Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. met with the Territorial Hospital Redevelopment Team for a status on the completion of the temporary hospital, Juan F. Luis North, on St. Croix.
Now in its final phase of construction with the mechanical building, it will house essential life and safety support functions crucial to the operation of the interim facility, according to a press release on Monday.
In preparation for the move, Juan F. Luis Hospital officials and the Territorial Hospital Redevelopment Team hosted the first tabletop exercise and debriefed the governor on its plans to execute the safe transfer of services efficiently, the release stated. The 600-page transition manual developed by hospital staff helped kick off the discussions.
The manual outlines every aspect of the switch, including guidelines on how to move patients, equipment, and other vital operations to JFL North, along with how other essential services will be maintained while the current facility is demolished and rebuilt, according to the release.
“Getting this facility opened is critical to maintaining the high level of care provided at JFL and is a top priority of our administration,” Bryan said. “I want to thank the JFL and THRT Team for their continued focus and commitment to getting this facility into operation. I am particularly pleased with the level of detail that has gone into the plans to transition an entire hospital in less than 48 hours while maintaining the safety of patients and staff.”
The THRT was established to facilitate the development of a fully integrated hospital system, ensure consistent standards and oversee all design and construction processes for restoring storm-damaged hospitals. It comprises more than 20 healthcare, engineering, procurement, and construction professionals, according to the release. In addition, the Redevelopment Team is meant to support the JFL North completion and transition and JFL, Roy L. Schneider Hospital, Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute, and the Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.
“This interim state-of-the-art medical building will serve as an accredited healthcare facility that will also enable the commencement of the demolition of the existing hospital structure, paving the way for the new Governor Juan F. Luis Hospital,” said Darryl A. Smalls, executive director of the Territorial Hospital Redevelopment Team. “With the recent acquisition of five acres of land to the rear of the building, we now have the flexibility to address parking, storage, and any other operational requisites.”
The team also discussed the plans for certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. JFL Chief Operating Officer Hazel Philbert explained that CMS would be kept abreast of all the pertinent timelines related to this project, including completing the mechanical build and the transition of patients to JFL North, the release stated. In addition, CMS will be notified of the transition and ultimately determine an undisclosed time to conduct a site visit survey, it said.
Lemartec expects to complete the mechanical building by August after the longest lead item, the fire suppression system, is received, with commissioning to follow immediately, according to the release.