Corporation buys 27 new chairs for dialysis patients

»New center can now operate at full capacity
Hospital administrator Karen Buettner assists Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. CEO Juan N. Babauta try out the new chairs at the dialysis unit yesterday. (Moneth G. Deposa)

The Commonwealth Health Center yesterday took delivery of 27 brand new chairs for hemodialysis patients that will finally allow the new hemodialysis center to operate at full capacity.

Corporation CEO Juan N. Babauta and board member Roy Rios led hospital officials in receiving the shipment of the new equipment that were all procured using hospital revenues amounting to $75,112.

The especially designed chairs are equipped with trendelenberg with side table, push bar, locking caster, BMI calculator, and stretcher lift among other features.

The trendelenberg function allows a patient’s body to lay flat on the back (supine position) with the feet higher than the head.

Renal services director Dr. Sherleen Osman said the new chairs will finally replace the 19 old ones and will bring comfort to patients while receiving long hours of treatment in the center.

Osman said all 27 units will be ready starting today and can be seen in each unit of the center. She revealed that the new equipment have more features and details that are more comfortable than the old ones.

Among the functions of the new chair, she added, is they can place the patient either from back or front of the chair, which is not doable in the old chair.

“Since this unit opened in September last year, we never able to run in full capacity because we only have 19 chairs and the unit has 27 stations. Now, we can run it in full capacity,” she told Saipan Tribune in a visit at the center.

According to Babauta, the then-Department of Public Health, under the direction of former secretary Kevin Villagomez, ordered the new chairs for hemodialysis patients in August 2011. Because it was ordered without the available funds during the time, shipment was delayed until the corporation recently made the payment to vendor JC Marketing Inc.

Babauta said the corporation, over the course of four to five months, was able to set aside $75,112 to pay for the new chairs. He said the corporation has been putting aside some amounts each month until it was able to put together the full payment.

The CEO said old chairs will be placed on the hospital warehouse and see if they can be fixed.

“This is just something that we have to do to accommodate the needs of our patients. As you know we have a growing number of hemodialysis patients and the number is alarming. We want to make sure that while they’re receiving treatment they are comfortable so it will eliminate some of their burdens,” said the CEO.

Babauta, along with health officials, checked yesterday the newly arrived chairs and chat with some patients who will directly benefit from it. With Babauta were hospital administrator Karen Buettner, Bureau of Environmental Health director John Tagabuel, and emergency preparedness director Warren Villagomez.

Last month, the corporation also replaced the hospital’s dilapidated boiler using grant from the Office of Insular Affairs.

Moneth G. Deposa | Reporter

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