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1990  Arthur Horvath, Ph.D.

The newsletters from February 1990 through January 1991 are quite revealing about the concerns of the Academy and its membership during this time period, and the status of the organization itself.  I will review this year by reviewing each newsletter consecutively, which will facilitate a more in-depth reading on these issues for anyone who wishes to look at the newsletters themselves.

February 1990: The Board of Psychology had recently made a change in its documentation, regarding the handling of psychological assistants.  Although it continued to emphasize that psychological assistants were employees and not independent contractors, they deleted language indicating that it was therefore appropriate to use the W-2 form, rather than the 1099 form, for tax purposes.  The Board of Psychology argued that this would have been giving tax advice, which was outside of their purview.  Observers noted that their focus of attention was unfortunately directed to minor details, while larger issues were being ignored.

March 1990: The lead article, written by Doug Hyman, reviews the controversial class action lawsuit against the Board of Psychology, regarding the written psychology licensing examination.  The case settled out of court in June 1989.  The settlement resulted in more individuals passing the exam.

The February Annual Banquet, a dinner/dance gala, had 275 attendees, 70% higher than the previous highest attendance. Eight local hospitals helped underwrite the event.  This may represent the high- water mark for institutional support for the annual banquet.

David DiCicco, John Kachorek, Barbara Severance, and Tom Horvath were preparing a committee handbook, to help prepare committee members and chairs for their roles within the organization.

The newsletter that month includes pictures of the Banquet.

April 1990: Two additional articles, by Rochelle Bastien and Pat Braden, on the lawsuit regarding the passing score for the written licensing exam are presented.  The President's Column reviews the committees of the Community Affairs Department, including the Science Fair Committee, PIRS, Public Information Committee, Volunteer Community Services Committee, and Disaster Preparedness Committee.  Maury Zemlick, long-time Academy member, was nominated to run for Treasurer of APA's Division 12.

Beginning with this issue of the newsletter, motions passed at the Board of Directors' meeting are being printed in the newsletter, including how people voted on specific motions.  This decision to print the motions was made by the President, and was refined in a later Board action.

May 1990: The lead article regards Capp v. Rank and was written by Stephen Doyne, who had been active in bringing the case before the California Supreme Court.  The case was argued there April 11, 1990.  The President's Report reviews the activities of the Membership Affairs Department, including the Continuing Education Committee, the Membership Committee, the Student Issues Task Force, the Therapists' Sexual Misconduct Task Force, the Benefits Task Force, and the newsletter.  An article by Tom McSpeiden regarding San D-PAC, describes how approximately 125 San Diego psychologists and Barbara Severance donated money to the organization to help its legislative activities.

June 1990: The lead article is "The New Managed Health Care Committee: CHAMPUS Reform Initiative -- and More", by Victoria DiCicco. The Military Liaison Committee, chaired by Julie Mennen, was dissolved, as most of the committee functions had been subsumed under the Managed Health Care Committee.  The Professional/Community Liaison Task Force, chaired by Peter LiBero, had liaisons with 11 local organizations with common interests to the Academy.

July 1990: The lead article is "The Adversarial Review" by Fernando Melendez, in which he reports on his review of testing reports submitted either for personal injury or for Worker's Compensation cases.  He reported that the vast majority of these reports were dramatically below professional standards.

On June 10, Win Schachter, Executive Director of the California Psychological Academy, and Ray Fowler, Executive Director of the APA, presented to the Academy. Dr. Schachter suggested that it was time for psychologists to choose between being "counselors" or being health care providers.  If we were to pursue the route of being a health care provider, we needed to work on enhancing the treatment options available to our treatment autonomy and us.

In May, the Board voted to continue to publish the summary of motions of meetings, with a pass-fail notation, but not to include how individual members voted.  In my three years of serving on the Board, the discussion regarding this motion was as heated as I have ever experienced. Some members of the Board felt that the President had overstepped his role in his previous publications of summary of the minutes.  Others sided with the President, that as elected representatives, Board members were accountable for all of their actions, and that the minutes were documents available to all members.  The resulting compromise was the motion just mentioned.  The Board also voted to donate $250 in support of the "Nickel-a-Drink" Alcohol Tax Initiative.

October 1990: The cover story is about the ABPP diploma, written by Gale Bach.  The President's Column mentions that for 1991, the Academy is raising its dues (from $160 to $180) for the first time in six years.

November - December 1990: The lead story is "Controlling 'Uncontrollable' Behavior: The Freeze- Frame Technique", by David Wexler. The President's Column mentioned that, as of press time, membership was at 543 which was a 13% increase over the previous year, and that the Academy has 16 Committees and five Task Forces, involving 124 members.  A paragraph was devoted to describing the volume of work that Barbara Severance handled, including sending out 20,000 pieces of mail per year, handling an average of 40 phone calls per day, and overseeing approximately 30 Academy functions per year.  The Board voted to discontinue offering any form of benefits for members, e.g., insurance, retirement, or to endorse any products or services, in that the liability insurance would not cover us for suits in these areas.

January 1991: The lead story is "Trends in Ethics Cases and the Complaints Procedure" by Clark Clipson.  The President's Column suggests that there was a paradox for contemporary psychology.  There was an increasing recognition of the value of our services, as well as an increasing need for the services, but decreasing insurance resources in order to pay for these services.  The hope was offered that psychology could expand beyond the private practice setting to serve our society in the many ways in which it needs help.

The Board decided to offer the Membership Directory every two years, rather than every year in an effort to save money.

Commentary
My personal goals as President for the year were several, I wanted to increase the affiliation with the California Psychological Academy. There had often been the sense that San Diego was disconnected to CPA as a whole. I was interested in increasing organization infrastructure, and hoped that organizing committees into departments would be a useful step.  I wanted to make the leadership of the organization closer to the membership.  This was part of the rationale for publishing a summary of motions in the newsletter.  I wanted Academy decisions not to occur primarily behind closed doors, but to involve input from the entire organization.

We also began making plans towards the imminent possibility that Barbara' Severance would be retiring.  We needed to face the fact that we had been getting a substantial amount of service at well below market prices, that we were not paying for office space, and that a major transition in organizational functioning was looming.

The Academy added a new Task Force, the Therapists' sexual Misconduct Task Force, chaired by Russ Federman.  The CHAMPUS Task Force was renamed the Task Force on Managed Health Care, and the Chair continued as Vicki DiCicco. Committees were assigned to one of four departments: Membership, Professional Affairs, Scientific and Clinical Affairs, and Community Affairs, in an effort to enhance communication between committees, and to facilitate communication with the Board.  There were 495 members in the organization as of press time.  Psychologists had been included in Medicare as of December 19, 1989 (President Bush signed the bill on that date).  The Academy was preparing to offer training on Medicare policies and billing practices.  The Academy was quite proud of the fact that APA had purchased 51 fax machines, so that it could keep in closer contact with the 50 state organizations, and the Academy.  The Academy at that point was larger than many state Academies, and because of our history of state legislative action, was an important player in legislative activity.


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