By: Jim Broyles, PhD, OPA President
This is an exciting time of year for many of us who are leaders in OPA. In March, the American Psychological Association holds its State Leadership Conference. The purpose of the conference is to bring state association leaders up to date on key issues relevant to psychologists, as well as create an opportunity for psychologists to assist APA in lobbying members of congress on issues which are pertinent for all of us. Delegations are sent to the conference in Washington, D.C. from every state, and our group from Ohio is typically strong and impressive. Our OPA delegation includes OPA officers, relevant committee leaders, OPA staff members and Ohio’s APA liaisons such as our Federal Advocacy Coordinator. Last year was my first year to attend as President-elect, and one fact became apparent to me right away. Ohio is well respected at this national level. Our Ohio association is often identified as being at the forefront of new ideas and innovations, as well as clearly identified as active and involved in the work of the conference.
In many ways, conference attendees work throughout the conference to gather information and develop ideas which benefit all Ohio psychologists. Key ideas to be examined include health care reform, billing and reimbursement issues, APA’s clinical practice guideline initiative, exploring new practice models and understanding electronic health records. All participants will spend time visiting the offices or their congressional representative to advocate for issues which are highly relevant to professional psychologists and the field of mental health. This is a great opportunity for us to connect with our congressional representatives as psychologists, and to make sure they stay aware of issues which are affecting as professionals. I believe it is helpful for all our members to know about this conference, and OPA’s strong and focused participation there. I think it of helpful for all our members to be mindful the often behind the scenes activities which contribute to the professional lives of all our members.