Dyma B. Williams, acting chief executive officer of the Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital, and her staff told Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and members of his executive team Wednesday that the projected opening date of the modular replacement for the hurricane-damaged hospital may have to be pushed back to May 2020.
Work on the physical structure of the modular hospital to take the place of the facility is progressing, according to a news release from the hospital. However, the scheduled opening of the facility is facing potential delays caused by the prior hospital administration’s failure to ensure the procurement of furnishings, fixtures and medical equipment.
The current administration of the hospital has been working since late 2018 to secure the needed furnishings and equipment for the modular hospital.
JFL has requested Bryan’s assistance in utilizing the territory’s resources to expedite this process. Bryan expressed his support for the hospital’s request, the news release said.
“We have to move to secure the best healthcare access we can as quickly as we can,” Bryan said. “We recognize the importance and value of supporting access to healthcare for all Virgin Islanders. We support ACEO Williams in stabilizing the infrastructure of the hospital and completing these projects as soon as possible.”
Bryan also said his administration is lobbying to address the 100 percent Medicaid funding for the territory, which expires in September. Members of his administration were in Washington D.C. Thursday testifying before Congress for the Medicaid funding.
Due to the delays in getting the modular hospital online, JFL staff has executed temporary repairs on the existing hospital to enhance the quality of the patient and employee experience. With the support of the Bryan Administration, JFL intends to utilize Public Finance Authority funds allocated by the Legislature for capital improvements to complete the necessary repairs. These repairs include the temporary repairs or replacement of air handlers damaged in the storm, repairs to the air handler room and the electrical motor control room, which were deferred initially in anticipation of the demolition of the hospital.
“The continued collaboration and support of the administration is essential to the success of the hospital during this extended recovery period,” Williams said. “We are working diligently to ensure that our current facility meets the healthcare needs of our community, until we transfer to the temporary modular hospital.”