1st official flag raising at new Naval Hospital - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

1st official flag raising at new Naval Hospital

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - It was an historic day after 60 years of operations the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam officially closed its doors on Easter Sunday, and just this morning ushered in a new era of Navy medicine in Guam.    

In our next story we provide you an exclusive look inside the new replacement hospital facility.

 "Today's a special day to raise the colors for the first time at the Naval Hospital," said Captain Jeff Plummer. After almost three and half years of construction, the new Naval Hospital Guam replacement facility is officially open for business.  Captain Plummer is Naval Hospital Guam's commanding officer, and said, "Navy medicine's priorities are readiness, value and jointness and so depending on where you are in the world the facility's designed to meet the priorities here in the heart of the Pacific readiness value jointness means having a state of the art hospital were the staff can train for the contingency mission while we're still delivering the care to the veterans and retirees and active duty members and their families that so richly deserve that."

The replacement hospital takes over operations of the old structure which had served the island's military's active duty, retiree and veteran population since 1954. Commander Patrick Fitzpatrick has been coordinating the transition to the new facility over the last two years. "We're all just very, very thrilled to be in here lots and lots of people worked very hard to bring this all together and its so wonderful to be standing here and open for business," he said.

The $160 million project includes 282,000 gross square feet, more than 40 inpatient beds, a six bed intensive care unit, four modern operating rooms, 2 c-section rooms, and other new and hi-tech features. "We've got we're working on a digital signage package so that wherever you are in the hospital you will be able to see our Naval Hospital branded information system. Added some capability here MRI for the first time. we used to send a lot of those out to town and so," he said. "Now we keep them we'll be able to keep those folks here and get the studies done. New computer systems new radiology reading systems lots and lots of new equipment over $38 million package of new furniture fixtures and equipment."

The replacement hospital also meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Standards. Fitzpatricl said, "We're doing recycling we're recycling rain water just the lights all automatically go off at night in case someone forgets to turn them out reflective services, sunshades and things like that should make it much more energy efficient."

For the hospital's commanding officer who has been in the Navy for almost thirty years, Captain Plummer  says their isn't a more satisfying way to command a hospital than to be part of such an important move such as this. "This 21st Century healthcare facility will help us enhance the patients experience like northing else and to raise the colors today, first day of operations is just a big deal for the staff, the patients and for Guam," he explained.

The completion and opening of the new replacement hospital was just Phase One. Phase Two of the project is the demolition of the old facility which will then become the parking lot that is expected to be completed early next year. The contractor for the new replacement hospital is Watts Webcor Obayashi Joint Venture.
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