Qualifications for CPA President Elect

I am honored to have been nominated for the California Psychological Association’s 2010 President Elect. CPA has been buffeted by the financial crisis that all psychological associations across the country and state are facing.  CPA needs a seasoned leader, and I believe that my previous experience gives me the skills to lead the Association in this time of crisis. In 2004, my goal was to make CPA relevant for all California Psychologists.  My new goal, if elected, will be to build membership across many diverse constituencies. CPA membership has repeatedly voiced its opinion that advocacy is CPA’s number one function, and I have extensive advocacy experience. I have also served on the CPA-PAC Board of Directors, on numerous committees, and more recently as a member of the CPA Building Task Force.  I chaired the search committee in 2004 which led to the hiring CPA’s current Executive Director. Other leadership experience includes using my ability to bring people together, build consensus, and to work as a united front on a variety of committees and in organizations including the following:

  • President Elect, CPA, 2003.  Helped to plan successful CPA Convention for 2004.  Continued to offer continuing education courses in research, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the Public Sector that provided attendees the opportunity to obtain Continuing education units in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner.  We added a plenary session as well as a Prescriptive Authority track. There was a track for mentoring early career psychologists and for those needing to update their skills in practice development. I developed the CPA Convention theme around the concept that Psychology is a “comprehensive health profession” moving into the 21st Century.  In this way, CPA promoted research and practice within the framework of the Convention. We invited leaders in the areas of research and practice in behavioral health, psychopharmacology, families and children, psychologists in primary health care settings and the public sector. We scheduled a single block of time for an awards ceremony and one luncheon with a San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
  • President, CPA, 2004. I helped to lead CPA when there was no Executive Director and used my skills to bring people of diverse needs and backgrounds together, focused members of the Board of Directors on the broad issues facing CPA, built consensus to move the organization forward as defined by its mission, core values, and its long-range vision.  I established an Officers’ Committee which met weekly.  I met with the Director of Professional Affairs and Deputy E.D. almost weekly and chaired CPA Board meetings.  I also established a Diversity Task Force which produced a strategic plan for diversity for CPA.  In addition to the above activities, I chaired the search committee for the current executive director and hired Jo Linder-Crow, Ph.D., in November 2004.
  • Immediate Past President, CPA, 2005.  As Chair of the Nominations, Elections, and Awards Committee, I helped to develop guidelines for endorsing candidates by CPA chapters and divisions and developed recommendation for elections which the CPA Board adopted.  I was also a member of the Finance, Diversity, CE, Governance, and GAC Committees during the year.  I chaired the RxP Taskforce which became the first new Division in CPA in many years.  Division V of Clinical Psychopharmacology was approved by 80% of CPA’s voting membership in October 2005.
  • Chair, CPA Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC), 2001 – 2002, 2009; Vice Chair, 1998 – 1999. The GAC included approximately 33 members representing the many interests of the grassroots CPA members, the local CPA Chapters, and Divisions. Surveys of CPA membership and leadership consistently show that members want advocacy for psychologists’ interests to be the highest priority for CPA. My professional experience of leadership of CPA’s GAC and my work on the Political Action Committee (PAC) provided me with the experience and understanding to lead CPA. I spent my nights and weekends for many years learning the nuances of the importance of the interrelationship among CPA members’ grassroots activities, psychologists’ political giving to our PAC, and our support for CPA’s very capable professional advocacy staff. As Chair of the GAC, I was responsible for planning and coordinating the legislative agenda for CPA. I worked closely with members of the Board of Directors to keep them informed on advocacy issues and consulted with CPA advocacy staff to implement that agenda. Most importantly I coordinated with members of Divisions and leaders of local chapters to activate grassroots activities and to translate psychologists’ concerns into action. If CPA is not actively advocating for its members, the profession and the discipline of psychology will be standing still, if not losing ground.
  • President, Psychology Shield, 2003 – present. I have been working for parity for psychologists on professional staffs in California State run mental hospitals since serving on the CPA GAC.
  • Member, CPA Board of Directors, (ex-officio), 2001 – 2002. I worked with the CPA Board as we established a vision for the organization, which I believe will guide CPA through it next 30 years.
  • Chair, successful CPA-PAC Convention Fundraiser, 2001. Secretary CPA-PAC, 2003.
  • Chair, CPA Convention Presentation on Expanded Practice, 2002.
  • Invited presenter APA State Leadership Conference, 2001; presented on CPA’s successful State Leadership Conferences, 2002.
  • Organized panel that presented conflicting views on Involuntary Commitment Legislation, CPA Convention, 2000.
  • Co-Chair, San Diego Chapter GAC, 1998 – 2000.
  • President, San Diego Psychological Association: While serving on the SDPA Board, we implemented good accounting and finance practices and retired its debt; re-wrote the by-laws, designed a strategic plan, and implemented good association policies and procedures.  SDPA membership grew to its highest ever, just under 900 during 2008.  SDPA is the 2008 Outstanding CPA Chapter!  I am extremely familiar with the problems facing CPA, its divisions, and its chapters. 
  • CPA Federal Advocacy Coordinator for Southern California, 2007, 2008, 2009.
  • Division 42 Federal Advocacy Coordinator, 2008, 2009, 2010.
  • Chair, CPA Division I, 2006.  I am working with the Division I Board to develop a strategic plan for the next 2-3 years.  The board voted to establish two new sections for Health Psychology and Neuropsychology.  The Division I pages of the CPA website will be re-designed.  I have worked on a new Division Brochure, and we are in the process of setting up a listserv for Division I members.  Under my guidance the Board voted to fund an additional ½ day for CPA’s advocacy conference. I chaired the Division I taskforce on the Patriot Act in 2005 and 2006.
  • Member APA Divisions 31, 37, 42, and 55.
  • Chair and Co-chair of Division 31 Membership committee since 2004.  I became Newsletter chair of the Advocacy Section II of the Division in 2006. 
  • Member of, and fundraiser for, AAP (APA’s Political Action Committee) Century Club.
  • Member of the APA search committee for Editor of Clinicians Research Digest, 2005.
  • President, San Diego Society for Sex Therapy and Education, 1988 – 1989.
  • President, Psi Chi (Psychology Honor Society), USIU Chapter, 1979 – 1980. Organized membership drive and professional workshops for students and faculty.
  • CPA Representative to APA Council of Representatives, 2007-2009.

Pressing issues facing the profession of psychology and how I would deal with them:

  • Currently there are many roadblocks to protecting and advancing the profession and the discipline of psychology. There are too few approved training sites for graduate students. The impact of managed care remains a pressing issue resulting in MFTs and LCSWs being utilized to save money but denying patients the doctoral level quality of psychologists. California’s budget crisis affects lack of access to care for underserved populations. Because of the inadequacy of managed care, CPA must emphasize the importance of all consumers having access to high quality mental health care. I will serve as a bridge to make sure that California psychologists’ interests are protected, and I will work to achieve an increased scope of practice for psychologists to prevent the marginalizing of our profession.
  • Another pressing issue is the lack of unity among psychologists, which lessens the efficacy of scientists, practitioners, and clinical and academic psychologists. This disunity threatens the viability of the profession, limits contributions to the PACs and prevents a unified front in advocating for an increased scope of practice for psychologists. It has also resulted in the stagnation of growth in membership in organized psychology at the state and national levels. If elected, I plan to work with the Board of Directors of CPA and the members of the APA Council to strengthen relationships and alliances among the various groups in psychology. As Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”