V.I. Hospital Heads Report COVID-19 Receding

Chris Finch, second from the left, chaired Wednesday’s meeting of the Territorial Hospital Board. (Screenshot from WEBEX live stream of the Territorial Hospital Board meeting)

Douglas Koch, CEO of Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital, and Tina Comissiong, CEO of Schneider Regional Medical Center, reported to the Government Hospital and Health Facilities Corporation Territorial Board Wednesday that COVID-19 cases were dwindling.

Koch, who has been on the job for just a few weeks, said JFL was transiting to a more traditional role in the community. He said COVID-19 was becoming more like an endemic disease than a pandemic one. Flu is defined as an endemic disease.

Comissiong said Schneider’s drive-in testing site’s operating hours have been cut and will soon be eliminated. She said over 90 percent of the staff at Schneider had been fully vaccinated.

Both CEOs said their hospitals were suffering from staff shortages. Comissiong said the hospital was suffering in a period many were calling the “Great Resignation.”

Koch announced that Shenel Moorehead-Tutein, who had been the acting chief financial officer at JFL for four years was resigning. Koch and Comissiong both outlined strategies they have implemented to attract employees.

The board approved 13 physicians for continued or new medical privileges at one of the territory hospitals.

The board also approved the $1.3 million appropriated by the legislature for Schneider for technology projects to be used for Meditech expanse and an upgrade for Teknikor.

Other expenditures recommended by the Board’s Financial Committee and approved by the board were:

  • $256,845.75 to Clifton Lawson Allen to audit Schneider Regional.
  • $164,400 per year for three years, not to exceed $518,371 for a Carrier Maintenance Service Agreement for Schneider Regional HVAC Plant Systems.
  • $17,875 to Bates Trucking & Trash Removal to clear and remove trash from an acre at the JFL campus.
  • $13,030 to CARITECH Group for permitting services for JFL North Campus.

Board Chairman Chris Finch noted at the beginning of the meeting that it was his two-year anniversary as board chairman.