|News from the Guam Committee|
Hafa Adai from Guam!
In the last article we discussed the start of the “Junto” meetings and yes we are continuing those. Attendance dropped off a bit but the quality of conversation remains high! It is nice to have a relaxed conversation with friends over a cup of coffee! We meet every other Wednesday at 5:30 PM at Figaro Coffee shop in Tamuning. All are welcome to join in the conversation!
Exciting things continue to happen on the healthcare front. Congratulations to Team US Naval Hospital on the launch of their mobile clinic. The clinic, which is stationed just outside the NEX on “Big Navy”, is a very convenient walk in facility for eligible beneficiaries. I am proud to say that I was their first customer! I had a minor eye infection which was perfect for the purpose of the outreach clinic. The process was flawless and I left a very happy camper! So Kudos to Captain Cornwell and team Navy! Also, KUDOS to the TODU Guam Foundation on the continuing success of their Mobile Outreach Clinic.
On the legislative front we have our Medicaid Expansion Bill and our ABLE bill up this session. The Medicaid Expansion bill is the culmination of a couple years work and, if passed, will get Guam a seat at the table with the Feds to participate in the Affordable Care Act or whatever comes out of the new administration. The ABLE act is a nice piece of legislation that mirrors the Federal Act giving disabled people access to a tax exempt savings program similar to a 529 plan. By the printing of this article we should know if we were successful in passing these two pieces of legislation. These and other bills are available on the 34th Guam Legislature website.
Veterans' health also seems to be improving with the addition of new staff at the CBOC. Guam has suffered from shortages of providers for some time causing delays in treatment. It is good news therefore that new providers have arrived and we will start to work off the backlog! In addition to the new hires we had the opportunity to meet with the CEO from TRIWEST. TRIWEST is the network contractor for the CHOICE program. They are expanding their network to improve access to our Guam Veterans. Another good and long awaited venture!
Looking ahead I believe there are some opportunities to engage with our Navy members a bit more. In the past we had strong representation and so I believe we just need to breathe life back into that. With some legislation that streamlines volunteerism in our military community that will come out next month, this may be the catalyst to reinvigorate some programs to get increased involvement! Well, that is the goal. Also, it is probably time to work on the leadership of our little program chapter here. One challenge with small numbers is to find people that can add “one more item” to already busy schedules. So a bit of tree shaking and scheduling an election is on the calendar too!
In closing, it is hard to believe that 2017 has moved so quickly. You can tell the year is about done as Home Depot has Christmas items on display. Really! So, time to drag out and untangle the Christmas lights, pray for good weather and start getting ready to close out 2017 and prepare for 2018!