Feb. 7, 2005 The Senate Rules Committee Monday approved Dr. Ann Gruver Barnard's nomination to the Board of Psychology with a 6-1 vote. Committee Chairman Sen. Shawn-Michael Malone and Sens. Lorraine Berry, Pedro "Pete" Encarnacion, Terrence "Positive" Nelson, Ronald Russell and Celestino White Sr. voted in the affirmative. Sen. Usie Richards voted against the nomination.
Barnard thanked the committee for taking the time to consider the needs of psychologists in the territory as well as the problem of mental illness. She informed the senators the board was still in need of a public member. Four psychologists are currently on the board – Drs. Patricia Rhymer-Todman, Ramona Moss, and Maria Garrido along with Barnard, who now serves as chairwoman. Members of the board are not compensated.
Barnard has served on the board for the past seven years. The board primarily regulates the licensure of clinical and individual psychologists doing business in the territory and is self-sustaining, supported by licensing fees issued to the psychologists. Barnard told the group that in 2004, 16 or 17 psychologists were granted licenses.
"It's a very active board," Barnard said.
Nelson asked Barnard whether she thought the community had sufficient psychologists and mental facilities.
"I do believe our community is under-served," Barnard said.
In response to questions from the senators, Barnard said she would be willing to work with Health Commissioner Darlene Carty in addressing the mental problems facing the homeless.
Malone requested that Barnard provide the committee with a summary report of the accomplishments of the board for the past seven years.
The committee approved the nominations of Caroline Polydore-Simon to the board of directors for WTJX, Public Television and Kenneth Herman to the V.I. Horse Racing Commission. Both nominations were approved with a 5-0 vote. Sens. Berry, Encarnacion, Malone, Nelson and Russell voted for the nominees. Richards and White were absent from the floor.
Also approved by the committee Monday was the nomination of Col. Eddy Charles for the adjutant general position of the V.I. National Guard (See "Adjutant General Nominee Passes First Senate Hurdle").
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