POLICYMAKERS APPROVED FIVE NOMINATIONS AND ONE BILL

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ST. THOMAS- Members of the Committee on Rules and Judiciary chaired by Sen. Janelle K. Sarauw, convened in a meeting at the Capitol Building on Friday, and voted favorably for the nominees on the agenda. The nominations were sent to the Legislature by Governor Albert Bryan; set forth from Section (16) of the Revised Organic Act of 1954, and Title 3, Section 65a of the Virgin Islands Code. Lawmakers also voted favorably for one bill. All items on the agenda will be forwarded to Legislative Session for further consideration.

The nominees for consideration are Emmanuel Delano, DDS, MS to serve on the Virgin Islands Board of Dental Examiners St. Croix District, Dr. Mavis Matthew, M.D. for the V.I. Board of Medical Examiners, John Abramson, Jr. for the Government Employees Service Commission St. Croix District, Andre’ Dorsey and Loraine Gumbs-Morton for the Government Employees Service Commission St. Thomas-St. John District.

Nominee Delano defended his re-nomination to the V.I. Board of Dental Examiners by sharing some of the significant changes made while serving for the past ten years. He indicated that previously the Board revised the 2014 Dental Act. As a result, the Board is up-to-par with the national standards of qualifications to practice dentistry in the Territory. Additionally, revising the rules and regulations continues to be a work in progress. In response to a line of questioning from Sen. Sarauw, Delano noted that the Board is presently advocating for better dental care by increasing the number of dentists practicing in the Territory. Moreover, Nominee Matthew stated that her re-nomination to serve on the V.I. Board of Medical Examiners allows her to continue the necessary tasks. She served on the Board for the past five years. Two of her major accomplishments include the removal of the Spex Exam and the implementation of the Uniform Application which is utilized to streamline the physician application process, according to Matthew.   

Although, Nominee Gumbs-Morton admitted that she is not an insurance expert, her mission to improve the operation of the V.I. Government Employees Service Commission is to ensure that the life and medical insurance coverage is suitable to meet the needs of policyholders, fulfilling necessary tasks in alignment with the Virgin Islands Code, and to assist with revising protocols as required. Nominee Dorsey indicated that his goals are to eliminate high healthcare costs in the Territory, lower co-payments, and to remove deductibles from member’s health insurance plan. Furthermore, Dorsey mentioned that he will strive towards establishing Urgent Care Centers, implementing additional preventative care services and increasing wellness initiatives. Lastly, Nominee Abramson stated that his primary aim for the Commission is to establish a Comprehensive Healthcare System that unifies both insured and uninsured people. “Look at the big picture of healthy government employees and retirees. Then there is an unhealthy dying community. That is not good for the overall state of health care in the Territory,” said Abramson.  

Separately, senators voted and approved:

  • Bill No. 33-0152- regarding construction liens by exempting the government-owned property of homeowners under government-administered home repair and construction programs from construction liens and providing protection to certain homesteaders and for other related purposes.                                                                                                                           ###