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HomeNewsArchivesSenate Health, Hospital and Human Services Committee gets update on JFLH

Senate Health, Hospital and Human Services Committee gets update on JFLH

This is an official news release from the 26th Legislature published verbatim as received from the Office of Public Affairs, relative to recent Senate activity.
Feb. 18, 2005 – The Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services, Chaired by Senator Usie R. Richards met Friday to discuss the overall status of the Juan F. Luis Hospital on the island of St. Croix.
The Hospital's Chief Financial Officer, Gregory Calliste provided the committee with a broad overview on the hospital's organizational structure, financial status, as well as future plans as it relates to the Virgin Islands Cardiac Center. The CEO informed senators that diligent work is being done to maintain the joint commission with the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and by adhering to the JCAHO standards. Calliste said meeting JCAHO standards, is the benchmark for good patient care in the United States. He further indicated that the main objective is to provide comprehensive healthcare to the residents of St. Croix and to minimize the number of residents who seek off island health care.
Senate President Lorraine Berry questioned the availability of funding to complete the Cardiac Center on St. Croix. Callsite said he would approach the governor and the legislature as well as seeking donations to assist with the completion of the cardiac center. Senator Norman Jn. Baptiste with the same line of questions told the hospital's CEO that the hospital ought to approach the Public Finance Authority and make a plea for some additional funding.
Under questioning by Senator Liston Davis, it was learned that the proposed cardiac lab on St. Thomas is to be used only for emergency cases and will only serve in that capacity.
On the matter of contractual nurses, Senator Richards along with Senator Neville James questioned the status as it relates to the number of nurses that are being used. According to Darice Plaskett, Chief Operating Officer for the hospital, the hospital has seen a decrease in the number of contractual nurses compared to the amount that was used last year and they now only have 50 nurses on contract, verses the 75 of 2004.
Under further scrutiny, it was determined that 25 of the nurses are currently working under the Government's Bargaining Contract, but have yet to receive their NOPAs. Senator Richards also expressed concerns with the current capacity of the JFLH, which was originally built to house 250 beds, but only 155 beds are currently being used.
The committee also learned that steps are being taken to remedy the crisis that residents encounter while at the emergency room. The CEO said a fast track method will be implemented within the next two months and emergency cases will be categorized in order to better expedite the emergency room care.

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