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New Guam hospital will offer specialty services

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 by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - While we're still a few months away until the completion of the Guam Regional Medical City up in Dededo, the new hospital management are providing a glimpse of what kind of services island residents can expect.

Guam Regional Medical City chief operating officer Gloria Long says the new hospital aims to provide quality specialty services on island. "Our goal is to focus on providing care on Guam that people don't have to go off-island for," she explained.

And as completion of the new hospital draws near, here's a glimpse of what kind of specialty services the island can expect. "So for oncology, for example, there are oncologist here on Guam we are providing a pediatric oncologist for example, that service is not available on Guam so we're hoping to be able to offer services for our younger patients. We're also hoping to offer a comprehensive program in a single location that includes chemotherapy, includes your evaluation, but also has radiation oncology and radiation therapy," said Long.

She says IMRT Radiation Services will also be available.

Long adds while there will always be duplications between hospitals on certain services such as radiology to labs, GRMC intends to have its specialized doctors on full time.

"For example we have a neurologists who's willing to do inpatient care, there is a neurologist who doesn't do inpatient care on Guam, so those are the kind of things we're trying to say how we can help the people get an additional level of services that have not been available on Guam," she said.

And while GRMC will be bringing board certified physicians from all over the country, it also aims to hire local doctors as they become available. It was just last week when the Guam Memorial Hospital indicated its pathologist had resigned and accepted a position at GRMC. As for whether GRMC was intentionally recruiting employees from GMH, Long responds by saying, "Guam is too small to say you can't have these employees."

She adds GRMC has a tough time being competitive with wage and benefit programs offered by the government. In fact she says 8 to 10 nurses have declined positions because GRMC couldn't meet their pay standards. "So we have hired a few people, they had worked at GMH, they came to us for a different environment so that's what we offered them," she said.

She says in total GRMC has only hired 16 employees from GMH - 7 full-time and 9 part-time. And instead of competing, she says GRMC wants nothing more than to work closely with GMH. "GRMC can't exist if GMH doesn't exist we have to work together and if there's way we can share resources or information to help each other then I think that's what we're going to do Guam is too small for us not to share," she said.

While the qualifying certificate awaits final approval, it does requires that no more than 25% of GRMC's employees be from off island. GRMC is looking to hire 450 employees- 70 percent of which are already filled. 
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