. So thank you very much all of you," she said.

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