Letter from MPA President Steve Girardeau

Greetings fellow Minnesota Psychologists,

It has been an interesting start to the year for MPA in ways that many of you are unaware. 

First was the culmination of a drawn out process of addressing issues relating to the Psychology Practice Act.  Those issues included a number of psychologists of long standing being brought before the Board of Psychology charged with not providing adequate supervision or failure to adequately document supervision. Also included were a number of academics and researchers from universities across Minnesota having to make similar appearances before the board for allegedly practicing psychology without a license.  We now have a bill that is waiting to be attached to the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill to finish its journey through the legislature.  When it is ready we will send out an announcement and ask you to speak to your representatives in support of the bill. 

The second is the completion of Mental Health Day on the Hill in Minnesota and MPA leadership attending the national meeting for state leaders and a trip to lobby our national Congress.  In both cases, multiple bills relevant to the ongoing practice of psychology were discussed with our national and state legislators.  For Mental Health Day on the Hill we had over 50 participants, which was a good turnout but even more attendees would be helpful to distribute our message and concerns.  Issues presented included our Practice Act bill, an amendment to allow for a significantly briefer Brief Diagnostic Assessment for MA clients that will allow for 10 sessions of therapy, and commentary against allowing for the raising of medical assistance pay rates for social workers, LPCCs, and LMFTs to the rates paid to doctoral level psychologists.  There were a number of other bills that were discussed.  Most bills will not make it to the floor for a vote.  We will announce bills of interest as they arise.  The day before MPA leadership was to visit Congress, the APA replacement bill came out.  This of course led to a rush to include this into our discussions with Congress people.  The main point we discussed was the attack on mental health parity that is a result of the removal of psychological services as an “essential health benefit” that must be provided by Medicaid.  Another was a general ask for the protection of clients who need psychological services who are a part of Medicaid expansion.  As the bill moves forward, we will provide information on contents of concern to Minnesota psychologists.

The third is the reconstitution of MPA’s Payer Committee and the creation of a Social Media Committee.  The Payer Committee is being directed to create and maintain the ability to communicate effectively with insurance companies and DHS.  The Social Media Committee was created to leverage a wider array of communication tools, to allow MPA to better update and serve you.  Please allow a little time for these committees to get up to speed, but when they are up and running they will be your best methods for communication and advocacy.  Our web page will have a new look with more up to date information.  Additionally, we have a Facebook page and Twitter account for you to follow.  The links to these will be sent out in a communication from the Social Media Committee when they are ready for your use.

A fourth item of interest is our upcoming annual convention on April 7th and 8th.  You can get more information and register online at https://www.mnpsych.org/81st-annual-convention.  This year’s business meeting and a number of the sessions address issues of significant importance to your practice and are well worth your attendance.  Additionally, in the business meeting we will be presenting the change in direction that MPA is taking.  We surveyed members last year and learned that protection was the most valued part of MPA’s role.  We have heard you and are redesigning MPA to act as a more purely ‘guild’ organization.  We will have as our theme, to all decisions made, the answer to the question, “how does this serve the practice of psychology and the practitioners of psychology in Minnesota?”

It will be an exciting and productive year of change and growth that will revolve around our role of protection.  Please join us by being a member and volunteering your time in this transformative year.

Look forward to seeing you all on April 7th.

Steve Girardeau, Psy.D., LP

Steve Girardeau, Psy.D., LP, is the Director of Clinical Services of Mental Health Systems, member of MPA Legislative Committee and Governing Council, and a member of APA, MPA, and ABCT.  He provides psychological services in residential, community mental health centers, private practice, and intensive outpatient settings with a wide variety of at risk and underserved clients.  He is the current president of MPA and training director of the APPIC internship training site.

 

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Comments on "Letter from MPA President Steve Girardeau"

Comments 0-5 of 2

Linda Muldoon - Saturday, April 08, 2017
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You picked a tough year to become president, Steve, and you are doing a great job. Personally, I don't like MPA to act as a guild. I like a mix of academics and practitioners. However, I bow to the majority.

Richard Sethre - Tuesday, April 04, 2017
1000676435

Thanks to Steve and the other MPA legislative activists for their very important efforts! It will be up to the rest of us to back them up by writing our legislators in response to action alerts from MPA about bills that we need to weight in on.

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The Minnesota Psychological Association actively encourages the participation of all psychologists regardless of age, creed, race, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic status, region of residence, physical or mental status, political beliefs, religious or spiritual affiliation, and sexual or affectional orientation.Although we are an organization of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, the Minnesota Psychological Association also recognizes our core unifying identities as Psychologists who practice in America. We also recognize that we may hold unintentional attitudes and beliefs that influence our perceptions of and interactions with others. Within this context of unity and self-exploration, we are committed to increasing our sensitivity to all aspects of diversity as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.We aspire to becoming alert to aspects of diversity, previously unseen or unacknowledged in our culture. In this spirit, we are committed to collaborating with multicultural groups to combat racism and other forms of prejudice as we seek to promote diversity in our society. To this end, we are dedicated to increasing our multicultural competencies and effectiveness as educators, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and practitioners.