JFL Officials Meet With Governor Bryan To Discuss Modular Hospital Progress
CHRISTIANSTED — Acting JFL Chief Executive Officer Dyma Williams and staff met with Governor Albert Bryan, Jr. and members of his executive team on Wednesday to discuss successes and ongoing challenges at the Juan F. Luis Hospital & Medical Center.
Key to the discussion was JFL’s compromised infrastructure and repairs; progress towards completion of the temporary modular hospital adjacent to the Virgin Island Cardiac Center (VICC); and the 100 percent Medicaid match that expires in September of 2019.
Work on the physical structure of the modular hospital is progressing, 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 (FFE) required for a turnkey hospital solution.
The delays have pushed the projected opening date for the temporary modular hospital back to May 2020. Since late last year, the current administration of the hospital has been working diligently to secure the necessary furnishings and medical equipment for the modular hospital.
JFL has requested Governor Bryan’s assistance in using the territory’s resources to expedite this process. Bryan expressed his support for the hospital’s request.
“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 that his administration is actively lobbying to address the critical 100 percent Medicaid funding for the territory, which expires September 2019.
But not every reader of the Virgin Islands Free Press is impressed with Williams’ and Bryan’s efforts regarding St. Croix’s only hospital.
“Stop the lying. Your INCOMPETENT ACTING CEO is lying,” Jx Any wrote in the V.I. Free Press. “TRYING TO blame the previous administration is a lame excuse. This is 100% the fault of of the incompetent idiots that are in charge of that hospital.”
“Only in St. Croix could this kind of idiocy take place. The Governor needs to appoint qualified board members who will serve the people instead of their own interests. Ultimately this is the fault of the Governor who has FAILED to do his job by appointing competent board members. Slooooooow Albert needs to get his act together. This is truly a life or death matter. This is not Public Works. Lives are at stake.”
Due to the delays in getting the modular hospital online, it has become increasingly necessary to execute temporary repairs on the existing hospital to enhance the quality of the patient and employee experience, Williams said.
With the support of the Bryan administration, “JFL intends to use Public Finance Authority funds allocated by the Legislature for capital improvements to complete the necessary repairs,” she said.
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.”