Dr. Amy Henke has captured 62 percent and Dr. Leah Crouch, 38 percent, of votes from the licensed psychologists casting votes in the election for a seat on the state psychology board, the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (LSBEP).
The position to be filled by either Henke or Crouch is that of outgoing medical psychologist, Dr. Marc Zimmermann, who completes his term this June. The final choice between the two candidates will be made by the Governor.
The election was the first in recent years without a member of the Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologist (LAMP) seeking a position on the board. The LSBEP has routinely been composed of three medical psychologists in the five members, despite the fact that medical psychologists make up only about 5 percent of all licensed psychologists and are not required to hold a state psychology license.
In the current election, Dr. Henke received 183 votes, Dr. Crouch, 113 votes, and 27 of those casting votes, abstained.
President of the Louisiana Psychological Association, Dr. Lacey Seymour, reported the results to the Office of the Governor in a letter on January 25, obtained from the president.
In the letter, addressed to Ellen Palmintier, Director at Boards and Commissions, Seymour asked that the Governor appoint the individual with the top number of votes. She wrote, “As per our current policy, we respectfully request that the Governor appoint the psychologist who obtained the majority of the votes in the election. Therefore, we urge Governor John Bel Edwards to appoint Dr. Amy Henke.”
By law, the Governor may appoint either nominee on the list provided by LPA.
Sources in the community have said they are curious about the absence of a LAMP member on the list to the governor, which usually results in the appointment of that individual.
Last year an effort was pushed by the LAMP dominated psychology board to remove the wording from the psychology practice law. The law currently gives the Louisiana Psychological Association (LPA) the right to construct the “list” from which the Governor makes appointments.
The effort failed because the Senator sponsoring the bill refused to advance it if there were any conflicts over the substance of the legislation. The LSBEP dropped the effort to delete LPA’s role in the “list.”
LAMP is known to be a political powerhouse. The group donated more money to legislators in 2014 than any other political action committee in healthcare, including the much larger state medical group, for that same year.
Dr. Amy Henke is a clinical psychologist with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. She is a member of APA Divisions for Pediatric Psychology and Health Psychology, and a member and Director for the Louisiana Psychological Association.
Dr. Crouch is a clinical psychologist with membership in the Divisions for Psychologists in Independent Practice, and also for Trauma Psychology. Dr. Crouch is also a member of the Society of Personality Assessment.