The man behind the great leadership that approved the creation of a community public hospital on island will be honored by the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and its employees in recognition of his valuable contribution to healthcare delivery in the Commonwealth.
Corporation CEO Juan N. Babauta disclosed to Saipan Tribune that Fr. Jose G. Villagomez, the former chairman of the Commonwealth Health Coordinating Council between 1980 to 1986, will fly from Guam to receive the commendation next month.
Villagomez is a well-respected Chamorro Capuchin priest ordained in 1974 and has respectably served the CNMI and Guam for over 30 years. He is now serving the people of Guam at the Saint Francis of Assisi Parish in Yona, Guam.
It was in February 1980 when Villagomez was elected chairman of the council, at the time made up of 16 members.
Babauta, who then served as the executive director of the council, told Saipan Tribune that the former chairman will be recognized for his dedication, hard work, commitment, and more importantly, his leadership at the council.
“He rallied our leaders regardless of their political affiliations, regardless of how they viewed the future of healthcare delivery system in the CNMI, to come together and agree on building this public hospital. I still feel today that if it were not for his leadership, the debate if we should have this hospital or not will still continue to this day,” Babauta said, adding that Villagomez played an important role in the realization of the first public hospital for the CNMI.
Babauta said that Villagomez completed his work without asking for any recognition. Twenty-five years later, remembering the former chairman's hard work is still worthy of recognition, Babauta said.
The Commonwealth Health Center was built in 1985.