2017 in Review- A Letter from 2017 MPA President Steve Girardeau

Hello for the final time as President of MPA. It has been my honor to serve you all in the past year. I will continue on as the immediate past president, member of the legislative committee, and in a new role (related but not a part of MPA) as Treasurer of the official MPA Political Action Committee (PAC). More on that later.

This has been a big year for MPA with a lot of important actions by your professional association. A quick and incomplete list includes a reorganization and revitalization of the leadership structure of the organization. This will lead to a greater ability to respond in a quicker and more consistent fashion over longer periods of time. We also have strongly responded to sanctions by the Board of Psychology on supervisors and academics with advocacy and passing changes to the Psychology Practice Act. Leadership of MPA has also attended all public board meetings to address general and specific concerns as members of our profession. Also, we sponsored and passed legislation reducing the requirements for, and timing of, diagnostic assessments for Medicaid clients. This last item and the Practice Act were completed through the hard work of Trisha Stark, the Legislative Committee Chair, and the Executive Committee (EC) of MPA. While others reported the change, MPA through its legislative committee and EC made it happen.

Finally, we have restarted the Payer Committee and populated it with members who have expertise in the area and have made successful contacts with the different third party payers. This committee has advocated for the profession through issues with BCBSMN over the overpayments, underpayments, and other issues. Additionally, we are working to craft complaints to the Department of Commerce over issues related to mental health parity. All of these are continuing efforts of this committee.

I mention the active role of leadership and committees of MPA to highlight the value that these volunteers bring to the Association. At times, members and non-members have been heard to complain the leadership never changes and a few people run the organization. This may have been the case in the past but MPA has labored hard over the past few years to foster and encourage the involvement of others, including students and early career psychologists (ECPs) in the leadership process. We have a number of ECPs on the Governing Council, and have for a number of years had active student participation as well. Please join in, help out, and make this the professional association that you want it to be. I have always been a very active participant in politics and organizations because I have firmly believed that if you do not “vote” through participation, you lose the right to complain. Anyone who knows me will admit that I do tend to share my thoughts on things.

In regards to the PAC, this is a separate entity that allows for direct contributions to candidates and campaigns in a way that MPA was unable to act. I will be devoting much of the early part of 2018 creating a webpage and beginning a funding campaign. You will likely be hearing from me in the coming years asking for thoughts and funds to turn those thoughts into realities. One thing to make absolutely clear, this PAC is one for the profession, not for a particular party. Our first two campaign contributions were to legislators from each of the two major parties.

I end as I began, thanking you all for the trust you gave me in electing me to the position of President of MPA. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life and I will look back at this year with some pride for what we have accomplished together. I wish Bruce all the best in his coming year; he will have my unceasing support in his efforts throughout his presidential year.


Steve Girardeau
Immediate Past President of MPA

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Richard Sethre - Saturday, January 13, 2018

I think that under Steve's leadership MPA has shown some changes that are very important, including responding to political concerns that impact the practice of psychology and the people and communities that we serve.

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