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President's Message: April 2018

Posted By Mary Lewis, PhD, ABPP - OPA President, Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Ohio Delegation had another successful trip to the APAPO Practice Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., and we have come back with a wealth of information regarding current political landscapes and the importance of advocacy, clinical guidelines, the opioid crisis, licensure pathways, master’s issues, and social justice. 

One of the sessions I would like to report on was entitled “Social Justice & Advocacy Matters: Navigating “isms” and Building Allies in SPTAs and Other Professional Settings” which was co-facilitated by Charmain Jackman, PhD, Diversity Liaison; Chair, Diversity Subcommittee, Committee of State Leaders and Gary Howell, PsyD, Diversity Liaison-Elect. During this session, we participated in a fishbowl exercise that allowed participants to explore issues of race/ethnicity, religion, gender, ability and other diversity factors related to their training, mentoring experiences, and professional sites. My take-home message from this experience were numerous: how crucial it is to listen and trust our colleague’s experiences, to actively find ways to have effective ally-like behaviors, and to never stop working towards equity and removal of barriers based on stereotypes. Social justice work can be exhausting, yet is crucial to the future of our profession and nation.

A second important session was entitled “High-Impact Governing:” Building Successful Leadership Partnerships” and was presented by Eloiza Altoro, MS, HS-BCP, CAE, Principal Consultant, Mind Redesign Consulting, Milwaukee, WI. She walked attendees through successful and non-successful factors related to non-profit boards. I had many take-aways from her presentation, as well as the follow-up session co-facilitated by Jo Linder-Crow, Ph.D., CEO of the California Psychological Association and Paul Marcille, Ph.D., President of CPA. It was clear throughout that it can be easy to fall into dysfunctional behaviors within non-profit governance models, and continuous reflection and effective leadership should be part of the process to reduce that dysfunction. Further, the interaction between volunteer board members and staff in the organization is one of the keys to effective and successful organizations. 

As we continue to refine and work on OPA’s new governance model, these two sessions helped me focus on several of our growing pains, and have given me ideas on next steps. While practical goals such as the updating of the Policy and Procedure manual is important, our association has also been working on meaningful goals that our membership has directed us towards: Violence prevention, addressing the opioid crisis, and workforce issues, to name just a few.

To address these, we must refrain from too narrow of a self-focus and ensure we collaborate with colleagues across professions. OPA’s relationship with OSPA is a good example of a healthy collaboration, with our current focus being to create a combined website of pre-existing resources for psychologists, school psychologists, teachers, parents, and other healthcare professionals to address school violence. Our hope is to put forth a “one stop resource” site for practitioners and consumers to visit, rather than being directed to numerous sites and not knowing the quality or efficacy of those. 

To close, I’d like to send a warm Congratulations to OSPA on their 75th Anniversary! They will be celebrating the year at their 2018 Conference, which will be held April 19-20 in Hilton Columbus in Polaris. The celebration program will kick-off Thursday morning with Dr. John Kelly, the current President of NASP with a keynote address entitled “The Power of One.”  Following his address, Dr. Kelly will present “Delivering Effective Mental Health Services in Schools” with a focus on student anxiety and depression. For more information visit the OSPA website. 

One last reminder: Don’t forget to register for the OPA convention, which is the following week April 26, 27, and 28th at the Quest Conference Center in Polaris! We will have Dr. Arthur Evans, Jr., CEO of APA kicking off convention with a keynote entitled “The Future of Psychology and the American Psychological Association.” There are sessions to interest everyone, and numerous networking opportunities. Looking forward to seeing you there!

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