On Thursday, February 4th 2021, His Excellency Governor drs. E. B. Holiday was given a tour of the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) and an update on their COVID-19 efforts. His Excellency, joined by Director of the cabinet of the Governor Mrs. Mieke Kalter, visited SMMC for an official working visit.
Prior to the tour, Governor Holiday was given a presentation by SMMC’s Management on the response, vaccination plan and facilities as well as an update on the upgrades to the current hospital which includes a soon-to-be-opened MRI center. The presentation also included a construction update for the new St. Maarten General Hospital (SMGH) after which a virtual tour of the new hospital and a scale model were presented.
During the tour, members of the COVID-19 team were thanked by the Governor for their invaluable contributions during the pandemic and asked about their personal experiences. Many recounted the first months of dealing with the COVID-19 disease when little information was available on the virus and how to handle it.
On SMMC’s Medical/Surgical/ICU ward which had been converted to increase isolation capacity within the hospital during the beginning of the pandemic, ICU Supervisor and Registered Nurse Meandra Hazel and Anesthesiologist Dr. Yelena George spoke about the stark difference from one year ago to now. “A year ago, when there was a COVID-19 patient who needed to be transferred, everyone would’ve been nervous. Today, the process is extremely smooth and everything flows effortlessly.”
The tour continued on to the Radiology Department, the Emergency Department and the Auxiliary Care Facility (ACF), where the Governor also had the opportunity to speak to SMMC and AMI Expeditionary Healthcare staff and thank them for their efforts.