Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp sent a letter to Senate President Neville James on Thursday withdrawing the nomination of Phyllis Wallace as the Commissioner of the Department of Health, Government House announced.
“Dr. Wallace has asked me to withdraw her nomination for personal reasons," Mapp said in a brief statement. "In addition Commissioner designate Wallace has agreed to continue serving in an acting capacity until I name her successor.”
Mapp had announced Wallace’s nomination at an April 8 press conference. Wallace, a former assistant Health commissioner, has 15 years of experience with the V.I. Health Department and was picked to head the agency charged with oversight of the territory’s public health and hospitals.
When he introduced Wallace, Mapp said she would lead the reorganization of the territory’s two hospitals.
In a July 1 hearing before the V.I. Senate Finance Committee, Wallace told the lawmakers the Health Department is "stymied" by funding and staffing shortages. She said the department was beginning to come around but was still "little anemic."
Staffing and funding are serious problems, she said. "We do not have the staffing in several different areas that we need."