President’s Message: June 2014

How to Get the Most From Your Membership

Dr. Ashton at 2014 ConventionBy: Kathleen Ashton, PhD, OPA President

At OPA, whether it is on the board or staff level, there is an ongoing conversation on how to make membership beneficial and engage members in the organization. You will see from the Strategic Plan to the new ideas about governance restructuring that membership involvement is a key area of focus. As we approach the time of year that each of us is asked to renew our membership, I ask you to consider how you are using OPA benefits and the value they bring to your professional life. I am proud to ask this question with confidence, I truly believe that OPA is wonderful value!

Here are my top 10 ways to get the most value from an OPA membership:

  1. Know your membership benefits. Did you know that OPA members receive the following? Ethics consultation, discounts on MCE and advertising, access to discounted services such as Identity Theft Protection, credit union membership, encrypted email, collection and billing services, credit card processing, disability insurance. These are just a few of the many benefits OPA members can take advantage of.
  2. Vote in OPA elections. Only a fraction of our membership votes in OPA elections. Take the time to get to know OPA leaders, and make your voice heard.
  3. Get to know staff, and treat them with respect. The OPA staff is a terrific resource. I have found each of them to be professional, timely, knowledgeable and helpful.
  4. Participate in OPA CE offerings. I continue to be impressed by the quality of OPA CE offerings including convention, stand-alone workshops and webinars. Psychologists continue to choose OPA workshops for their topics, quality and timeliness.
  5. Utilize the listserv. The listserv is one of many ways OPA helps to connect psychologists and share information. Many OPA members are unaware you can get a journal option with only one email per day. Consider connecting on social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
  6. Participate in advocacy. We just wrapped up Legislative Day, an opportunity for psychologists to connect with their state legislators and discuss political issues affecting psychologists. OPA can help you advocate for laws and policies important to psychologists and keep you up to date on current issues.
  7. Read OPA publications. If you’re reading this, I’m probably preaching to the choir but OPA publications are the best way to stay on top of issues affecting Ohio psychologists and association news.
  8. Become familiar with the OPA website. Many of the resources you need as an Ohio psychologist are at your fingertips. Explore to see how much information is truly available at a click of the mouse with an OPA membership.
  9. Volunteer as a psychologist through OPA. OPA psychologists gave 5,647 hours of their time, served 292 pro bono Patients, represented OPA in four mental health awareness walks and participated in seven health fairs last year. What a great way to feel good about your profession and give back to the community!
  10. Consider getting involved in OPA leadership. OPA is always looking for different perspectives, diverse psychologists and new ideas. If you think the association needs certain benefits or a certain direction, what better way to make a change?
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