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Senate Panel Advances Bill to Create Multistate Nursing License

The Health, Hospitals and Human Services Committee advanced legislation on Tuesday that would establish a Nurse Licensure Compact that would create a multistate nursing license in hopes to attract more health care professionals to the territory.

Nursing Board Hasn’t Been Requiring Criminal Background Checks

V.I. Board of Nurse Licensure Territorial Executive Director Carmen Vanterpool-Romney told lawmakers on Tuesday that the board does not require a criminal background check before issuing a license.

V.I. Hospitals Continue to Lose Money

Dr. Luis Amaro, interim Chief Executive Officer of Schneider Regional Medical Center, told the Territorial Hospital Board on Wednesday the projected deficit for Schneider stands at $6 million, but due to non-budgeted COVID expenses and loss of revenue, it could be twice that amount. 

New Hospitals on the Horizon, Pandemic Restrictions Begin to Loosen

Plans for the construction and repair of local hospitals and clinics are moving forward, Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said on Tuesday, and the territory's pandemic restrictions are being eased in light of an apparent reduction of COVID-19 cases.

Legislature Rejects Another Anti-Corporal Punishment Bill

History repeated itself during Friday’s Legislative session, where once again prohibiting the use of corporal punishment in a school setting was struck down by legislators, this time by a 12-2 vote.

‘Stop Infecting Vulnerable Populations,’ Health’s Medical Director Urges

In a candid plea Monday, Health Department Medical Director Dr. Tai Hunte-Caesar said irresponsible behavior within the USVI community is causing the spread of COVID-19 to the elderly and other vulnerable populations and needs to stop.

Senators Push to Abolish Corporal Punishment in Schools

The Committee on Health, Hospitals and Human Services moved forward legislation Wednesday that, among other things, would strictly prohibit corporal punishment in school settings.

Southland Gaming Donates Screening Thermometers to USVI

Hospitals, clinics and government entities in the Virgin Islands received a donation of 70 noncontact infrared thermometers from Southland Gaming. The thermometers, which read temperatures from the forehead, are being used for screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
V.I. Department of Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion testifies during Thursday’s Health, Hospitals, and Human Services Committee hearing. (Photo by Chaunte Herbert for the V.I. Legislature)

Mental Health Disparities Still a Concern in Territory

To bolster awareness and address the stigma surrounding mental health, a Senate panel voted Thursday to forward a bill declaring the month of May as Virgin Islands Mental Health Awareness Month.

House Passes Spending Bill With V.I. Medicaid Money

Medicaid funding for the USVI appears safe now that the U.S. House of Representatives passed the fiscal year 2020 federal government funding bill including the money. The Senate is expected to pass it and President Donald Trump has indicated he will sign it.

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