Guam - The Guam Memorial Hospital has been waiting to receive word on accreditation it anticipates receiving, and the Department of Mental Health is trying to deal with a court order to provide minimum care to consumers before it can even begin considering obtaining accreditation.  But a success story has come to the forefront, coming from a vendor of the Government of Guam that provides services to Mental Health consumers. 

The Joint Commission wrapped up a survey of the Latte Treatment Center, conducting an exit briefing this afternoon.  A goal the organization made five years ago is proof that accreditation is possible.

While Mental Health is struggling to come into compliance with an amended permanent injunction, there's good news out of the mental health arena, as the Joint Commission on Health completed its on site visit of the Latte Treatment Center this afternoon, giving high marks recommending accreditation be given to the organization for its residential and day treatment services.

Joint Commission surveyor Dennis Marcinko says he was pleasantly surprised at how well latte did during the survey, telling KUAM News, "They did exceptionally well in a number of areas.  First of all, they are well staffed and appropriately trained and very competent people working there.  I might add I say that recognizing that many of the clients they serve are very difficult clients."

Latte is contracted by the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to provide residential and day treatment services at an adult residential group home in Yigo and a therapeutic group home for kids in Tamuning.  Latte's administrator, Eddy Reyes, said, "Today is a win for all of Guam's social services...Guam can reach the highest standards. This was accomplished with the long proven standards of the Joint Commission, technical expertise and good ole fashioned hard work in the trenches."

Today's news is a major milestone that shows the services being provided by Latte at the residential treatment centers is quality care that meets national standards. The organization made accreditation a goal five years ago and has chipped away at making that a reality.

Marcinko says of the more than 300 standards the Joint Commission reviews during inspections, latte was only cited for seven standards that mostly dealt with the physical environment of the two homes that could easily be addressed.  He stressed that the services being provided are quality, saying, "They are not amateurs. These are folks who have had a variety of experiences in the behavioral health arena and the clinical documentation was superb. I would not have expected to find that in a first survey or in an organization that has made their initial effort. So my hat goes off around that."

Marcinko says he sees no reason why latte won't receive a three-year accreditation. In the next 24 hours, Marcinko will submit his findings and within the next 7-10 days the Accreditation Commission will review the findings to make the ultimate decision on Latte's application.