After recently attended physician job fairs in Philadelphia and Las Vegas, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Raymond Cintron reported to the St. Croix District Governing Board of the Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital on Wednesday on recent staff recruiting efforts.
“It is not just our problem; it is a problem everywhere,” he said about recruiting physicians.
But ongoing efforts appear to be bearing fruit. A vascular surgeon was on island and scheduled Thursday to be interviewed for a possible position, and Dr. Carlos Sanchez is coming on board at the hospital Friday as an anesthesiologist.
A new physician’s aid will be coming to the hospital in November. A psychiatrist is on tap for an interview soon. Also the hospital will be interviewing in the near future a candidate as an emergency room physician.
Richard Evangelista, acting chief executive officer, touched upon a possible solution to not having a psychiatrist at the hospital during his report to the board.
He said the Health Services Advisory Group has facilitated an assessment of a pilot Telehealth program. This program would allow a patient to be counseled by a psychiatrist from a different island and different hospital.
Evangelista reported that 16 people had been hired at the hospital in October and nine had left employment there.
Cintron said having adequate staff at the hospital would have “a domino effect,” improving overall quality of care through the hospital. Evangelista and Cintron both emphasized that funding difficulties limited recruitment efforts and the hospital had to prioritize hiring in certain areas.
The board approved the reappointment of the following doctors for medical staff privileges for two years – Jennifer St. Croix, Jessie Pelletier, Kevin Stewart, Joseph Capriotti, Anthony Ricketts, Marc Abramson and Jetinder Singh-Marjara. Dr. Sukminder Bhangoo was approved for one year.
Jeanine Carbon-Thomas, certified nurse midwife, was approved for clinical privileges in the Department of OB-GYN for two years.
The board heard in executive session a presentation by officers of the Territorial Medical Malpractice and Risk Unit.
The next board meeting is set for Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. The location has not been announced.