Health News

Hospital in Saipan going solar

By Lori Lyn Lirio

Commonwealth Health Center, an 86 hospital that opened in 1986. Image ©

A SOLAR power system will be soon be implemented in the hospital operated by the government-run Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation in Saipan to make it less dependent on non-renewable energy.

This after it was revealed that during last month’s CHCC Board of Trustees meeting, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands’ Department of Interior has extended a US$560,000 grant for the three phase implementation of the said project.

Hospital Emergency Preparedness Director Warren Villagomez said “the team is excited to find out that our hospital is making steps to a sustainable and healthier future.”

As this developed, it was learned that ARC Architects, a team of students from the Marianas High School who won first place in the University of Guam Center for Sustainability Conference and Green Dream Competition last March, presented their winning project to CHCC Chief Executive Officer Esther Muña.

ARC Architect team from Marianas High School – Marie Manebo, Jewel Cubangbang, Michaela Gatdula, Hajin Oh and Ian Cataluna – at the 2018 University of Guam Center for Sustainability Conference and Green Dream Competition held last March 27. They bagged first prize trophy and the Viewer’s Choice award. Contributed photo.

MHS Arc Architects Ian Cataluna, Jewel Cubangbang, Michaela Gatdula, Marie Manebo and Hajin Oh showed their model and shared their ideas on how eco-friendly methods and alternatives for renewal energy can be incorporated into the hospital building.

The proposals include as simple as turning off lights or as complex as installing wind turbines and solar panels.

“While we presented, the team felt very welcomed and honored that we were given this opportunity to share our ideas,” Cataluna said.

“By the end of our presentation, CHCC also shared their thoughts and how they were trying to incorporate sustainability and eco-friendly ideas into the hospital as well,” he said.

“It makes us so proud to see our students and our youth be involved in the issues of the CNMI. They have done an excellent research and presentation of their plan to help CHCC go green. They provided low cost and high cost options for us to consider and some of their recommendations are already moving forward,” Muña said in a statement.

She added the CHCC is happy to have the ARC Architects team in their Go Green Team and “we will be happy to proudly display their model here for everyone to see.”

Aside from winning the first place in the Guam competition, the CNMI team also won the Viewer’s Choice award last March 28.

“For the Viewer’s Choice Award, the judges were basically the public. The hundreds of people that attended the conference voted for the best model, and our team won the trophy,” Cataluna said

Lori Lyn Lirio
Lori Lyn C. Lirio is a veteran newshen having worked for the People's Journal Tonight for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University. She currently writes for the Marianas Variety, Saipan's number one community paper. .

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