American Samoa Facility To House Mentally Ill Completed

Judge lauds hospital for making space outside of prison

By Joyetter Feagaimaalii-Luamanu

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, May 23, 2016) –Chief Justice Michael Kruse is one happy Judge, according to the hospital Chief Executive Officer, Taufete’e John Faumuina who reported reported during the Governor’s Cabinet meeting last week at the ASCC lecture hall, that the the Mental Facility building is finally completed.
 
The lack of a mental facility had led the Chief Justice to subpoena government officials in the past years for their obligation under the law to provide such a facility for defendants who are mentally challenged, yet have no choice but to be housed at the Tafuna Correctional Facility.
 
According to the CEO, the Mental Facility is under the direction of the Department of Health and it was built through funding for Capital Improvement Projects.
 
However, for the time being the mental facility is under the hospital given that the budget for this project is under the hospital. He said the Mental Facility will be under the supervision of the Behavioral Council and he's certain that (Chief Justice) Kruse is happy that there is now a Mental Facility.
 
Taufete’e was referring to an on-site visit by the CJ earlier this month on the status of the project, which is located behind the hospital.
 
As reported before, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said in the state of the Territory address in 2014 that the mental facility would be a state-of-the art freestanding 10-bed inpatient/outpatient Forensic Mental Health Facility, designed to improve mental health services for DPS inmates, and also to be certified by the federal government as a Mental Health provider for the US Army Reserve, VA and Tri-Care beneficiaries, with the aim of making it the highest skilled psychiatric facility in the entire South Pacific Region outside of Hawai’i and New Zealand.
 
The groundbreaking for this facility was conducted last year December.
 
In other hospital news made known to the Cabinet, Taufete’e said that they are looking at the opening of the old dialysis unit that has been renovated and that unit will have an additional 16 dialysis seats and should be completed by June, 2016.
 
He said they have already recruited and hired new staff who have all undergone  certified training in the mainland. The CEO said the Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) requires the additional staff in order for the unit to be approved and certified. The renovated dialysis facility will now have a total of 32 chairs and this will be beneficial for the public who have been trying to come to American Samoa to visit families here but were unable to do so, due to the lack of resources.
 
Another issue that Taufete’e touched upon was the issue of the overcrowded morgue at the hospital, due to the fact that some families are not claiming the bodies of their deceased.
 
According to Taufete’e, there are a total of 34 bodies in the morgue and he will be making an appeal to the public to please claim their deceased, as some of the bodies have been at the morgue for a long time.
 
The CEO said that there are also bodies sent from off island and their families have still not showed up at the morgue to claim their family members.
 
He jokingly told the Cabinet members that if they want to offer to finance a funeral he has bodies that have not been claimed.

The Samoa News
Copyright © 2016. The Samoa News. All Rights Reserved

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IM FROM NZ AND I CAME THERE TO SEE MY SISTER, I AM VERY VERY DISSAPOINTED IN HOW THE MOURGUE IS RUNNED. EMBALMING,AND YET THE BODY SHOWS SIGNS OF DECOMPOSING. WHAT KIND OF SERVICE IS THIS. VERY VERY DISSAPOINTED. I WILL NOT REST HERE REGARDING HOW YOU PEOPLE RUN YOUR SERVICES. FOR GOODNESS SAKE THIS IS THE MILLENIUM ERA. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE. EVERYTHING SHOULD BE MORDENISED, AND YET WHAT AN OLD FASHION UGLY LOOKING PLACE AND HOW ITS RUN. IM DOING MY OWN INVESTIGATING. FOR NOW M SCHOLLUM

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