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Doctor talks about importance of GMH volunteers

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Guam Memorial Hospital medical director Dr. Larry Lizama has been practicing at GMH for close to 30 years. "The donations from the GMH Volunteers Association have really been significant," he shared.

Over the last half century the GMHVA has donated millions of dollars of medical equipment - big and small - to help the hospital fulfill its mission. "One thing that came to mind is equipment that has do to with kidney stones. Equipment that disintegrates kidney stones so that it can pass through the urine and that was big donation from the Volunteers Association," he said.

Other donations include a mammography unit to detect breast cancer, cardiac and fetal monitors, ventilators, defibrillators, cardiac rehabilitative equipment, beds , an echocardiogram machine, sleeper recliners and the list goes on and on. "They've also donated transportation that would allow us outside facilities such as the Skilled Nursing Facility, so they provide a car for us to allow for our pharmacy to deliver medications to the Skilled Nursing Unit," Lizama added.

Currently the Association is working closely with the hospital's Telemetry/Progressive Care Unit. According to supervisor registered nurse Liezl Concepcion, they are one of the highest units in demand, saying, "It's been amazing working with them it's been almost a year now because of this renovation that they're trying to do for our unit. They want to come up with almost $150,000 worth of renovation for our unit."

Already the GMHVA has installed overhead lighting and televisions complete with cable in all of the unit's rooms, plans are also in the works to retile the floors. "And recently they just also donated almost $20,000 for us also for going off island because our unit is often a lot of times we escort patients for off island an average two or three patients that we send off-island for cardiac evaluations for other medical needs that the patient needs that we can't provide at the hospital," he added.

According to Dr. Lizama the Volunteers Association is more than just a partnership with GMH, but rather, they're family. He said, "They support us and our patients in making sure that they have an environment that can provide some support for our patients in need and also kind of cheers up the patients that at times begin in the hospital. They may not be able to have the visitors and the laughter that they bring to the wards with their greetings and their snack carts and so forth.

"They really have been a great part of our organization."

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