As I look at the year ahead, I am struck by the significant challenges we continue to face as a profession, a psychological association and individual psychologists. Many colleagues are feeling increasingly marginalized due to declining academic enrollment, reduced funding of programs and services, reductions in insurance reimbursements, practice changes associated with health care reform and increased costs of conducting business. For many of us, these challenges may feel overwhelming and daunting. For others, this may be a time of excitement and new opportunities. For most of us, it is a mixed bag.
So, what do we do? Do we tenaciously hold on to the past…the way we used to practice psychology? Do we adopt a “wait and see” attitude and hope that everything will turn out ok? Do we become reactive as others define our value and roles as psychologists? Will we become more proactive so that we sit at the table developing policy or advocating for psychologists in the legislature and with insurance companies? One reality that I know for certain is that these issues are much larger than any one of us. To succeed, we need to work together…as individuals, as members of state and regional associations and psychologists on the national level. This is what we can do. This is what will help us define our identity and determine our own destiny.
Since its inception, the leaders and staff of OPA have worked diligently on behalf of all psychologists in Ohio. As issues affecting psychology gained prominence, including licensure and continuing education requirements, managed care, legislative issues (e.g., sequence of training and prompt pay bill), telehealth and prescribing psychologists, OPA has taken a leadership role. More recently, questions regarding integrated health care and the impact on the practice of psychology have increased significantly. In response, the 2013 Convention focused on “Psychology’s Role in Integrated Health Care” and included presentations by Dr. Katherine Nordal (Executive Director of APA’s Practice Directorate), Dr. Ben Miller (Co-principal investigator and co-creator of the National Research Network’s Collaborative Care Research Network) and Dr. Barry Anton (APA President-Elect). Similarly, the theme of the 2014 Convention was “Evolving Health Care Structures: Psychology’s Place at the Table.” These and many other standalone workshops are important illustrations of OPA’s commitment to offering timely and informative continuing education presented by national and local experts. OPA has also demonstrated a long-standing commitment to advocacy on both a state and national level. OPA’s Legislative Day offers a unique opportunity to psychologists and graduate students to meet with Ohio legislators to discuss legislation affecting the psychological health and well-being of Ohio residents.
When I ran for President of OPA, my slogan was “Together We Can Make a Difference.” That remains my mantra today and will continue throughout my presidential year. For me, this theme applies to every issue and challenge facing us. Over the upcoming 12 months, I will highlight components of some of the challenges and opportunities facing OPA and Ohio psychologists. My hope is to encourage open dialog and to foster a spirit of cooperation and collaboration among all of us.
Topics will include:
If you have any questions or ideas for additional topics, please feel free to contact me via email or by calling 614-786-1950. Thanks!