CNMI boosts behavioral health workforce

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Posted on Jun 10 2020

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The CNMI is bent on boosting local capacity to address the community’s behavioral health needs.

Dr. Glenda S. George shared at a Senate session last week how the Health Care Professions Licensing Board is seeing an increase in the CNMI’s behavioral workforce, but remains committed to working to strengthen it further.

The Senate later confirmed, via a unanimous vote, the reappointment of George and Dr. Martin P. Rohringer as members of the Health Care Professions Licensing Board.

George, who received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Seattle Pacific University, works as the Clinical Services Officer at the Community Guidance Center, while Rohringer serves as chairman of Emergency Medicine at the Commonwealth Health Center.

Rohringer was unable to attend the confirmation as he had to attend to incoming passengers, as part of the COVID-19 operations.

George said the CNMI has made “good progress, slowly but steadily” in boosting local capacity. “We’ve seen an increase in our behavioral health workforce, and these are things to be proud of. We do have our challenges as far as that, but so far, it’s been a step in the right direction,” she said. “On one hand, we’re trying to nurture and groom our local capacity to be able to be sustainable for the future, and then on the other hand, I have the job to regulate and ensure the community’s safety.”

George also talked about her observations on the community’s response to the pandemic. “We have a lot of strength in our community as far as following the guidances and our commitment to protecting each other and our man’amko but, at the same time, we also have to remember that it’s an uncertain time, so we need to be mindful of what we need to continue on the things that we’re doing to protect the CNMI.”

“The common theme that we’ve seen in the last couple months is how resilient this community is,” she added, “but we’re not out of the woods, and we cannot take that for granted.”

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, who nominated both, also expressed appreciation to the two for wanting to continue to help the CNMI.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com

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