Dr. Jim Marrone's blog

Current State of Healthcare in American Samoa for U.S. Veterans?

This annual Holiday reminds me of the great debt of gratitude that we all owe to our veterans, and everyone knows that American Samoa has way more that its "fair share" of them...  Has there been any progress made towards getting a permanent, full-service VA Medical Hospital established in the Territory?  In the meantime, has the LBJ TMC done anything to improve its most basic services for the many former servicemen/women that still reside there?  Is at least the ASG Off-Island Medical Referral Program back up and running again, even if it is still not fully-funded?  Finally, what do the Residents of AS think about all of this, and what are the Territorial/Healthcare leaders doing (or even saying) about it...?  Everyone there deserves better, but ESPECIALLY our veterans!

The public's observations and opinions can make a real difference.  THANK YOU to all who have served and are serving our country!  May you have a blessed Veteran's Day, and may your medical needs never be neglected.  Warm Regards, Dr. JIM MARRONE

Congress Looking Into LBJ

Congressional panel discussion LBJ Hospital

 

Our Congresswoman Aumua Amata is taking a strong stand on matters relating to LBJ Hospital.  She wants to know why we are not spending all the money the Federal Government is making available through the Medicaid program.  She also wants Congress to evaluate feasibility of building a new facility and staffing it with true professionals.  This news report by Talanei tells the story pretty well.

You can also see more on the Congresswoman's website by clicking here.

It is time for the people to be heard and this site is a good place to speak out.  Please comment.

 

I want to contribute to this effort!

Hello, everyone.  My name is Dr. Jim Marrone, and I am a U.S. Board-certified pediatrician originally from California who lived and worked in American Samoa and at LBJ for over 14 years, from 2001-2015.  From 2008 until late last year (when the Hospital Management and I could not come to an agreement on the renewal of my contract), I was also the Chief of Pediatrics there.  So I feel like I should definitely have a whole lot to add to this site...  I also agree that it is clearly high-time that some of these things be not only thoroughly discussed in public, BUT FINALLY REMEDIED!

Despite the incredible warmth and generosity and spirit of the Polynesian culture and its people on island, there are also undoubtedly heaps of problems in American Samoa ranging from educational, to governance, to financial and of course medical, which is not even to mention a decaying infrastructure much like there is in many other parts of the U.S. as well.

In any case, I firmly believe that one of the highest, if not THE HIGHEST priorities of the "powers that be" in the Territory absolutely must be THE HEALTHCARE OF ITS PEOPLE.  After all, what kind of society or civilization for that matter do we really even have, if basic healthcare provision cannot be guaranteed for our people?  And certainly I would not absolve the U.S. Government of its serious responsibilities there, since it promised this in writing to the residents of AS all the way back in 1901.

Furthermore, I am of the belief that the LBJ Hospital in its current state is tragically but only a window into a very messy house that is the Territorial Governance of American Samoa, obviously under the auspices of good ol' Uncle Sam.  So I want to hereby pledge to do my part in cracking open these rusty older doors and windows, and at least trying to help let some "fresh air" into the place!

Happy blogging and forum-posting to all, and I look very much forward to your thoughts and observances (and potential solutions!) here.

Cheers, JRM