From the CEO
What is the return on investment from your APA membership dues? There are certainly many tangible benefits that convey to individual members, such as this publication, the American Psychologist (AP), opportunities to serve in APA governance, discounts on APA books and subscriptions, access to members-only areas of the APA Web site, and a special members-only rate to attend APA's Annual Convention (see "Accounting for dues dollars"). But to me, these are not the most important benefits from being a member of APA. The true return on your investment is the work we do that serves the greater good, including the public, our members and the discipline as a whole. Our Annual Report, which is published each year in AP, provides lots of details about the overall work of the association, which results from your membership dues and the many other resources of the association. I am providing just a few highlights of our recent work below.
1.) We initiated and worked to increase funding for a major suicide-prevention program on college campuses (under the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act of 2004). Funding increased from $1.5 million in 2005 to $5 million in fiscal year 2006.
2.) We persuaded the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that psychological and neuropsychological testing under Medicare should be recognized as having a "professional work value" when reimbursement values are calculated.
3.) We worked with psychologists across the country to help stop the 4.4 percent decrease in Medicare reimbursement rates scheduled to take effect on Jan.1, 2006.
4.) We arranged a number of timely and topical briefings on Capitol Hill, including "Psychology in Service to America's Military Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families"; "Behavioral Treatments for Substance Abuse and Other Mental Health Disorders"; "Psychological Research in HIV Prevention"; "Mental Health of Ethnic-Minority Children Facing Trauma and Disaster"; and "Mental Health of Older Adults."
5.) We sponsored a workshop to help researchers address difficulties with local Institutional Review Boards.
6.) We sponsored the weeklong Summer Science Institute to provide talented undergraduate students with intensive exposure to the science of psychology.
7.) We sponsored the first Science Leadership Conference in 2005, which drew more than 150 leaders from throughout psychological science to discuss the "Public Eye of Psychological Science."
8.) We made available to APA members the "HIPAA Security Rule Online Compliance Workbook" as part of a series of informational materials and online products that help psychologists understand and comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.
9.) We collaborated with state psychological associations in an ongoing outreach effort to the business community regarding the healthy workplace known as the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards.
10.) We continued sponsoring the national ACT (Adults and Children Together) Against Violence program on early violence prevention, which is focused on educating adults and communities to create safe and healthy early environments for children. The program has two components: the national media campaign and the training program.
11.) We sponsor the weeklong Advanced Training Institutes (ATIs) to provide intensive exposure to new technologies, techniques and methods in psychology. ATI topic areas such as Web-based research, structural equation modeling, and research using functional magnetic resonance imaging have attracted hundreds of scientists over the past several years.
12.) Our Minority Fellowship Program supported approximately 100 fellows across the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience last year.
13.) We promoted the inclusion of mental health issues at the 2005 White House Conference on Aging.
14.) Through our media-training program, we prepared members, governance officials and senior staff to serve as spokespersons for the association and the discipline.
15.) Our news release program earned story placements in national publications, including The New York Times, the Washington Post, and USA Today.
16.) We made PsycARTICLES available to developing countries through the Health InterNetwork Access to Research initiative, a partnership between the World Health Organization, publishers and academic libraries in developing countries.
17.) We used current psychological science and the policies developed by our Council of Representatives for the review, development and filing of several amicus briefs.
18.) We conducted 33 ethics educational programs across the country to assist with management of risks associated with the practice of psychology.
19.) We made financial contributions for hurricane disaster relief totaling $781,000.
For more information on other ways APA serves the public, our members and the discipline, please see the APA Annual Report in the July issue of AP.
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