The Class of 2021 of the Pacific Century Fellows-Marianas Chapter was out and about last month, with the group visiting healthcare facilities and the U.S. Superior Court for its third session activities.
The class went to the Alternate Care Site at Kanoa Resort, the Commonwealth Healthcare Center, and the U.S. Superior Court to learn more about health and humanitarian services. The group attends classes every month and holds discussions on specific topics in each session. For the first class last April, the group discussed Tourism and Gaming, while in May, the class talked about Environmental Development. The first two sessions were both held in a classroom setting at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
For their first group tour, PCF fellows Hedwig Hofschneider and John Saludez said the visit to the ACS last June 17 assured them that the CNMI government and our healthcare officials and workers are on top of the COVID-19 situation to keep the islands and its residents safe.
“The ACS separates COVID-19 patients from the main hospital, so that people can still feel confident and safe when going to [the Commonwealth Health Center]. While it is well-equipped to handle an outbreak, we are all grateful that we haven’t use it yet. It was also impressive how it was constructed in a short period of time,” Hofschneider said.
Saludez noted the facility’s state-of-the-art mechanical system, including the UV lights and air purifiers with Hepa filters that help prevent the spread of diseases within the facility. Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force chair Warren Villagomez and the Governor’s Authorized Representative Patrick Guerrero told Saludez and the 13 other members of the class that the system allows new air to circulate every five to seven minutes and most of time the air going out will be cleaner than the air coming in.
“The design of each room, such as the doctor’s offices and the patient rooms, is another component that interests me about the ACS. It gives a supportive and care-zone atmosphere that would contribute greatly to healing patients in the event we would have to use the facility,” Saludez said.
From ACS, the group went to the U.S. Superior Court and met with Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio, who presides over the CNMI Drug Court. Tenorio gave a presentation on the legal processes in a drug court. She also explained that the drug court program is like a treatment court, shifting the focus away from the traditional criminal justice system as offenders receive help and treatment for their addiction instead of incarceration and punishment. People who are willing to voluntarily submit themselves to treatment would be sent to CHC or the HOPE Recovery Center.
The class also sat down with Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy System program manager Greg Borja, who talked about disability rights and emphasized how labeling a person with a condition can be disrespectful and dehumanizing.
The class visited CHCC, too, and got more information on the CNMI’s healthcare system from CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muna, as well as from Kagman Community Health Center CEO Vince Castro, and PHI Pharmacy general manager Joshua Wise. (PR)