As we head into the summer months, just over halfway into my presidential year, I've taken some time to think about what we have accomplished and what is left to do.
The two biggest projects, finding an Executive Director and planning our annual convention, have been accomplished.
So what is left?
Last year I had decided to push for two initiatives which I felt were important to psychologists in NYS. The first was to figure out ways to assist post-docs in achieving their hours to qualify for licensure. Last year, with the support of Past-President, Roy Aranda, I formed a task force, headed by Chris Sbaratta, to address this issue. We came up with some possible plans and are looking into the implementation of them. President-Elect, Pat Dowds, supports this effort and will continue this task force into the next year.
The second initiative was to find a way to increase the participation of psychologists in palliative care teams. Again, last year, with Roy Aranda’s support, I formed a task force, chaired by Shibani Ray-Muzumder to address the issue. The task force with the support of NYSPA’s Aging Division (chaired by Ruth Mutzner), and the Integrated Care Committee (Chaired by Debbie De Santis), has begun efforts to accomplish this.
A project that has been of increasing interest to me is to help divisions and regions to improve access to potential leaders. All of you who are involved in division, regional, committee and task force leadership are aware that we are facing a crisis in which there are fewer and fewer people willing to run these important NYSPA groups. Part of the problem has been that these leadership roles are often thankless and unsupported. Furthermore, younger NYSPA members appear less interested in leadership roles because the increasing difficulty of finding jobs and maintaining practices. We are looking into solutions for this.
Finally, I have prioritized my work with leaders and staff to build a sense of community within the organization; to address any issues of divisiveness and factionalism to promote greater collegiality and cooperation and to create a climate that fosters a commitment to the important work of advancing psychology in NY and representing our members’ interests. During Roy Aranda’s presidency, we made great strides with these issues, and I have tried to continue that work.
Herb Gingold, PhD