Guam - Some good news coming out of the Guam Memorial Hospital, as officials have received word that Guam's only civilian hospital has received full accreditation from the Joint Commission. Nursing supervisor Jo Josephine Eustaquio has been working at the Guam Memorial Hospital for the past 23 years.

With recent news that GMH has received accreditation from the Joint Commission, Eustaquio says she's elated simply because the staff worked so hard to obtain it.   "It's a good feeling to know that we've accomplished this," she beamed.  "We've always wanted to do this, but like I said, leadership helped us out and gave us the time; put us out of the clinical area to do a lot of the policies and the programs in order to meet the standards of nursing." 

RN Unit supervisor for the operating room Lester Whitley says accreditation proves that the hospital meets the same standards as other hospitals in the United States.  "For us, we always wanted to provide the best care no matter who they are. The Joint Commission says we are doing the best we can do. A lot of times, patients are afraid to go into surgery, but sometimes when you have something behind your name, they say, 'OK, I feel more comfortable. I feel more relaxed and I'm getting the best care I can get'," he said.

GMH hasn't been accredited for almost three decades. Administrators were notified over the weekend about the good news. Hospital administrator Peter John Camacho said, "We like to just let everybody know that it was our late chairman, Dan Webb, who truly pushed us to that point when he said, 'You gotta believe in yourself. I know you can do it. The trustees know you can do it and you just got to do it.' We took that big leap off the cliff and I'm happy to say we landed right side up."

Camacho says the Commission has the ability to shorten or lengthen the duration of the cycle. The decision was based on an on-site survey, which evaluated compliance with national patient safety goals and quality and safety standards. Accreditation is valid for three years and excludes the GMH Skilled Nursing Unit.

In the meantime, president of the medical staff Dr. Vincent Duenas recognizes all the employees at GMH, saying, "The entire GMH community is to be congratulated. I would like to personally thank you for your steadfast and dedicated effort in this momentous achievement. I would like to also thank you for your active participation in this process. It has not been easy. We've had disagreements. What I liked about this group is that we worked to a level of unity."

The accreditation commission will be back on Guam in 18 months.