1996 Bonita Hammell, Ph.D.
The San Diego Psychological Association was fortunate that so many members were willing to devote the time and effort necessary to keep the Association active. The Board of Directors established the Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Mind Body Task Force during the 1996 year. The Marketing Task Force was also established by the Board of Directors to coordinate Association efforts in developing media relations, enhancing outreach to the community and in educating the public about the value of psychological services.
Drs. Vicki DiCicco, Lori Futterman and Bob Burgess continued active representation of the interests of psychology at meetings with the County of San Diego about revamping delivery of mental health service. Dr. Richard Trumbull began representation of the SDPA at meetings of Heartbeat, which is an organization originated by attorney Sharon Kalemkiarian to address the delivery of services to seriously disturbed children and adolescents countywide. Dr. Martha Hillyard was appointed to the Term Team of San Diego County, which oversees therapy and evaluations provided through the Juvenile Court System
Many of our members were active in affairs at the local CPA and APA levels of participation as well. It was significant that Dr. Steven Bucky was elected as President of CPA. Dr. Linda Charles served as CPA GAC chair in addition to her duties on the Board of SDPA as CPA Representative. Dr. Ann Carson was the other CPA Representative on the Board. Dr. Debbie Zambianco and Dr. Victor Frazao served as Members at Large. Dr. Patricia Braden was Treasurer and Dr. Constance Brunig was Secretary. Dr. Ain Roost was President-Elect and Dr. Clark Clipson served as Past 'President.
Budgeting Considerations and Membership:
The 1996 membership consisted of 386 Full Members, 41 Associate Members, 82 Student Affiliates and 30 Life Members. That represented a decrease of approximately five members in comparison to the year of 1995. Association income was closely associated with fluctuations in membership with the estimated 1997 income of approximately $74,000.00 from membership dues and approximately $27,000.00 of additional income from other budget categories.
These estimates represented a much-improved condition of fiscal affairs in comparison to the status of SDPA during the fall of 1995. At that time it was necessary to withdraw funds from SDPA reserves to finance operational expenses for the remainder of the year. Year-end 1995 results were $17,677.00 over budget. There were discrepancies in financial records and developing a proposed 1996 budget was an arduous task. The 1996 Board of Directors, Dr. Patricia Braden and the SDPA Administrator Allison Ferch deserve special recognition for bringing about a dramatic financial turnaround as expenditures were brought in line with income for the 1996 year. Allison Ferch deserves notable commendation for computerizing the SDPA accounting system and for filing taxes on time for the first time in three years. The bottom line was that the proposed budget for 1996 was close to actual figures, and we were able to complete the year with a significantly enhanced financial standing.
A retrospective overview of the fiscal problems that had occurred suggested the financial crisis had resulted from difficulty in SDPA adjusting to the expenditures necessary for transition to a formal office from the home of Barbara Severance, the past Executive Director. The Financial Committee was established with the purpose of ensuring review of fiscal affairs on a basis that provided for greater scrutiny than could be achieved in quarterly reports to the SDPA Board. The established committee was to be chaired by the President with members including the Treasurer, Past President, and SDPA Administrator.
The concepts of managed care and cost containment began to be questioned within the public arena as quality of care concerns increased. Psychologists nationally achieved some success in addressing parity issues. President Clinton signed legislation introduced by Senators Domenici and Wellstone requiring that health plans offering mental health service not impose different annual or lifetime dollar limits on those services as compared to medical service. Civil litigation was introduced to challenge those companies who brought about significant negative consequences for the insured by denial of necessary care. Legislative efforts in California focused on access to needed services, point of service options and confidentiality issues, as well as more effective regulation of managed care companies. The efforts toward expanding scope of practice to include prescription privileges was extended into a two year bill with added focus on the necessary training to safely and effectively implement the planned transition in professional practice. The efforts of SDPA members and psychologists throughout the state during 1996 were effective in passing AB 3141, which provided for medical staff membership for qualified psychologists working in state-owned health facilities.