NMHC: CHCC mobile clinic in the works

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DURING a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, the Northern Marianas Housing Corporation planning team reported that it intends to allocate a portion of its emergency federal funding for the purchase of a mobile clinic for the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.

NMHC anticipates $549,270 in additional Community Development Block Grant-Covid-19 funding made possible through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

NMHC said 95% of this allocation will go toward the mobile clinic.

The team stated that the mobile clinic will provide high-quality preventive and primary health care services on a consistent basis in the most remote and under-resourced areas of Saipan.

It will also provide services in the first year of operation through roughly 6,000 visits to people who otherwise have difficulty accessing health care services due to factors, such as transportation or inability to pay for care, NMHC stated.

The housing corporation reported that the mobile clinic will be set up at a revolving list of locations, with focus on well-known community gathering places in each village.

According to NMHC Deputy Corporate Director Zenie Mafnas, “There are certain requirements that we have to meet. We are almost ready to bid the project out. We are still fulfilling a bit of the requirements, which we will probably submit within the next two to three weeks.”

She said NMHC has yet to receive the Covid-19 funding, “but the grantor did encourage us from a month ago to start moving fast because this money will come soon, so hopefully, in the next two weeks, we will receive the allocation.”

In regards to the performance period or the timeline for this project, CHCC reported that it is currently communicating with different vendors.

“We found some [U.S. General Services Administration] vendors. We will probably get that information this week. As far as purchasing, shipping, and delivery, that is unknown right now, but we could probably get the bidding started when we get that information,” said CHCC grants management office administrator Vince Camacho.

Mafnas said that NMHC will keep the public updated through its website in regards to the project timeline, specifically when the mobile clinic will be fully operational.

NMHC Corporate Director Jesse Palacios added, “We will be exercising our emergency procurement, given the situation we are in. That will hopefully speed up the process where we can have the funds here in the CNMI, and at the same time, do the advertisement and selection of the vendor, and proceed with the [project].”

He said the timeline to have the mobile clinic delivered to Saipan will be similar to those of past procurements of fire trucks and ambulances.

Palacios said updates will be posted on the NMHC website, as well as on the Office of the Governor website.


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