NMI health facilities to get ACS equipment


With the shutdown of the Alternative Care Site at Kanoa Resort, what happens now to the federally funded equipment that were procured for the site? No worries, says the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., as the equipment are currently being used at the Commonwealth Health Center and will also be distributed soon to both the Rota and Tinian health centers.

According to Warren Villagomez, director for Public Health Emergency Preparedness, all the equipment that were procured for the ACS have been transferred to CHC, with some of the equipment replacing outdated ones at the health center.

“All of those equipment that were at the ACS were all transferred over to CHCC and some of them will also be used at the Rota and Tinian health centers. That equipment is being stored at CHCC under the leadership of CHCC CEO Esther Muña,” he said.

For example, 95% of the mostly unused beds installed at the ACS have been used to replace the beds at CHC, he said. Similarly, the air conditioning systems used at the ACS have replaced the ones at CHC.

He said the ultraviolet equipment at the ACS have been taken down and are being safeguarded “and they’re going to be utilized by our healthcare facilities on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian.”

As for the other equipment that are not being used at this time, Villagomez said they are safely stored in a climate-controlled space so they can be well kept for future use.

He assures the CNMI community that all the money invested into the ACS will not go to waste as the equipment will still be utilized, but now for different needs.

“All the investments that were made to the ACS did not go to waste. It will go back to our community as [the equipment] will be utilized by those in our community at a different level of healthcare,” he said.

This has been the idea since the planning stage of the ACS, he said.

“That was the whole idea. When we were planning this response out with CEO Muña, we did think that it was going to be very costly, but we also made sure that the procurement of the equipment that would be utilized at the ACS would be maximized and capitalized at our Commonwealth healthcare facility. This was all part of the planning process and the buildup of the ACS facility,” Villagomez stated.

If the pandemic taught CHC anything, it’s that it can never be too prepared in terms of the kind of healthcare equipment it has access to, he said.

“Nothing will go to waste; nothing will be left unused. We will put all these equipment to good use and to the use of our community. The pandemic showed us that we can never be too prepared and that we will be faced with different challenges that would require access to these kinds of equipment and supplies,” he said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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