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Guam Regional Medical City holds grand opening

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For the first time in almost forty years, Guam has a new privately-owned hospital. The Guam Regional Medical City held its official grand opening today.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony marks the culmination of what hospital officials acknowledge has not been an easy ride, as construction delays and over-runs pushed the hospital's price tag from $200 million to more than $220 million. Dr. Alfredo Bengzon is president and CEO of the hospital's Manila-based parent company, The Medical City.  He said they knew going in it would not be without risk, telling KUAM News, "When we broke ground in November 2011 in Dededo, one of the indigenous people approached me and said, thank you for taking a chance on us. And it's our privilege and honor to build this facility.  A gift from the medical city and the Filipino people to the people of Guam."

Bengzon says GRMC is their largest project to date, and the first Filipino-owned hospital on United States soil. The Dededo facility was built to provide a fuller range of medical services, so local patients don't have to travel off-island for specialized care. Guam governor Eddie Calvo welcomed the opening saying the hospital is a dream come true for local families, and he thanked hospital CEO, Margaret Bengzon, in particular for getting the project done.

"This young lady, her tenacity, her intelligence, and her willingness and her commitment to go and make this project succeed," Calvo stated. "And I know there've been obstacles, but you've had that can-do attitude that there is no obstacle that cannot be overtaken, and pushed through. You've done it. Look at where we are today."

So for officials this was not a day to dwell on past challenges, it was a day to celebrate what some for years deemed to be an impossible dream.

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