1998 Denruth Lougeay, Ph.D.
The year of 1998 started with promise and ended with pride. And the road in between was bumpy at times… maybe one might say even "challenging" in polite company! Success was achieved by making good choices as situations presented themselves.
In the year's beginning, the 1998 Installation and Awards Dinner was an opportunity as incoming President to address one of my primary concerns… the "pervasive erosion of our professional identity". In essence, "what we psychologists DO can either hasten the slow evaporation of our professional identity or mitigate the erosion. This slippery phenomenon of our profession may permanently blur all distinctions between the professions. Unless we act, the insidious pattern of identity nullification will continue."
To engage a solution, the membership was encouraged as follows:
We psychologists MUST continue to declare our identity…personally
and professionally…with a heightened awareness of the syntax we use.
We psychologists MUST educate the public on the differences between
the mental health professions.
We of the San Diego Psychological Association must maintain psychology as a distinguished and independent profession by simply and clearly calling ourselves Psychologists.
Another exceptional highlight was the 10th Annual CPA Leadership Council with five key SDPA members joining other leaders throughout the state. The annual three-day conference in Sacramento is an intense training ground culminating in on-the-hill visits with State Senators and Representatives in Sacramento. This training ground for continued legislative involvement by psychologists has unseen and long-term benefits for the profession of psychology. An in-depth series of stories of the legislative experience followed in the SDPA newsletter.
The SDPA newsletter also began three legislative features to keep the membership informed and involved. A filled-to-the-brim Legislative Address Book was included each month with local and state political personages listed. The Bill Box described the status of Bills having importance to the psychological community on a monthly basis. Brief legislative highlights were presented for the membership through a column called On the Hill. These positive projects were successfully implemented to emphasize the importance of legislative efforts by psychologists and were maintained by the hard-working Government Affairs Committee.
The hallmark issue of the year officially began when a lawsuit was filed on September 28, 1998 under California Psychological Association, et. al. vs. Aetna US Healthcare, et. al. However, the plans of "fighting managed care" were many moons in the making. The American Psychological Association took an active role and viewed "the California lawsuit as part of a national effort to address some of the most egregious managed care practices". It was the second in a series of lawsuits that was seen as possibly having important national implications in managed care.
Many other defining events took place throughout the year. This partial list is a tribute to an active SDPA membership who actively volunteered and tends to do so quite often.
As the year's end was approaching, our 1998 President-Elect, Dr. Patricia Braden, submitted a resignation for personal reasons, and a special election was held in adherence to the bylaws. Dr. Trish Rose who would serve as 1999 President would fill the 1998 President-Elect. Dr. Hugh Pates remained as President-Elect in order to bring in the Millennium in the year 2000. A good year, all in all, due in large part to an exceptional Board of Directors during 1998 and the competence and warm presence of our endearing Administrator, Veronica Doyle.