The Connecticut Psychological Association... working for ALL the psychologists in our state. Working for you.
January 5, 2020
CPA 2019: A Year in Review
Happy New Year! CPA had a very productive 2019 and we have even more planned for 2020!
In 2019, CPA answered many inquiries related to practice, ethics, licensure, and training and kept you informed and up-to-date about practice issues such as reimbursement, insurance audits, and changes to reporting requirements under Medicare. CPA responded to media inquiries and offered educational information at community events. CPA enhanced communication through our listserv CONNPSYCH@LISTS.APAPRACTICE.ORG
CPA offered outstanding educational trainings and networking opportunities to support our professional growth. Offering excellent in-person CE trainings throughout the state:
Offering 6 outstanding free to members webinars featuring:
CPA’s 33rd Annual Convention
Dr. Ilene Grueneberg and colleagues organized CPA’s 33rd Annual Convention on October 25, 2019. Thank you to committee members Drs. Ralph Balducci, Jessica Guite, Robert Horwitz, Mikaru Lasher, and Elizabeth Rathbun, for putting together an excellent convention. CPA was honored to have APA Council Leadership Chair Dr. Beth Rom-Rymer join us in CT. The events started with a dinner in honor at Ludal’s in North Haven with CPA and RXP Taskforce members. We had some challenges with this year’s Keynote address. Our original Keynote speaker, Jeremy Richman, sadly passed away. We were very excited when Paul Bloom agreed to step in and then he was unexpectedly hospitalized the day before the Convention! (He is fully recovered, by the way!) We were VERY lucky to have Beth Rom-Rymer already scheduled to present a workshop and she graciously agreed to host a Keynote conversation entitled “The Future of Psychological Practice “with our own David Greenfield, Anne Klee and Darius Fathi.” Thanks to all for their enthusiasm and expertise, the Keynote conversation was an excellent beginning to our day. We also had a mix of new and returning presenters; all were thoughtful, informative and seemed to be well received. What a treasure chest of knowledgeable and personable speakers!
CPA’s 2019 Legislative Session
In 2019 CPA tracked over 100 bills that could impact our license, scope of practice or public mental health. Our legislative season started on January 2,2019 when we heard that there were problems with the new testing codes (that came into effect on January 1st). Within days we had calls with APA, and Anita Schepker, our lobbyist, was meeting with the CT Department of Social Services (CT DSS). While CT DSS maintained there were no intentions to lower Medicaid reimbursements, there were coding glitches that took time to correct and other consequences with the new codes. All members are welcome to join the legislative calls on Mondays at 8:30 am. Contact: Dr. Marcy Kane firstname.lastname@example.org 203-217-5276
Some outcomes from the 2019 CT legislative session:
o CPA lobbied for PSYPACT. There is a commitment by the Department of Public Health to study this issue and bring back a recommendation to the Public Health Committee in 2020.
o CPA lobbied against HB 6401 AN ACT RECOGNIZING PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AS A FORM OF EMOTIONAL CHILD ABUSE Along with bills such as HB 5877 restricting the use of Guardians ad Litem in highly contested family court cases, these bills all failed despite the public forum on parental alienation held at the state Legislative Office Building early on during the session. The drafted bills were highly controversial and ultimately did not even get a public hearing.
o CPA actively supported HB 7140 which would have required, among other things that motorcycle operators and their passengers be required to wear helmets. CPA testified in favor of this portion of the bill, but ultimately this bill did not pass.
CPA’s Annual Legislative Breakfast at the Capitol
Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual CPA Legislative Breakfast at the Capitol. We had a terrific turnout and some encouraging comments from legislators who were disappointed that RXP did not go further.
Anita Schepker and Ralph Balducci with State Senator Derek Slap
Mark Spellmann, State Rep Holly Cheeseman, State Rep Mary Mushinsky, and Anne Klee
Good News and Congratulations!
· At the 2019 CPA Convention, Dr. John Mehm announced that former CPA President Dr. Jack Plummer and his wife Lynn have made a sizeable donation of $100,000 to the Connecticut Psychological Foundation. Their donation will support the Jack and Lynn Plummer Lectureship. The Plummers want the lectures to be of educational benefit to psychologists and to reflect the current status of research and practice in areas of clinical psychology. A very active and longstanding member of CPA, Dr. Plummer believes all psychologists in Connecticut should be members of CPA. Recognizing that a state psychological association is the stepstone to our profession, Dr. Plummer personally engaged and mentored many members over the years such as Drs. John Mehm, Steve Moore, Jane Owens-Lane, Stephen Sarfaty, Jeff Zimmerman, to name just several among many. The lectureship will support his legacy by bringing members together to learn from renowned speakers. The Plummers hope the lectureship will make an impact by providing ongoing education and inspiration to the membership of CPA! Drs. John Mehm, Steve Moore and Anne Klee will oversee the investment and spending of the funds. The CPA and CPF boards are awed by this significant gift and opportunity to further engage CT psychologists.
1. Build coalitions with public officials, public and private agencies and organizations, psychologists and consumers to educate and gain support.
2. Explore and hire a person or firm to increase and improve marketing, including and especially grassroots efforts and social media campaigning.
3. Explore and establish donation mechanisms for RxP. (By the way, a DONATION button is already up and running on connpsych.org.)
Congratulations to 2019 CPA Awards Recipients
Distinguished Contribution to the Practice of Psychology James Connolly, Ph.D.
Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in the Public Interest Timothy Kearney, Ph.D.
Distinguished Contribution to Diversity in Psychology John Mehm, Ph.D.
Distinguished Contribution to the Science of Psychology Award Jessica W. Guite, Ph.D.
Distinguished Early Career Contribution to Psychology Darius Fathi, Psy.D.
Outstanding Student of Psychology Emmanuel Silva de Sousa
Distinguished Legislators State Senator Heather Somers and State Representative Jonathan Steinberg
President's Award Anita Schepker, JD
Award for Extraordinary Service to CPA Mark Spellmann, Ph.D.
CPA Priorities Survey
Thank you to Drs. Jessica Guite and Mark Spellmann who in early 2019 initiated a needs-based planning project designed to survey our existing members and to also invite input from all licensed psychologists in the state. The survey seeks to elicit information about membership priorities and to also engage CT psychologists in sharing feedback on preferred advocacy efforts for CPA to target into the future. A brief electronic survey was constructed and initially launched in September 2019 to all psychologists in the state and is ongoing to ensure that we are gathering a broad perspective of voices. We can only support you effectively when priorities and concerns are shared and now, more than ever, psychologists in the state of CT need the strength in numbers to successfully advocate shared priorities. Please take the survey today!
Update on APA Activities
CPA’s Annual trip to Washington DC to participate in the Practice Leadership Conference and visit the CT Congressional Delegation on Capitol Hill.
H.R. 884 Medicare Mental Health Access Act
Thank you to Dr. Beth Rathbun CPA’s Federal Advocacy Coordinator who is coordintating the CT effort to garner congressional support ofr H.R. 884. APA is currently in the process of working to confirm co-sponsors for H.R. 884. This bill was introduced by Reps Judy Chi (D-CA), Jason Smith (R-MO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). The bill seeks to remove the delay in mental health treatment for Medicare beneficiaries by ending the need for a physical signature and supervision of psychological services. Currently, for Medicare recipients in nursing homes and related hospital facilities Medicare requires a physician to sign off on all psychological treatment services. This stipulation negatively effects many older Americans with multiple medical and psychological diagnoses as they must wait for treatment to begin. However, many private health care plans, the VA and TRICARE all support licensed psychologists signing off and practicing independently in all inpatient and outpatient locations. In addition, physicians are often limited and difficult to access. This bill would not add or change the services that psychologists already provide. Passing this bill would allow psychologists to practice within their scope of practice and ensure that Medicare clients effected get their treatment needs met more efficiently.
Please share any related Medicare issues you have experienced with Beth as so she can share them with Connecticut Congressional representatives. These experiences will likely help representatives fully understand the necessity of passing this bill. You can contact Beth at email@example.com.
APA Council convened on Wednesday, Aug. 7, and Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. At the onset, council voted to reject suspending Association Rule 30-2.1, which means we agreed to not publish individual votes on open session agenda items. Council passed the consent agenda which included the following educational proficiency and specialty areas:
Also approved on the consent agenda under public interest were several resolutions related to HIV prevention, infection and transmission. They include:
On the Wednesday morning of council, we received an inspiring update from APA President Rosie Bingham-Davis on her presidential initiative on deep poverty. We also received an update from Arthur Evans, CEO of APA. For the past two years, membership has increased! Evans also reported on the implementation of the strategic plan and highlighted APA’s important work in artificial intelligence and responses to national tragedies. Jean Carter then provided council with the financial report. On Wednesday afternoon, recently deceased members were honored. Diana Prescott recognized Rich Tirman, and Frank Farley recognized Wilbert (Bill) J. McKeachie. Additionally, on Wednesday afternoon, the Committee on Early Career Psychologists presented Div. 42 with a recognition for promoting the expertise of early career psychologists and encouraging early career involvement in leadership.
Council explored an amendment to association rules to change the composition of the Board of Professional Affairs (BPA). With sunsetting of the Committee on the Advancement of Professional Practice, it was determined more seats were needed on BPA to support the work. This passed, adding three seats to BPA.
Council spent much of the remainder of our time discussing and debating the following items:
Council meets again Feb. 28 through March 1, 2020.
Save the Date!
List of selected 2020 CPA upcoming events. For more details and to register please go to www.Connpsych.com
CPA Networking Gathering
Friday, January 17, 2020 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (EST)
Burroughs Community Center
2470 Fairfield AvenueBridgeport, CT 06605
CPA Annual Legislative Breakfast
Wednesday, April 15, 2020 from 8:30-10 am
Legislative Office Building, Hartford
CPA’s 34th Annual Convention
Friday, November 13, 2020
Yale’s West Campus
At the end of 2019, three board members are rotating off. Thank you to Dr. Katie Berk (Treasurer), Dr. Jim Connolly (Region 2 Rep) and Nana Yaa Marfo (Student Rep) for your outstanding service and dedication to CPA and our profession.
Announcing the 2020 CPA Board, Divisions, Taskforce and Committee Chairs
President Anne Klee, Ph.D.
President-Elect Jennifer Doran, Ph.D.
Secretary Meghan Butler, Ph.D.
Treasurer Mark Spellmann, Ph.D.
Early Career Representative Darius Fathi, Psy.D.
Graduate Student Representative Nadika Paranamana, MA
Undergraduate Representative Emily Hotz
Council Representative John Mehm, Ph.D.
Region 1 Representative Jennifer Ferrand, Psy.D.
Region 2 Representative Sharif Okasha, Psy.D.
Region 3 Representative Stephanie Pennington, Psy.D.
Region 4 Representative Ralph Balducci, Psy.D.
Region 5 Representative Heather Paluso, Ph.D.
Diversity Representative Maysa Akbar, Ph.D.
Practice Representative Stuart Sokol, Ph.D.
Public Interest Rep Kathleen Chapman, Ph.D.
Science Representative Jessica Guite, Ph.D.
Legislative Chair Marcy Kane, Ph.D.
Federal Advocacy Coordinator Elizabeth Rathbun, Psy.D.
Public Education Coordinator Elaine Ducharme, Ph.D.
Continuing Education Chair Ilene Grueneberg, Ph.D.
Forensic Division Rep Eric Frazer, Ph.D.
Neuropsychology Division Rep Jon Woodhouse, Psy.D.
Healthcare Reform Taskforce Barbara Ward-Zimmerman, Ph.D.
Prescription Authority Taskforce Barbara Bunk, Ph.D.
David Greenfield, Ph.D.
PSYPACT Taskforce Carrissa Phipps, Ph.D.
CT Suicide Advisory Board Kathleen Chapman, Ph.D.
Candice Weigle-Spier, Ph.D.
CT Task Force to Study the Carrissa Phipps, Ph.D.
Policies & Procedures Adopted Nick Pinkerton, Psy.D.
by Each Institution of Higher Janet Spoltore, Ph.D.
Education Regarding the Prevention
& Treatment of Mental Illness
On this Global Day of Giving, please support our students! Please invest in educational and networking opportunities for graduate students like Nana 'Molinha' Marfo.
We would love to send students and early career psychologists to the American Psychological Association’s Practice Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., where they can learn about cutting edge Issues facing our profession and public mental health, connect with psychologists who are at the forefront of our field and meet with Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation to advocate on behalf of mental health care reform.
Please invest in future educational opportunities for graduate students and early career psychologists from diverse backgrounds by making a contribution to the Ethnic Diversity Mentoring Scholarships of the Connecticut Psychological Foundation. We need your support!
Today, Giving Tuesday, the global day of giving, please donate to efforts to support psychology and public health
Thank you so much!
The Connecticut Psychological Foundation is a not-for-profit educational foundation with the goals of advancing the proficiency of psychologists and contributing to the health and wellbeing of the public. CPF sponsors programs that promote education of the public, students, and psychologists. Tax-deductible donations can made via PayPal or a check can be sent to the CT Psychological Foundation P O Box 915, North Haven, CT 06473-0915.
Our Paypal option allows you to donate monthly and/or to earmark your donation for a specific fund if you so choose. Specific funds include: Mindstylz, Catherine Acuff Awards & the Ethnic Diversity Mentoring Scholarships. Non-specified donations will support educational programming as needed.
The following message is is an excerpt from a letter CPA sent to Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Dear Senator Blumenthal,
I am honored to inform you that you have been selected for Connecticut Psychological Association’s 2018 Distinguished Legislator Award for your steadfast commitment to protecting people’s rights. We salute your advocacy work around mental health parity, access to care, elder protection and abuse prevention, common sense legislation to reduce gun violence, and funding for intervention programs that address the opioid epidemic. In all, we recognize your unwavering public support for laws and services that promote human welfare.
We would also like to acknowledge your vocal support of our colleague and sexual assault survivor, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and for all victims of sexual violence. In stating your belief in the veracity of her account of her sexual assault, you have communicated to all victims of sexual abuse that their experiences matter and that they, as human beings, matter.
As you are aware, further psychological damage from sexual violence occurs when victims are ignored, blamed and shamed when speaking up about their abuse. Women and men who have been victimized often avoid reporting their experience to law enforcement or even family members and friends, for fear of a negative reaction. Instead, you modeled a positive response to Dr. Blasey Ford’s story with words of acknowledgement, concern, and support. Your voice has given hope and strength for victims to continue to seek acknowledgement and repair. As psychologists who provide resources and treatment to sexual abuse victims, we applaud your efforts to elevate public awareness and support survivors.
Anne Klee, Ph.D.
The recent US policy to separate immigrant children from their parents has been especially alarming to psychologists who understand the science of stress on children and families. In the weeks following the policy to separate families, over 2,300 children were separated from their parents. CPA is concerned about family separation and the serious short and long-term negative health impacts it can have on both children and adults. Several letters from organizations have been sent around in response to the US policy to separate children from their parents at the borders.
The CPA Board voted to co-sign two circulating letters. CPA has signed on to a letter spearheaded by Physicians for Human Rights that was sent to every member of Congress. We also co-signed a second letter, written and organized by Child's World America, that has been signed by a number of mental health organizations. A few CPA members have reached out with ideas for us to be more involved on this matter through advocacy and education. If you would like to be involved, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In other news, June has been a busy month for CPA. On Friday, June 8th many of us attended the daylong training on measurement-based care taught by Drs. Barbara Ward Zimmerman and Jason DeViva. Their presentation was very informative and practical including free tools to use in practice settings and codes to bill insurance for administration of measures. We are grateful to them for sharing their knowledge and expertise. On Thursday, June 14th, CPA hosted a showing of the documentary That Way Madness Lies followed by a panel led by Yale film professor and the filmmaker Sandra Luckow and public mental health experts Drs. Tracey Sondik and Tom Styron. The film was very well-done and quite thought-provoking. The discussion after the film was rich with information. Drs. Sondik and Stryon did an excellent job debunking myths about schizophrenia and imparted important stories demonstrating that recovery is possible. We are grateful to all three for their time and knowledge shared as well as their dedication to improving the lives of individuals with serious mental illnesses. As I write this article, a number of us are looking forward to the CPA social event on June 28th at Ordinary in New Haven hosted by Dr. Stephanie Pennington, Region 3 Rep. I hope I see many of you there!