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Brigham and Women's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
University of Missouri
Members-At-Large of the
Bob Cook (09-12)
Nancy Dess (09-12)
David Washburn (08-11)
Jeremy Wolfe (08-11)
Mark Bouton (07-10)
University of Vermont
Nora Newcombe (07-10)
Graduate Student Representative
Representative to APA Council
Randy Engle (10-12)
Emanuel Donchin (08-10)
University of South Florida
Janet Duchek (Awards)
Wash. U., St. Louis
Lisa Savage (Fellows)
John Wixted (Program)
Charles L. Brewer
Early Career Psychologist
California State U. at Fullerton
James H. Bray, President,
Contributed by Sarah Jordan
Travel Log--June 30, 2009.
This is the second installment of my travel logs of presidential travels.
The month started in
Planning Meeting for the APA/NIMH
June 1-2, 2009
I believe it is important to give back to our
communities. We have a great opportunity to do that at our APA conventions.
Willo Pequegnat, from NIMH, John Anderson, from APA, and I met June 1 with
Community day will take place Thursday, August
6 at the
Immigration is a big issue in
Mirage Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Foundation Awards Dinner
June 2, 2009
As President, I am invited to represent APA at events and celebrations. The National Press Club was the site of the Mirage Foundation and Woodrow Wilson Foundation “I have a dream” Awards dinner. The Mirage Foundation give awards to successful immigrants who have made a difference in the areas of business, health, psychology, and other areas. They also award scholarships to promising immigrant college students. It was inspiring to hear the award winners discuss their dreams for the future. The NPC is a historic site and it is always inspiring to walk around and view the famous pictures of our nations leaders. APA Board member, Jean Carter and her husband accompanied me to the dinner along with APA staff, Ellen Garrison, Nancy Moore and Rena Subotnik.
Immigration reform is not currently a hot issue in DC, but when it comes to
the fore, the Mirage Foundation demonstrates why we need to create policies
that recognize the important contributions that immigrants make to the
Working in a community health center, my
patients often have to wait weeks or months to receive services. For these
reasons I returned home for the day of June 3 to see my patients. While it
is a taxing trip to get up at 4 AM in DC to be at work on time in
June 4-6, 2009
Dealing with the budget and financial issues of the association is a challenging task in these economic times. Our treasurer, Paul Craig, and APA executive staff, led by Norman Anderson and Archie Turner, are working hard to ensure that we provide the services to our members while making sure that we live within our means—no easy task. The Finance committee reviews the budget in detail prior to the Board of Directors meeting and makes recommendations concerning our spending and investment policies. We have a number of outside financial experts who are part of the Finance Committee. They provide input and advice about how we should invest our resources to maximize earnings on our investments. It is a steep learning curve to go from psychology practice to complex investment strategies. Fortunately we have an excellent Finance Committee made up of psychologists who have a sophisticated understanding of these issues.
Hot issues. We will need to make some hard choices in the next year to maintain our successful programs and current governance structures, while developing our strategic initiatives and maintain a balanced budget. It is critical that we have a balanced budget the next two years because of requirements of our lending agreements. If we do not have a balanced budget in 2009 we will suffer substantial penalties with our loans.
APA Board of Directors Meeting
June 11-14, 2009
The June board meeting is packed full of issues to discuss in preparation for the August Council meeting. It is quite a contrast to the April retreat meeting where we are focusing on big picture issues and strategic planning. The June board meeting has a major focus on the budget for 2009 and 2010 and issues that will be addressed at the August Council meeting. The number of issues we dealt with made this one of the most challenging board meeting in recent times. Despite the fact that the board increased its meeting time by coming in early and staying late, we were not able to complete all of our business. The Board will be having several conference calls prior to the APA Convention to complete this work.
Hot issues. Budget, finances and more budget. The Council instructed the APA staff to make sure that we have a balanced budget for 2009 and to follow the association rule of 1-2% safety margin in 2010. Because of a decrease in expected revenues from dues and publishing, Norman Anderson and the APA staff are continuing to make cuts in spending. These are very difficult choices and will require that we slow down or stop doing some activities. The Board also voted to reduce governance spending, such as board travel and board retreats in 2010. The Board re-affirmed its policy that there are no “sacred cows” in our budget and every program is up for review. The one exception is that we need to support programs that generate income, while continuing to provide high quality service to our members.
Dinner with Congressman Brian Baird
June 12, 2009
Congressman and psychologist Brian Baird (D-3rd-WA) joined the Board of Directors for dinner at the National Press Club during the Board meeting. Brian is now the chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science and Technology. Brian has a passion for utilizing behavioral and psychological science to deal with global climate change. Using his psychology skills he tells us that we can no longer talk about “global warming,” as it is a mixed term—instead we need to talk about “lethal planet warming.” He is working on legislation to highlight the need for psychology and behavioral science research to address these problems.
Father’s Day Weekend
June 18-21, 2009
Least you think that being APA President is
all work and no play—I include this trip to reassure you otherwise. As a
family psychologist, I place a high priority on maintaining my relationships
and contact with my family. This trip was to celebrate father’s day with my
two daughters. As many of you know, I share a passion for oenology and
Hot issues. The hot issues here are how people are coping with the economic downturn in a place and industry that relies on discretionary spending. Many people at the wineries discussed how people were continuing to buy lots of wine—only not the most expensive ones. Some have even seen increases in sales. As psychologists we need to be vigilant about the potential negative impact of increased alcohol consumption on relationships and psychological problems. I guess I can’t leave work behind after all.
Travel Log—July 2, 2009.
At 35,000 feet headed home from
International conferences are a bit different
than most conferences I attend in the
Interamerican Congress of Psychology (CIP)
June 27-July 2, 2009
The Congress is organized the Interamerican
Psychological Association. The Congress had about 2000 people in attendance
and was held on the campus of a local university. Most of the programs were
in Spanish, and included many psychologists and psychology students from the
The opening ceremony was held in a national
theater and included a moving performance by Guatemalan and Mayan
performers. Former APA President, Albert Bandura, received an honorary
doctorate and special lifetime achievement award. Carol Goodheart, APA
President-elect, APA CEO Norman Anderson, Merry Bullock, and former APA
President, Frank Farley, were at the conference, in addition to over 100
psychologists from the
There were several sessions in which
presidents and executive officers from the various psychological
associations met to discuss organizational issues within their country.
Changing of the Rose Ceremony.
After the first full day of the conference there was a ceremony and
reception at the Palocio de la Cultura to honor the conference president,
Dr. Maria del Pilar Grazioso, and Guatemalan psychologists. After the end
of the Guatemalan civil war in 1996, the government created a statue that
symbolizes the peace treaty. Each day they place a new white rose on the
statue to symbolize the peace. On special occasions a person is allowed to
change the rose to honor their contributions. This ceremony honored the
incredible work of Dr. Maria del Pilar in developing psychology in
This was one of the “hottest” tickets at the
CIP. The APA hosted an incredible reception in honor of CIP at the National
Museum of Archeology and Ethnology (http://www.munae.gob.gt)
and the Carlos Merida Museum of Modern Art. These two museums (across the
street from each other) were opened just for this reception. The museum
director provided private tours and the
Adiós -hasta luego--on to
Travel Log—July 17, 2009.
At 36,000 feet headed home from
European Congress of Psychology (ECP) and the
European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations. July 5-July 12, 2009
My Dear Colleagues—this is the standard
The opening ceremony was held at the Oslo
Opera House. It was a wonderful setting and included awards and outstanding
dance and musical performances. Former APA Presidents Diane Halpern and
Phil Zimbardo, former APA CEO and President, Ray Fowler, Bruce Overmier, and
APA Staff Merry Bullock, Steve Behnke, and Gary VandenBos were at the
congress, in addition to many psychologists from the
A psychologist and president.
Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga who was a psychologist in
A very special reception.
One of the special social events was held at the
EFPA Council. Much like our APA Council of Representatives, EFPA delegates meet to develop policies for their association. It includes representatives from the 34 countries. This was an historic meeting as the Russian Psychological Association was admitted into EFPA. In addition, they approved their EuroPsy diploma. This sets the minimum standards for psychology training in the EU.
I met with President Tor Levin Hofgaard, and
staff of the Norwegian Psychological Association to discuss possible areas
of collaboration. Dr. Hofgaard asked to meet with us to discuss how we can
collaborate on peace psychology issues and on psychology and climate
change. We discussed the possibility of developing a memorandum of
understanding between APA and NPA to facilitate collaborations. In
There are great opportunities to collaborate
more closely with the EFPA. They are developing standards for training,
certification and licensure. Sue Gardner, President of the British
Psychological Society, met with me, Steve Demers (ASPPB) and Judy Hall
(National Registrar) to discuss licensing issues they are facing in the
Task Force on Psychology’s Contribution to
Ending Homelessness. July 15-16, 2009,
My presidential task force had its first face-to-face meeting at the APA building July 14-16. The TF, chaired by Norweeta Milburn, has developed an ambitious set of goals and objectives that will address how psychological research and practice can impact the homeless problem in this country. There will be a session on this at the Convention on Saturday afternoon from 3-3:50 PM, Convention Center Room 709.
Hot issues. The Task Force made visits to Congressional offices to lobby for more psychological services and research for the homeless. They were well received in these offices.
Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative
Stakeholders Meeting. July 16, 2009,
This collaborative is promoting a new model of
primary care for health care reform, the Patient Centered Medical Home.
This is a powerful group that has the ear of the White House and many
Members of Congress. It is sponsored by big business (IBM, WalMart, Exxon,
etc.), insurance companies, and many trade organizations. There are 28
medical home demonstration projects funded by their state legislatures
Hot issues. APA is not a sponsor of this group because of the “medical home” name. We are lobbying with other groups like the American Nursing Association, to get this changed to the “healthcare home,” however, this might not be possible because the name is established. We have some support for including psychological and behavioral services in the medical home, but there is still much work to do.
Commission on Accreditation. July 16-17,
CoA held its summer meeting to review programs for accreditation and develop policies. Dr. Nancy Elman is chair of CoA. CoA is made up of 32 members from a variety of educational stakeholder groups. This is one of the hardest working groups I have been with. While CoA is supported by APA and staffed by Susan Zlotlow in the Education Directorate, they are an autonomous group because of regulations from the U.S. Department of Education.
Takk--Thanks, see you in
James H. Bray, Ph.D.
Department of Family & Community Medicine
President, American Psychological Association