Linda Knauss

Dear Div. 31 Members,

It is my great pleasure to serve as your president in 2017. My goals include leading Div. 31 in its efforts to improve communication and collaboration among SPTAs and to advocate for SPTA interests within APA. Another important goal is to assist SPTAs with legislative advocacy. To accomplish these goals there are many important projects that we will be working on this year.

  • In preparation for the revision of the “APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct” beginning this year, the Div. 31 board has approved the establishment of an ethics list serve for all SPTA Ethics Committee chairs. In addition to communicating about ethical issues that are common among SPTA’s, this will be an opportunity to discuss suggested revisions to the ethics code.
  • Due to the most recent apportionment vote, for the first time in many years one SPTA - the Virgin Islands - will not have a seat on the APA Council of Representatives beginning in 2018. Peter Oppenheimer, the Div. 31 APA council representative, and Kenneth Bohm, the chair of the Caucus for State, Provincial, and Territorial Representatives, have introduced a new business item to give every SPTA and every division a seat on council.
  • Lindsey Buckman, the Div. 31 president-elect, and Peter Oppenheimer, the Div. 31 APA council representative, will be presenting a workshop at the Practice Leadership Conference in March on deregulation legislation. This relates to proposals to de-license some professions altogether or to create omnibus boards to oversee multiple professions. However, these boards are not knowledgeable about the specific skills and ethical duties of the professions they oversee. This workshop will provide advocacy strategies that can be used to defend against omnibus board bills in state legislatures.
  • The division leadership is also carefully monitoring the issue of master’s-level credentialing as a psychologist following the Summit on Master’s Training in Psychological Practice held in December 2016 as a joint project of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) and the APA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP). This could impact the profession’s ability to be defined as physicians under Medicare and to obtain prescription privileges.
  • Div. 31 also has a wonderful program planned for the 2017 APA Annual Convention thanks to Sarah Burgamy, the chair of the Div. 31 Convention Committee. We hope to see you in Washington D.C., in August.

I look forward to providing updates on these initiatives as well as introducing new initiatives throughout the year. Please do not hesitate to contact me if Div. 31 can be helpful to your SPTA or if you have suggestions to help Div. 31 advocate for SPTA interests within APA.

Thank you.

Linda Knauss