In this issue
ShoPTAlk and Diversity Updates Cover State Activities
By Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD, ABPP
Arkansas Psychological Association (ArPA) is busy on many fronts this year with several new initiatives as well as the usual active committee work. The twice-yearly newsletter is now supplemented with more frequent communications through the blog and other social media outlets. The Diversity Committee, co-chaired by Khiela Holmes, PhD, and Nick Rios, PsyD, is holding frequent social or lecture events that reach many non ArPA members. The ARPA website is under construction and moving to a new association management platform with improved features such as mobile friendly viewing, easy online commerce, better graphic design features and integrations to ArPA social media platforms. A lobbyist was retained to work with the hard working legislative committee, chaired by Tisha Dean, PhD. The committee has been working without a lobbyist for a number of years. Funds were raised by Executive Director Anne Fuller who held a successful fundraiser and took pledges to get the ball rolling. The PDC, chaired by Betty Everett, PhD, planned the fall convention in conjunction with a university in the state and will be reaching out to students with opportunities such as the poster contest and social events. The Association is exploring new models of membership with an eye on engaging students and early career professionals, as well as historically nonmember psychologists in the state.
The Illinois Psychological Association (IPA) is in the final phase of implementation of its prescriptive authority legislation. The first draft of the rules has been released by the governor and will be posted for comment. Beth Rom-Rymer, PhD, is working with an IPA attorney who is dedicated specifically to ensuring that these rules best meet the intent of the law and provide appropriate services to those needing mental health medications. A number of psychologists in Illinois have begun their RxP training in anticipation of the approval of these rules and psychologists from other states have indicated their intention to move here to become prescribers.
The Maine Psychological Association has been ramping up communications this year with a newly designed, more user friendly website to provide more easily accessible information both for psychologists and the public. We have also reformatted our newsletter to be on-line only and with shorter, more timely articles. The public education committee has taken advantage of APA-generated materials to disseminate information on topics such as coping with violence and stress to media outlets in Maine. Our Early Career Psychology Committee has been reaching out to new licensees via social activities such as “Psychologist Night” at Portland's semi-pro hockey team game and a networking night at a Portland restaurant. On a more serious note, we have also been monitoring and advocating for psychology amidst administrative proposals to reduce Medicaid funding to psychologists and other mental health venues, with dozens of Maine psychologists providing written testimony in opposition.
On Aug. 12, 2016, the Minnesota Psychological Association (MPA) hosted the 2016 President's Conference: Minnesota Summit on Psychology Practice Innovation and Integration. The conference, organized by MPA President Robin McLeod, PhD, featured 14 speakers and panelists from across the state of Minnesota who shared their experiences, insights and predictions about where the practice of psychology is headed in our state. Modeled after the APAPO multi-state summits, the panelists provided valuable insights on starting, joining or participating in exciting alterative practice models. Topics included: the significant role psychologists can and must play when collaborating with medical professionals to improve patient outcomes, reduce health care costs, and increase patient satisfaction; an overview of viable alternative practice models; risk management and legal issues to consider when transitioning to alternative practice models and integrated care settings; working with third party payers to foster integration and how psychologists and physicians can communicate and collaborate more effectively. The conference was attended by close to 70 psychologists and received many positive comments on the evaluations that were submitted.
The North Carolina Psychological Foundation is pleased to announce the creation of the Barbara H. Wasik Student Travel Grant award thanks to the generosity of NCPA Past President Barbara Hanna Wasik, PhD. Wasik has given a substantial contribution to the Foundation. An award of $500 will be given yearly to a graduate student who is presenting at a national conference. This award is in addition to the Foundation's regular Student Travel Grant awards - $250 given four times a year at a minimum to graduate students to go toward expenses for presenting at a national conference.