An election is currently underway to fill the July 2021 vacancy on the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Offering to serve on the board are Thomandra Shavaun Sam, PhD, Lauren Woodruff Rasmussen, PsyD, and Leslie A. O’Malley, PsyD.
The vacancy will occur in June 2021 when Dr. Amy Henke completes her service. Voting
opened in and ends January 15.
Dr. Sam is from Baton Rouge and was licensed in 2015 in the specialty area of counseling according to her candidate statement. She is a Psychologist V/Office of Behavioral Health/Eastern LA Mental Health System and earned her degree from Auburn University.
In her statement, Dr. Sam wrote, “I am psychologist with a background working with diverse clinical presentations, demographics and within various settings from college counseling, community mental health, a pastoral center, domestic violence and homeless shelter, a marriage and family clinic and hospital settings. I am and have
been licensed In various states and so I am keenly aware of how a variety of psychologists exist in different spaces both here in Louisiana as well as across our
nation. I hope my unique experience adds an additional layer to an already highly qualified Board and staff.”
In her statement, Dr. Sam wrote, “I am psychologist with a background working with diverse clinical presentations, demographics and within various settings from college counseling, community mental health, a pastoral center, domestic violence and homeless shelter, a marriage and family clinic and hospital settings. I am and have been licensed In various states and so I am keenly aware of how a variety of psychologists exist in different spaces both here in Louisiana as well as across our nation. I hope my unique experience adds an additional layer to an already highly qualified Board and staff.”
“Additionally, I am Interested in ensuring that Louisiana is ahead of the curve with offering diverse platforms to diverse consumers from diverse Psychologists; yes, that is a lot of one word in a sentence but its message is necessary. As our society Is changing, it is important Louisiana is able to compete with the rest of the nation and attract bright minds to work and advance our state and practice; in doing so, we ensure we are at the cutting edge of service by creating a healthy Louisiana that recognizes the need for mental healthcare, has access to the care needed and is ultimately positively impacted by our profession toward higher levels of wellness and increased quality of life. Regarded as the father of individual psychology in some circles, Alfred Adler encouraged us to, ‘Follow your heart but take your brain with you.’ I think being an effective Board member requires a constant balance of both.”
Dr. Rasmussen is also from Baton Rouge. She was licensed in 2013 and it is a Partner at Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group, and also a Consulting Neuropsychologist at Sage Rehabilitation and Neuro RehabCare.
She earned her degree from Georgia School of Professional Psychology in Clinical Psychology/Neuropsychology.
Dr. Rasmussen writes, “It is always a daunting task to replace an outgoing board member, who I am sure is leaving with a breadth of knowledge and experience. What
I believe LSBEP is looking for in a candidate for this position is someone who is socially
responsible, dedicated, honest, ethical, and hardworking. I promise to bring those qualities to the board.
“As a recent Pro Tem board member, I had a glimpse into the responsibilities of the board members. I understand and appreciate that this position requires upholding ethical and legal standards of psychologists. It is of utmost importance that a board member serve to protect the sanctity of the field of psychology and those who utilize
our services from harm. As a board member, I think it is also important to be the voice of your profession, which means integrating feedback and viewpoints from members of the psychological community and working with your professional organizations.
“Over the course of my tenure with the board, I would like to continue modifying our rules and standards to ensure that they are commensurate with national standards. I would also like to help resolve complaints of paraprofessionals working outside of their areas of competence by coordinating with other organizations and oversight committees to establish reasonable boundaries.”
Dr. O’Malley is from Lake Charles and was licensed in 2009 with a specialty in Clinical. She is Staff Psychologist at Southeast Louisiana Veterans HealthCare System (SLVHCS). She earned her degree from Nova Southeastern University in Clinical Psychology.
Dr. O’Malley notes that, “In the current political and pandemic-related climate, I believe an evenhanded reliance and appreciation for our ethical and legal standards must be upheld. As someone who has extensive clinical experience with TeleHealth I feel I would add to the board’s expertise during this phase of reliance on more virtual therapy and supervision that the pandemic has prompted.
“I personally get great satisfaction in working with early career Psychologists in training. As a preceptor or supervisor, I have spent countless hours preparing trainees for the EPPP and oral portion of the exam for licensure in Louisiana. It would give me great pleasure to be on the other side of the table during this process.
“I believe you will find I have excellent judgment and am adept at not only enforcing the laws and standards of practice in Psychology but also in providing a sensible approach to all situations. My communication and organizational skills will allow a seamless transition in appointment to ensure that board work remains on schedule. I get along well with others and am comfortable leading and being led. I remain keen on continuing my development into a senior Psychologist. I believe this tenure would allow for the personal and professional career growth I seek.”