Well, it was bound to happen. Denise Brenner has submitted her resignation. Her last day was November 1. We were joking in staff meeting the other day (central office humor) that this year’s Convention would be the “Denise Brenner Farewell Convention.” Denise started with us as an intern when she was a psychology major at Ohio Wesleyan University. Following her graduation she moved into an administrative assistant position with us. Her organizational skills and interest in financial management led her to take over our internal bookkeeping and operations responsibilities. She has also provided strong leadership to support our membership recruitment and retention efforts and helped us improve our membership data collection and analysis. She has become our internal IT person and has taught herself what she needed to know to be effective in that role. OPA has supported her career development activities through getting her MBA and more recently going through all the work to earn her CPA certification. Her departure is not unexpected and we will miss her. I suspect that those who have been around OPA since 1999 share the pride and happiness I feel for her as she moves on to new challenges. Please join me in wishing Denise the very best as she moves onward and upward!
Bobbie Celeste and I recently had the opportunity to meet with first and second year graduate students at Xavier in Cincinnati. It was a great group with lots of energy and enthusiasm for the profession. They were very interested in the advocacy work of OPA and had some great questions. It was only a few weeks ago that Bobbie and I were meeting with the interns at Wright State and coming up this month is a presentation to the Toledo Area Academy of Professional Psychologists and a meeting with graduate students at Bowling Green. We enjoy having these kinds of exchanges with regional associations and with students. I know we are working on scheduling a visit with the Akron Area Professional Psychologists in the near future. These programs help us stay on top of the issues our members are facing and communicate to members the things we are doing on their behalf.
In Cincinnati we were able to schedule a meeting with the new Medical Director for Anthem and several key staff members of the Anthem regional office. We shared a list of issues that members have brought to our attention, which they are now investigating. They were very interested in the fact that the Ohio Board of Psychology will be certifying regulating applied behavior analysts. This was added to the budget bill and the Psychology Board worked with many stakeholders to develop rules that are now making their way through the public hearing and review process. Coverage of autism treatment was mandated by the governor for plans in the health insurance exchange and for state employee plans. We understand that another attempt will be made to mandate this coverage for large employer plans. In some states where autism coverage has been mandated, ABA providers are not regulated.
We are in that time period when APA sends out its apportionment ballot. I was disappointed last year that we got fewer votes than the year before. You all know the story because we have talked about it every year since I started here. Every APA member is given 10 votes on the apportionment ballot. Only 10 percent of the eligible voters vote and 90 percent of the ballots are just tossed. Votes matter! Voters can allocate their 10 votes between states and divisions. The total of all votes for states and all votes for divisions is important in how seats/votes on the APA Council of Representatives are allocated. Ohio is not likely to gain a second seat…I guess it could happen, but votes for Ohio help maintain a strong state caucus within council. Last year there were a total of 256 people who gave votes to Ohio. 109 people gave all of their votes to Ohio and there were a total of 1,673 votes cast for Ohio. That’s less than the year before! We can do better! Please, please, please don’t toss your ballot. Go to line 97 on the ballot and give your 10 votes to Ohio! Can we get some votes from 375 people? Can we get 200 people to give us 10 votes? Can we go over the 2,500 vote total? Come on Ohio…we can do it!