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Guam Resources

See an overview of telehealth resources available in Guam

Guam Resources

Region Overview

Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the Western Pacific. It is the largest island of the Marianas Island archipelago. According to the 2020 US Census, the population of Guam is 153,836. The majority of the population reside in the northern part of Guam in the municipalities of Dededo, Yigo, and Tamuning. 

Guam has been an unincorporated US territory for over a century after Spain relinquished the island to the US via the 1898 Treaty of Paris.

Map of Guam

Health Ecosystem

The healthcare system in Guam consists of both public and private providers supported by various health insurance options. Unlike other USAPIs, Guam has a large private practice sector. Similarly to its Pacific Island neighbors, there remains a shortage of specialty care that may partially be addressed by telehealth.

The Department of Public Health and Social Services is the public health agency for the Government of Guam (GovGuam) responsible for creating public health policies to assist the people of Guam in achieving and maintaining their highest levels of independence and self-sufficiency in health and social welfare. There are two hospitals that serve the residents of Guam as well as neighboring countries. The Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH) is the only public hospital that operates under the oversight of a Board of Trustees under the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA). The second hospital is the Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC), which is a 136-bed privately owned acute hospital that includes an emergency department and specialty clinics. The Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC) is a public entity providing comprehensive mental health services and substance abuse treatment to adults and children. Medicaid and Medicare are available to Guam residents. In addition, there is a locally-funded Medically Indigent Program for residents who are low-income and uninsured. 

Health System

Mixed public + private

  • Department of Public Health + Social Services
  • Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center (GBHWC)

Private

  • Independent providers and clinics

Health Insurance

Mixed public + private

  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • CHIP
  • Medically Indigent Program (MIP)
  • Private

Hospitals

Mixed public + private

  • Gov: Guam Memorial Hospital Authority

Private

  • Guam Regional Medical City
  • US Naval Hospital

Health Centers

Public + private + specialty clinics

  • Guam CHCs
  • Private clinics

Telehealth Readiness

In terms of broadband connectivity, Guam is considered a communication hub in the Micronesian region and is rich with a robust telecommunication infrastructure. However, like everywhere else in PBTRC’s region, there are pockets of areas in Guam that are remote and may have some connectivity reliability issues. Also, reliable connectivity cannot be taken for granted even in more concentrated urban areas because last mile connections and/or internal wiring may provide some limitations on access to broadband connectivity.

Regional Leadership Support of Telehealth

Read the 3rd Micronesian Island Forum Telehealth Resolution.

The PBTRC Pacific Island telehealth concept paper was submitted and presented to the Pacific Island Health Officers Association (PIHOA) Board of Directors that consists of the Ministers and Directors of Health in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI). During PIHOAs 63rd Executive Board Meeting, PIHOA Resolution 2018-63-01 was endorsed which called for unified support for the advancement of telehealth. This resolution prompted the leaders of the Micronesian Island Forum (MIF) to adopt Telehealth Resolution (No. 23-04) during the 23rd Micronesian Island Forum held in CNMI. The Resolution was signed by the Presidents and Governors of the USAPI to build regional and jurisdictional capacity and expansion of telehealth in the region. The PBTRC concept paper was included as an exhibit of the Telehealth Resolution (No. 23-04).

Current and Emerging Telehealth Initiatives

  • The Guam Memorial Hospital Authority (GMHA) has significantly advanced in the application of telehealth during the COVID–19 pandemic. For example, they conduct interdisciplinary clinical rounds via telehealth. In particular, the ICU implemented a mobile telemedicine cart (called the Rounder) that is equipped with a stethoscope, high definition camera, and a video platform by Innovator Health. Health care providers in Guam consults with off island physicians via the Rounder. Further off island providers are able to conduct rounds via telehealth to provide direct care remotely to patients.
Collage of hospital workers
Source: Paula Manzon GMHA
  • Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center Telehealth Counseling Services offered to medical professionals, frontline workers, and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. (March 2020)
  • In 2020, the University of Guam Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service (CEDDERS) received funding to provide telehealth visits to all infants in need of follow-up hearing re-screens via Zoom. Provide tablets and mobile hotspot devices to families of newly identified deaf or hard of hearing infants to ensure that families are equipped with the necessary hardware and software to receive services such as audiologist consultations, speech-language therapy, virtual home visits, and family support meetings. Customize a 20-foot container to serve as a mobile Disability Service Center that provides resources and services to families in rural areas.
  • Guam Northern and Southern Community Health Centers received a USDA DLT grant to work with the Good Samaritan Hospital (GSH) in Los Angeles (LA). There is a 50-year history with GSH in Guam and an established referral relationship to their hospital in LA. The project was funded in the amount of $417K and about $200K matching from the GSH. The network includes a total of five locations in Guam. Services included dermatology, rheumatology with neurology, gastroenterology, and pulmonology services.
  • The Government of Guam has been awarded $12M in federal funds from the NTIA for developing their last-mile and middle-mile broadband infrastructure. This will bring qualifying broadband to 10,000 unserved households. 
  • Guam Memorial Hospital Authority in Tamuning, Guam was awarded $722,000 from the FCC COVID-19 Round 2 funds for connected devices and internet services to facilitate and streamline the continuous care of COVID-19 patients, as well as follow-up care for outpatient services.
  • Guam Community Health Center, in Dedeo, was awarded $321,244 for tablets, smartphones, mobile voice minutes, and a patient telehealth application that will be used by healthcare providers and patients for telehealth diagnosis, consults, and treatment, to simplify communications between patients and providers, and to ensure patients have sufficient connectivity to seek and receive treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.