Majuro hospital celebrates

A big turnout of VIPs, including landowners, Cabinet members, ambassadors, pastor, and Ministry of Health and Human Services officials joined in the groundbreaking for renovation of a warehouse. Photo: Eve Burns.

EVE BURNS
Majuro hospital held a day of celebration late last month for multiple projects either starting or being turned over for use — a celebration that was blessed by torrential rain.

Hitting two birds with one stone is nothing compared to the hospital staff and leaders doing a “four-in-one” to advance programs at the Ministry of Health and Human Services.

They held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new warehouse, and inaugurations for the new ICU waiting room, which has free WiFi, isolation ward and new laboratory.

VIPS attending the ceremony included Health Minister Bruce Bilimon, Ambassadors Roxanne Cabral, Jeffery Hsiao, and Norio Saito, and Health Secretary Jack Niedenthal.

In the ceremony, Niedenthal gave recognition to every one present, President David Kabua and his Cabinet, the Nitijela, and health workers who he’s working with. “These people for me as a Secretary of Health, it’s gone beyond just being fellow a co-worker or even friends,” Niedenthal said. “I know all of us feel the same here in the ministry after what we’ve been through, such a hard year. Most of us feel like family members and it makes work great.”

Niedenthal also extended his appreciation to GMA Construction for building the warehouse, Pacific International for the Covid ICU, and PCR labs and RMI builders for the ICU waiting room. The warehouse was funded by US Centers for Disease Control, funding for Covid ICU facility by Taiwan and RMI General Fund, and PCR lab by CDC. “You can see there are a lot of different people involved in these projects,” said Niedenthal. “As I quickly found out, we move about 20 miles an hour, while we were very quick to identify the problems, finding the funding, partners to help us, dealing with all the bidding and everything else, just seemed like everything took forever and then Covid-19 happened, and suddenly we started going 70 miles an hour. That made me feel good on one level but as you all know preventing Covid-19 was a very difficult time,” said Niedenthal.

Here we are seven or eight months later, we have no Covid-19, he said. We are one of a handful of countries in the world not dealing with the situation, he said, adding we do things as we normally do, no masks. The people who called us crazy are now in horrible situations all over the world. Niedenthal said that people have been very cooperative, and a lot of sacrifice has been made. “This is how you beat the disease, through cooperation and sacrifice,” he said.

Irooj Austin Jurelang spoke on behalf of Lerooj Esther Zedkeia. Austin gave special thanks to Ministry of Health staff, and assured that the Lerooj and Alap are happy to support those responsible for the projects to better our community.

Minister Bilimon gave keynote remarks. Bilimon recognized Cabinet, ministers, ambassadors, Lerooj and Alap.“What we see and we dream of, that when we’re done in three four years time and we look back as people go inside the hospital, when they come out they are proud and very happy,” said Bilimon. He said he wants the hospital to be something the people can feel confident about. “The goal is to make it 21st century,” he added.

All the guest and witnesses had the pleasure of touring the new addition to the hospital as well as witnessing the ribbon cutting and learning about the different projects. And as usual the day was ended with refreshments and coffee to warm those who got rained on.

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