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2 licensing board nominees appear before Senate panel

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THE Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations held a public hearing on Wednesday for the governor’s two nominees for reappointment to the Healthcare Professions Licensing Board: Dr. Martin P. Rohringer and Dr. Glenda S. George.

Of the four witnesses invited by the committee to provide comments two were present: public information specialist Thomas John Manglona of the governor’s office and Board of Professional Licensing and Healthcare Professions Licensing Board Executive Director Esther S. Fleming.

Manglona introduced the two nominees to the committee on behalf of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, providing a summary of each of the nominees’ respective qualifications.

Dr. Rohringer, a longtime resident of the Commonwealth, is an accomplished emergency medical physician who received his medical degree from the University of Manitoba in Canada. He currently serves as the director of the emergency department at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation.

Dr. George, a native of the Commonwealth, received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Seattle Pacific University, and currently serves as the CHCC Community Guidance Center clinical services officer.

 

 

Dr. Glenda S. George, left, and Dr. Martin P. Rohringer, right, are sworn in before testifying in the public hearing conducted by the Senate. Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

“Governor Torres and Lt. Governor Palacios place their full trust and confidence in Dr. Rohringer and Dr. George as part of the Healthcare Professional Licensing Board. Their leadership, credentials, and commitment to serving the Commonwealth in this board make them viable candidates, and we ask for your expeditious approval,” Manglona told the senators.

For her part, Healthcare Professional Licensing Board Executive Director Esther Fleming thanked the administration and the committee for considering the nominees for reappointment to the board as she expressed her full faith and confidence in the nominees’ competence and leadership.

“I have worked with both Dr. Rohringer and Dr. George for several years now as executive director, and they both have my greatest respect and admiration for their diligence and meticulous work in reviewing applications for licensure,” said Fleming.

Chaired by Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz, the committee and the nominees discussed their qualifications and experience during their first term on the board.

The nominees said their role on the board requires great time management and fervent “internet sleuthing” to vet licensing applicants in order to provide the Commonwealth with qualified health professionals.

In addition, the nominees shared their experiences as medical professionals who continue to provide crucial services to the Commonwealth during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

“Overall, I think because of curfews, social distancing, and the banning of certain activities, we actually saw a drop in the emergency room [visits]. Those numbers are starting to come back up as people get back to work and start participating in activities that are now allowed,” said Dr. Rohringer.

In regards to mental health services, Dr. George said, “As far as how the community has responded — perhaps it is because this is not our first disaster — we see a lot of resilience in the community, but we do not take that for granted. We try to be assertive as far as providing mental health services to the community at the Community Guidance Center.”

Along with the committee chair, the other senators present for the public hearing were Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider and Sen. Vinnie Sablan.

Senate Floor Leader Justo S. Quitugua, Sen. Francisco M. Borja, and Sen. Teresita A. Santos were excused.

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