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This blog is for the NYSPA President to share his thoughts, ideas, and reflections on the organization and his presidency.

 

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Top tags: Herb Gingold  NYSPA  NYSPA President  Psychology  2017 Challenges  New York State Psychological Association  Early Career Psychologists  Executive Lobby Day  Lobby Day 2017  NYSPA's President's Blog  Palliative Care  Post-Doctoral  Psychologists 

Lobby Day 2017

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, February 10, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Some of you may have read about our  Executive Lobby Day last Monday when Roy Aranda, Pat Dowds, John Northman, Jerry Grodin and I visited five legislators in Albany to discuss our legislative agenda. The response of the legislators was generally enthusiastic.

We will be holding our annual Lobby Day on May 9  which we welcome you  to attend.  I went  last year and found it to be a terrific opportunity to meet and get to know colleagues and, most of all, demonstrate to legislators that we are all intelligent and articulate advocates of an important and growing agenda.

The way it works is that groups of 5-6 psychologists, led by a more experienced member, meet with potential sponsors and signers-on for our bills. We usually meet with legislative aides, who are almost always informed and wield important influence with the legislator.  During these meetings, we educate about  the importance of our agenda, and share personal relevant stories to support our advocacy. During the process, we, ourselves, become more informed as we face and respond to questions from the legislators or their aides.

One potential outcome of these meetings is that we ourselves become more educated about the legislative process.  I’ve learned, for example, how important it is to plant a seed in the legislator’s mind, even if it won’t flower for several (or even many) years.  There are many reasons why a desired bill may be blocked.  Sometimes, there is a committee chair who doesn’t want to release it.  Sometimes it’s not the right time.  And sometimes, a legislator might suggest changes that would make the bill more passable. 

The latter happened last year regarding our Duty to Protect Bill.  Originally, NYSPA was proposing a strict bill, mandating action on the part of the psychologist should a patient reveal violent thoughts.  One legislator, a lawyer, was aghast at our bill and suggested we make it a “permissive” bill, in which the psychologist could use his or her judgment in the matter.  The “permissive” bill will be more likely to gain supporters among social workers and physicians. 

Another important bill, requiring insurance companies to offer Out of Network Benefits, is also currently stalled.  There are multiple reasons for this. One is the power of insurance companies who would block efforts to pass another mandate, in this case, a requirement that all plans offer at least one OON option. Another pertains to changes in healthcare delivery which is moving away from fee for service to different systems.  Because of these changes and the uncertainty about what the system will be, legislators are in wait mode.  Interestingly though, most legislators we have spoken to, are sympathetic to this issue and acknowledge the importance to consumers of choice. Thus, we remain actively engaged in advocacy on this issue and we plant our seeds.

I want to encourage everyone who is able, to start preparing to come to Lobby Day on May 9.  You will find it a tremendous peer bonding experience as well as an introduction to democracy.

NYSPA President
Herb Gingold, PhD

Tags:  Executive Lobby Day  Herb Gingold  Lobby Day 2017  New York State Psychological Association  NYSPA  NYSPA President  NYSPA's President's Blog  Psychologists  Psychology 

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Palliative Care

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

In my last blog post, I wrote about a presidential initiative to help post-doctoral students more easily acquire their pre-licensure hours.  This week’s blog will address another major focus of my presidential year:  palliative care, i.e. the care received (or not received) by people as they die.

A little background on this, on Lobby Day, last May, I found myself riding back to NYC on Amtrak next to Shibani Ray-Mazumder, an early career psychologist.  She told me about her travails, working on a hospital palliative care unit where she felt the contributions of psychologists were not sufficiently valued. Having myself worked for nearly two decades in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care, I am well aware of the contribution psychologists make to people in the process of dying.  We are specially prepared to understand the issues of loss, rage, depression, anxiety, and fear experienced in this population to help patients come to terms with their deaths.  Shibani informed me that Palliative Care Teams are populated based on recommendations made by the National Consensus Project, a triennial think tank.  For whatever reason, psychologists are not and have not been at this particular table.  We are not considered essential to these teams, despite the special skills we bring to this task.

I immediately realized that NYSPA was positioned to initiate a focus on this topic and during 2016 Shibani and I formed a team, including also Ruth Mutzner (2017 President of the Division of Adult Development and Aging) and Sharon Brennan (2017 President of the Division of Psychoanalysis) to explore the issue and look at what can be done.  Other interested NYSPA members are welcome to join.

Shibani has already developed and implemented a survey to gather data about psychologists’ experiences on managed care teams and the rest of the Task Force is making contacts with other interested parties nationally.  The results of this work will be reported during the 2017 Annual NYSPA Convention.  We hope to find a way to bring psychologists and their important skills to the bedsides of these patients.

NYSPA President
Herb Gingold, PhD

Tags:  Herb Gingold  New York State Psychological Association  NYSPA  NYSPA President  Palliative Care  Psychology 

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Post-Doctoral Initiatives

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, January 20, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

 

Last week I alluded to one of my initiatives for the year.  I would like to elaborate on it today. 

 

Last February, Dr. Chris Sbaratta, reached out to Dr. June Feder to request feedback about a deeply worrying concern for new psychology graduates.  As he explained it, the New York State licensure regulations require post-docs to complete 1,750 post-doctoral hours.  This has become increasingly difficult to meet because, as Dr. Sbaratta noted, “The availability of opportunities for supervision at this point in time is inadequate, highly competitive and grossly under-organized.” He further pointed out that “our colleagues are caught between a rock and a hard place during a time in which they are simultaneously poised to begin their professional practice while also the most vulnerable and helpless,” without the qualifications for employment as psychologists but lacking opportunities for meeting those requirements in available work settings.”

 

Dr. Feder suggested that he contact me about this issue as she was aware that support to early career psychologists was something I wanted to feature as a presidential initiative during the following year. After speaking with Dr. Sbaratta, I realized that this was a problem that NYSPA could start to tackle.  Dr. Feder, Dr. Sbaratta, and I had a conference call and drew up a series of initiatives that NYSPA could implement:

  • Expand the scope of NYSPA’s Internship/Externship Fair to include post-doctoral placement opportunities.
  • Develop an on-line database for post-doctoral training/supervision opportunities in NY State.
  • Facilitate the development of additional post-doctoral training and supervision opportunities at existing institutional sites and within independent and group practices.
  • Investigate viable legislative options for easing the requirements.

At a subsequent meeting with NYSPA Executive Director, Tom Cote, we further explored the feasibility of the projects.  Mr. Cote expressed enthusiastic support for the proposals and helped us to brainstorm a plan of action.  With the agreement of all present, I confirmed that it was important enough to make it my 2017 Presidential Initiative. 

 

Progress has already been made:

  • Post-doc opportunities have been included in the yearly internship fair, starting in 2016.  This will continue.
  • Plans have been initiated for the development of a NYSPA generated database for post-doctoral work opportunities.
  • Information is being gathered regarding legal, regulatory and insurance issues to guide private practitioners who may wish to employ post-doctoral graduates within clinician practices.
  • Discussions are being held about legislative/regulatory alternatives, including providing an option for the completion of supervision hours prior to graduation.

I am very proud of our ECP Division and especially grateful to Dr. Chris Sbaratta for making himself available for the planning and implementation of these initiatives and I am grateful to Dr. June Feder for her support and involvement, and to Dr. Roy Aranda for his generosity and encouragement, last year,  as 2016 NYSPA President.

NYSPA President
Herb Gingold, PhD

Tags:  2017 Challenges  Early Career Psychologists  Herb Gingold  NYSPA  NYSPA President  Post-Doctoral  Psychology 

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2017 Challenges

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Friday, January 13, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

 

In my first blog post, I mentioned that NYSPA often gets a bad rap. I got several comments which I found interesting and thought-provoking and plan to address in future blog posts. 

 

Today, I wanted to focus on key professional and organizational  challenges and urgently require our attention and efforts to address.

  •  Changes in health care We face  dramatic transformation of  health care delivery  and our challenge is to make our voices heard and presence felt in that process.  As has been repeatedly recommended, we need to ramp up our social media profile  and  provide our views and perspective to the public and those who run health and mental health care systems.  We need to be in those systems.  President-Elect, Pat Dowds, is planning an important initiative which we hope to begin this year as it is too important to wait. 
  • Membership Young psychologists are not joiners in the same way that the older generation has traditionally been.  There could be several reasons:  they don’t recognize the benefits, they can’t afford to belong, they don’t have the “meeting habit.” NYSPA has worked to bring in early career psychologists but there doesn’t yet seem to be a flood of new interest. One of my initiatives (which I will describe next week) is to address this concern. Increasing membership is probably our most urgent organizational goal.
  • Common Goals We need to learn to work toward common goals, despite our philosophical and theoretical differences.  We need to be talking to each other, arguing with each other and coming to agreements over the basics.  I would like to see more and more synergy between different NYSPA constituencies, for example, co-sponsored programs, mutual support.
  • Diversity Much has been said about diversity , but there is still so much work to be done. As examples, we need to   educate ourselves about  feminist concerns in therapy, LGBT concerns, disability studies etc.  There are psychological associations dedicated to the needs of African Americans, Atheists, Asians and Hispanics.  Why aren’t we partnering with them!  Let’s start!

We cannot do all of this in one year.  But we can begin developing initiatives that are needed and continue ones that need to be enhanced.  Most important, we can come together, upstate and downstate, female and male, ethnic and white, religious and secular, to represent the needs of our patients and ourselves in New York State. We can do the right things and give NYSPA a good rap!!


Herb Gingold, PhD
President of The New York State Psychological Association 2017

Tags:  2017 Challenges  Herb Gingold  NYSPA  NYSPA President  Psychology 

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Welcome to 2017

Posted By Herb Gingold PhD, Thursday, January 5, 2017

Dear Colleagues:  I am grateful and humbled by the responsibility of being the president of NYSPA in 2017.  We are in a period of great change, both externally and internally, and the stakes have never been greater.

 

Your former president, Roy Aranda, is a remarkable professional, savvy, generous and indefatigable.  He's a very hard act to follow.  I will try to build on what he’s done and craft my own course, as well. 

 

I have been active in NYSPA governance since 1999, in regions, in divisions, in Committees and Task Forces and most of all on NYSPA Council and the Executive Committee.  I have been repeatedly impressed by the unceasing hard work and dedication shown by our many volunteers, sometimes for decades.  I have seen conflict and reconciliation, hard feelings mellowed by common purpose and I am strangely optimistic about our future. 

 

NYSPA often gets a bad rap.  I’ve heard it said often that NYSPA members go to professional psychology events and hear that NYSPA is a problem: “it’s dysfunctional,” “nothing gets done,” or “all people do is argue.”  Some people are put off by dissension and disagreement.  But in my view, argument is life.  Could you imagine an organization in which everyone is moving in lockstep?  Sometimes conflict can be paralyzing, but more often it can lead to sensible compromise.  People outside, and even inside the organization, don’t always understand the energy and excitement that can be generated by negotiation and compromise and then NYSPA gets a bad rap.   I’d like to set a task for those of you who care about this organization.  In the future, when you hear people criticizing NYSPA, remind them that we are the only ones standing up for all psychologists in NYS.  We are the ones representing their interests in the legislature. And remind them that THEY are not paying for it.  Remind them that we are providing some of the best training and programing in NYS.  Remind them what they are missing out on.  And remind them, that if NYSPA membership doubled to 5000 members (a little under a third of psychologists in NYS) we could actually REDUCE dues for everyone.  Lets give NYSPA a great rap!

 

I have many ideas which I will share over the next few weeks.  But I want to start out this year with us all on a positive note.  A Happy 2017 to everyone.

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