By The Star Staff
Hundreds of employees of the former HIMA Hospital in Caguas celebrated the arrival of the new owner of the facility, which is now called Pavía Caguas Hospital, with a Christmas party on Monday.
Just last week, the largest conglomerate of hospital services in Puerto Rico announced that through a transaction in bankruptcy court, the Metro Pavía Health System network added the hospital facility as the 13th hospital affiliated with its network.
In addition to the hospital, an ambulatory surgery center and a diagnostic and treatment center, both close to the hospital, were also awarded to Pavía during the bankruptcy process.
Grupo HIMA San Pablo, one of Puerto Rico’s largest hospital systems, filed for Chapter 11 on Aug. 15 after it could not renegotiate its debts, which surpassed the $400 million mark.
While some of its facilities have been sold since then, at the time of the bankruptcy, the hospital system consisted of several entities such as Grupo HIMA San Pablo Inc., Centro Medico del Turabo Inc., HIMA San Pablo Properties Inc., Portal de Caguas Inc., Jocar Enterprises Corp. (Jocar), Jerusalem Home Ambulance Inc., Host Security Services Inc., CMT Development LLC and IA Developers Corp., among others.
“We are very happy and committed. Since the addition of these facilities, we have found a very motivated staff upon learning of this transition that ensures a better future in the system of provision of medical-hospital services in the area with the professionalism it offers,” said Karen Z. Artau Feliciano, president of Metro Pavía Health System. “For us, the acquisition of these facilities is something that commits us to continue offering the best services to the entire island, but especially to the population of the central region of Puerto Rico, meaning Caguas, San Lorenzo, Juncos, Las Piedras, Cayey, Cidra, Humacao and other towns. This hospital was inaugurated in 1988 with the vision of offering the best medicine available to treat health conditions in the region. We are pleased with how the employees, doctors, technicians, and nursing staff received us, who have demonstrated their willingness to help maintain the quality of services integrated into our service network.”
Artau Feliciano said the transaction assures the community of continuity in the existing specialized services at the institution. In addition, the main objective of the transaction is to expand the existing technical services in the areas of neurosurgery, radiotherapy, oncology, bone marrow transplant, epilepsy, and the Advanced Center for Neurosciences. She also said there are plans to replicate the distinctive “human warmth” that characterizes the hospitals of the Metro Pavía system, with the best team of doctors and health professionals.
“It is important to note that the now Pavía Hospital in Caguas remains in the hands of Puerto Rican businessmen who share the same vision, which leads us to work together with the excellent health professionals of the institution to turn it into a ‘supra tertiary’ medical center, for which there is so much need and demand in the Caguas region,” Artau Feliciano said. “This new member of the Metro Pavía family is a pivotal piece for strengthening the offering of specialized services that we have in our affiliated hospitals. Our goal is to continue eliminating barriers to access to health.”
“Numerous faculty members and professionals from other specialties have shown interest in continuing to offer services at the Caguas institution,” she said. “We have also received offers from professionals who wish to join this effort, which ensures the continuity and expansion of specialized services. Among the short- and medium-term plans is to organize and improve the hospital’s infrastructure to raise the quality of services to the level of excellence of Metro Pavía.”