Caribbean women

One of the Caribbean’s leading experts in the provision of psychological services has just been internationally recognized and recommended for a prestigious opportunity.

Dr. Patricia Elder, Executive Director of Elder Associates Limited has been selected among a community of international professionals to be appointed as a Peer Reviewer for the Council on Accreditation (COA) – A non-profit accreditor of human services since 1977. Accreditation by definition is the act of granting credit or recognition, especially to a human service institution that maintains suitable standards.

Accreditation is necessary to any person or institution in education or social services that needs to prove that they meet a general standard of quality and excellence in service delivery. Dr. Elder will be joining the ranks of other international peer reviewers who travel all over the world to assess organizations which apply for accreditation.

Photo: Michael Bonaparte

What is the Council on Accreditation (COA)?

From its official website, “The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, non-profit, human service accrediting organization. Its mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.

The COA is supported by over 30 international organizations and accredits a full continuum of social services organizations, including Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs). The accreditation agency currently accredits more than 2,200 organizations and programmes serving more than 7 million individuals and families around the world.

Elder Associates has been in existence for twenty-two years and was accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) in January 2013 as an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Service Provider. The company provides a full spectrum of psychological services to organizations and individuals and is largely recognized locally, regionally and internationally for its competency in the design and implementation of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs).

As a COA peer reviewer, Dr. Elder will be responsible for reviewing applications by other organizations seeking accreditation in conjunction with the COA team to assess a programme’s conformance with COA’s core standards and making recommendations to the accreditation body.

About Dr. Patricia Elder

Dr. Patricia Elder is a leader and visionary for delivery of comprehensive mental health services in Trinidad and Tobago and the Greater Caribbean region. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, Master’s Degree and a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. 

In 1979 she was one of the first persons from the Caribbean to obtain a Ph.D. from this programme.  She is a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP) and her professional expertise includes individual and group psychotherapy, clinical supervision, training and psycho-diagnostics. 

Dr. Elder is a member of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, The American Psychological Association and a member of the Trinidad and Tobago branch of the International Women’s Forum.  She also serves on the Advisory Committee of the Heroes Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago.

In 1993, Dr. Elder founded Elder Associates Limited, a company that has provided comprehensive psychological services, specializing in the design and implementation of Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) for more than twenty years.  Initially established in Trinidad and Tobago, the company has expanded services throughout the Greater Caribbean region, with a model of service delivery that has been replicated by other practices in the private sector.

The appointment of Dr. Elder within the COA will be formalized at an initial orientation session in November 2015. From then onward, she will represent the Caribbean as a member of the COA peer reviewing team

Tomii Culmer is crowned Miss Bahamas Universe 2014.

Last night I attended the Miss Bahamas Universe and it was one of the most exciting pageants I’ve attended ever! Reason being, I had three beauties who I knew very well and was torn as to which one I should pull for hardest. I was asked on several occasion, ‘Who are you pulling for?’

Tomii Culmer I knew from our second season of Nu Face Model Search where she placed 1st Runner Up. Ominique Burrows I’d first worked with at Islands of The World Fashion Week and I can still recall the shoot she did with Lyndah Wells for our magazine. Last but not least, Rokara Hepburn who was our last Nu Face Model Search winner as well as cover girl! So yes, my heart was doing any little dances throughout the pageant.

Tomii Culmer in Nu Woman’s Summer/Autumn 2010 issue Ominique Burrows in Nu Woman’s Winter/Spring 2010 issue Rokara Hepburn on the cover of Nu Woman’s Fall 2012 issue

All these young ladies were spectacular on stage, and they were the Top 3 finishers (proud mama bear J). As pageants go, we went through swimsuit, evening wear and of course the questions. I did tear up when I heard Rokara’s emotional answer to the last question. The question asked about inspiring the youths of our nation and Rokara talked about her poor childhood and some personal dramas and said she would use her story as an example to inspire youths.

Top Ominique Burrows Rokara Hepburn Tomii Culmer

This was my most exciting pageant ever! I got to see first hand how these ladies had grown and matured. It was great to hang out with old friends and meet a few new ones. Congratulations to ALL my girls, you made me proud!

Editor with Cardell J. McClam Jessica Frances and Celeste Marshall (former Miss Bahamas Universe). Cardell McClam with Kedar Clarke and friend.

* List of Judges: Grace Fontecha, Walter Greene, Zuri McDaniels, Ty Jonnston, Nicole Murphy, Carole I. Barnett, Braneka Bassett.

Contestants: Toni Bethel, Tomii Culmer, Ominique Burrows, Rokara Hepburn, Gabrielle Wong, Deandra Brown.

Hosts: Jerome Sawyer & Leslia Miller Brice. President: Michelle Malcolm.

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Miss Bahamas Universe Finale

 ©Nu Woman Magazine 2014.