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JFL Board Approve Salaries

Chief Medical Officer Mavis Matthew discusses renovations to the mental health area with Justa Encarnacion, chief nursing officer at JFL.The governing board of the Gov. Juan Luis Hospital approved several salaries of more than $100,000 during a special meeting Wednesday.

The board also discussed a settlement agreement and legal issues in executive session and toured the renovation in progress of the mental health holding area.

Although no one has been selected for the job yet, Kimberly Jones, Human resources chairwoman, said the board approved a contract with a salary of $105,000 for a chief of human resources.

The board also approved a $208,000 contract for Dr. Fred Wakil, emergency medicine. Surgeon Dr. William Ross will be paid $150,000 a year.

Also approved by the board were medical staff privileges renewed for two years for Dr. Lloyd Henry, surgery, and Dr. Angelo Galiber in radiology.

After an executive session, board member Troy deChabert Schuster made a motion to deny a settlement agreement between JFL and Medical Imaging. Dr. Anthony Ricketts, board chair, later said the board requested more background information from Dr. Kendall Griffith, chief executive officer, before making a decision regarding a reported $9 million claim. The board also requested a legal review of the contract by Richard Evangelista, JFL general counsel, according to Schuster’s motion.

“We’re waiting for the exec to bring more info,” Ricketts said.

In 2012, the St. Croix hospital closed the island’s only mental health unit and has not reopened it since, citing objections from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the lack of funding.

According to Ken Okolo, JFL chief operating officer, the three rooms for mental health patients will be ready in two weeks. But it will take about two months to hire staff and buy supplies for the holding area, according to Justa Encarnacion, chief nursing officer.

The three room, office and nurses station, bath and possible seclusion room were built by in-house maintenance and cost around $87,000 for a $500,000 job, according to Okolo and Griffith.

National regulations and the JFL hospital safety consultant helped with design to keep patients and staff safe, Encarnacion said.

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