FOR many years, Guam depended on the government-run Guam Memorial Hospital for medical care. But due to limited services offered at the problematic public hospital, several Guam patients had to seek medical treatment in off-island institutions.
The health care landscape changed when the privatelyowned Guam Regional Medical City opened in summer last year. GRMC is a 130-bed acute care facility operated by The Medical City—a world-class medical institution in the Philippines. It took almost 10 years to build the $240-million hospital, a project initiated by Guam businessman Peter Sgro, chairman of the Guam Healthcare and Hospital Development Foundation.
GRMC is headed by Margaret Bengzon, president and CEO of the GRMC and a senior member of The Medical City’s management team. Prior to her engagement with The Medical City, Bengzon was a consultant for the Philippine Foundation for Health and Development, with specialisation in the areas of health policy, health finance and hospital management.
Her prestigious roster of clients included the World Health Organisation, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Harvard Medical Institute, AWO International / BMZ (German Ministry for Economic Cooperation), and the Philippine Department of Health. But health care has not always been Bengzon’s scene.
She was a banker by training. After graduating from Ateneo de Manila University, Bengzon moved to New York, where she served as vice president of the Financial Services Group of Chemical Banking Corp. When the company entered into a merger that gave birth to what is now known as JP Morgan Chase Bank, the Bengzons moved back to the Philippines in 1998. Margaret Bengzon headed the bank’s local headquarters. Years later, she found herself at The Medical City.
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