Meaning Behind Our Name
After World War II, care of the civilian population was taken over by the U.S. Navy and temporary hospitals were established in the villages of Agat and Anigua. A few years later, the civilian and military wards were moved to Butler Buildings in Tamuning. The civilian ward was renamed to the “Guam Memorial Hospital” in honor of the Chamorros who suffered for their support of the United States during the war.
A U.S. Territory
Following the passage of the Organic Act which established Guam as a U.S. territory, the newly formed Government of Guam assumed administration and operation of the Guam Memorial Hospital.
Guam Memorial Hospital was constructed with reinforced concrete at Oka Point, Tamuning and donated to the Government of Guam’s Department of Public Health and Welfare. This was a 230-bed accredited hospital which offered acute, psychiatric and long-term care services. The hospital was primarily constructed to house a nursing school and tuberculosis patients of the 1950s.
The Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association (GMHVA) was established as a nonprofit organization for charitable purposes and to work in partnership with the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority in rendering voluntary services to hospital patients, families, and visitors; and to engage in fundraising activities, grants, donations, and bequests to help improve quality healthcare at the GMH. They are now commonly referred to as the “Pink Ladies.”
The Guam Memorial Hospital Authority was created as a public corporation and has since been operating as a governmental, nonprofit institution serving the people of Guam under the governance of a nine-member Board of Trustees.
The local and federal government’s plan to replace the rapidly deteriorating Guam Memorial Hospital facility began to take root. The U.S. Department of Interior purchased and transferred a nearby hospital called the Medical Center of Marianas to the Government of Guam, and was renamed the Guam Memorial Hospital.
The Guam Memorial Hospital completed the first phase of its capital improvement program to include a new Hemodialysis Unit; an expanded kitchen for preparing in-patient meals; new maintenance shops; as well as procurement offices and a warehouse for hospital supplies.
Skilled Nursing Facility
GMH has added a variety of services to their operation: adult and pediatric medical services; in-patient and out-patient surgery; intensive care (neonatal, pediatric, and adult); skilled nursing care; laboratory and comprehensive blood bank services; radiology, nuclear medicine and CT scan diagnostic services; pharmacy; respiratory care; renal dialysis; physical, occupational, speech language pathology and recreational therapy; dietetic services and 24 hour emergency services. Public and patient education, social services, and pastoral care services were offered. The Guam Memorial Hospital Authority also completed the construction of its Skilled Nursing Facility in Barrigada Heights, with a capacity of 60 long-term care beds. The Skilled Nursing Unit moved to its new facility at 30 beds in 1999.
GMH has been growing with new services being introduced including: Cath lab services; cardiology; thallium stress imaging; transesophageal echocardiography; a state-of-the-art Cardiac Angiography suite; a “rooming-in” program where all well newborns were able to go directly to the mother’s room to allow for immediate bonding; tele-medicine became available to consult with specialists off-island; Orthopedic Program expanded to include elective hip and knee joint replacements.
GMHA was certified by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Blood Bank was still accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), and the mammography machine was still certified by American College of Radiology. Cardiac rehabilitation service was added for patients with pre-op and post-op care in both in-patient and out-patient settings. This aims to provide both preventative and wellness programs and encompasses all phases of acute cardiac rehabilitation. Radiology Department is almost complete in its transformation to a film-less department. All images, including CT, ultrasound, angiography, and echocardiography may be transmitted immediately to any major healthcare institution in Hawaii or the mainland. Orthopedic Program expanded to include shoulder replacements.
Open heart surgeries were performed at the Guam Memorial Hospital for the first time by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Noel Concepcion, and his team from California.
St. Luke’s Medical Center
On August 21, 2014, an MOU was signed with St. Luke’s Medical Center, which allowed referrals of patients and exchange of medical specialists.
Capital Improvement Projects
- Urgent Care Unit Renovation and Start Up Project
- Medical Telemetry Room Upgrade
- Hospital Vertical Elevators Modernization Project
- Telemetry and Pediatric Patient Monitoring System Upgrade
- Design-Build Hospital Rooftop Solar Photovoltaics (PV) System
- Remove/Replace OB Ward, L&D, and Nursery Nurse Call/Code 72 System
- New 64-Slice CT Scanners Remove/Replace Upgrade
- Main Lobby & Rehabilitative Services HVAC AHU Remove/Replace Project
- Energy Efficient Hospital Perimeter and Parking Lot Lighting Project
The global coronavirus arrived on Guam. Governor Lou Leon Guerrero designated the Guam Memorial Hospital as the island’s COVID hospital to assess and treat COVID-19 patients. The Skilled Nursing Unit was designated as a COVID Isolation Facility. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued its report after inspection of GMH for structural integrity and to estimate costs associated with repair or replacement with a new building.