DOI approves scope of work for Behavioral Health Center

UTULEI, American Samoa — The process of constructing the Behavioral Health Center in Tafuna has formally begun with the approval of the scope of work plans by the Department of the Interior (DOI).

Governor Togiola Tulafono said the Territorial Office of Fiscal Reform (TOFR) has been informed by DOI  – Office of Insular Areas (OIA) of the approval of the scope of work for the construction of the Behavioral Health Center that was proposed by the Department of Health, Department of Public Works and TOFR.

“We are very excited that we are on the move with the building of our Behavioral Health Center and we are also very thankful for the support and partnership of DOI, OIA, Veterans Affairs, Center for Medicaid Services, and our local departments and agencies,” he said. “I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas - Mr. Anthony Babauta, Director of the Office of Insular – Mr. Nikolao Pula and local OIA Field Representative, Mrs. Lydia Faleafine-Nomura, and our other federal partners for their continuous support of American Samoa’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects. DOI’s approval of this scope of work is a reflection of its CIP commitment to improve the infrastructure and services provided to our people and Territory.”

The governor said the Behavioral Health Center will provide several currently missing services and will help make existing care and treatment for the mentally ill in the Territory more readily available.

“This project is designed to provide space for the civilly committed, short-term residential patients, out-patient psychiatric and counseling services, and will serve to assist our many military soldiers and veterans that may require behavioral health services,” said Togiola. “We look forward to making these much-needed services available that will greatly assist and meet each participant’s needs and wants while setting life changing goals and offering overall wellness and satisfaction for those who utilize this facility in the very near future.”

The proposed project will consist of a new building, containing inpatient wings with a total of 15 bed patients, and one outpatient wing. An open, covered atrium for the outdoor day treatment activities is included for clients that have transitioned from intensive hospital care systems of care. Family members will be able to access family support services, community reintegration and employment or vocational services.

The design plans for the facility have been submitted to the Veterans Affairs engineers as well as the Center for Medicaid Services engineers for review and recommendations for compliance, which DPW was able to complete and have modified accordingly.

The federal allocation and funding for the Behavioral Health Center is provided by the DOI-OIA Capital Improvement Program.

The Invitation for Bid commenced on September 11, 2012.

Source: Media release, Office of the Governor


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