Certification improves health care access for Guam DOC

The decades-long doctor shortage at correctional facilities in Guam may be coming to an end after the island's Corrections Department became the newest certified National Health Service Corps (NHSC) site in the Pacific region.

The certification facilitates the agency's ability to recruit and hire qualified NHSC primary care and behavioral health care providers to serve the institution's more than 700 inmates and detainees.

"With this certification, Guam will have another tool to address our longstanding medical personnel shortage. While we continue to tackle Guam's struggles with recruitment and retention of qualified medical personnel, as an NHSC site, the Department of Corrections will be able to improve the quality and access to care for their population," said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.

As a newly certified site, the Guam DOC will be included on a list of NHSC-approved service sites. The certification gives the agency access to more than 1,500 qualified health professionals participating in the NHSC loan repayment, Scholarship, and other Loan Repayment Programs. The NHSC program is under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration.

"The National Health Service Corps builds communiti