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Friday, April 18, 2014

Taisacan named permanent Rota Health Center chief

The Rota Health Center has a new resident director with the recent appointment of Sydie P. Taisacan, according to Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Juan N. Babauta.

Taisacan has been an employee at the center for many years and replaces Edward Maratita at the position.

Maratita’s contract was recently not renewed, along with his then-counterpart at the Tinian Health Center, former director Freddy Hofschneider.

Babauta said Monday that he recently visited the Rota Health Center where he, along with Emergency Preparedness director Warren Villagomez and corporation board vice chair Pete dela Cruz, received a comprehensive presentation from Taisacan, highlighting the current condition of the facility.

Among the issues Taisacan raised with corporation officials is the center’s possible acquisition of its own hemodialysis machine so that Rota dialysis patients would not have to go to the Commonwealth Health Center on Saipan, which results in significant expenses.

In fact, Babauta said, the Rota Health Center has already identified a site for the proposed dialysis room that will accommodate four hemodialysis machines.

This early, Babauta said the proposal is not feasible since the corporation lacks money. According to him, opening a hemodialysis room at the Rota center will cost the corporation $1.5 million to $2 million in yearly expenses. The expenditure covers the nonstop air-conditioned room, regular maintenance by technicians, and the constant monitoring and oversight of a nephrologist every week. The four hemodialysis machines, Babauta said, are not included in the projected expenditures because CHCC has machines that could be transferred to Rota.

Babauta said the corporation has to first identify the funds that will be used so that if they decide to go ahead with it, services will not be disrupted.

Taisacan also highlighted in her presentation the lack of a pharmacist at the center and asked for a periodic visit by a dentist and psychiatrist—services that are not currently being provided to Rota residents.

Corporation officials, along with Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola, were also briefed by Taisacan about the current condition of many of the center’s equipment, most of which need to be replaced or repaired. Among these is the center’s lone X-ray machine, the need for a new digital machine and cassette film holder for the radiology unit, the out-of-order elevator, the non-functioning fire alarm system, a defective medical oxygen generator and emergency generator, among others.

Despite these concerns and challenges, Babauta said the Rota facility is still fortunate to have two full-time physicians: Drs. Francois Claassens and James Toskas.

Babauta told Saipan Tribune that the corporation is now working on having these defective equipment repaired.

The Rota Health Center has 43 staffers, including the two physicians, three registered nurses, four licensed practical nurses, and six nursing assistants.

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