2015 Katherine Quinn, Ph.D.
In 2015, Dr. Katherine Quinn served as the 53rd President of the San Diego Psychological Association (SDPA). The SDPA Board, in 2015, wanted to increase the visibility of SDPA and psychology with our members and the San Diego community, but needed to do so with lowered resources. Also, SDPA in 2014 faced a leadership shortage. Recruitment for new Board members took a longer period of time, and membership was lower than it had been in years. Membership attendance at events was not sufficient to support both a spring and fall conference. In order to stabilize the SDPA and move it forward, a Fiesta Fundraiser was held at The La Jolla Country Club in honor of the Past Presidents of the SDPA. The purpose of the Fundraiser was to bridge the gap between financial instability and the vision for SDPA for 2015 and for future years. A very successful Fundraiser with 23 Past Presidents in attendance, raised $20,000. The profit allowed the SDPA to respond to member requests from the 2014 member survey to remake the SDPA for the modern age and encourage member retention while at the same time continuing to provide low cost, excellent CE. In order to accomplish this, a “Restructuring Committee” was appointed by the Board at their June retreat.
SDPA’s provision of low cost CE in 2015 continued to be a real value to members. Also during 2015, the Board of Psychology (BOP) was in the process of making significant changes in the manner in which psychologists secured CE’s. The BOP wanted to move from the Continuing Education (CE) model to the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) model. In the view of the SDPA Board, along with the view of the California Psychological Association, the changes were not in the best interest of licensed psychologists as the CPD model had not been adequately developed. Due to confusion regarding the BOP’s proposed changes, the SDPA Board spent several Board meetings discussing the proposed changes and provided tremendous support in the form of emails and letters to the BOP requesting a delay in the change. This resulted in the BOP putting their CPD changes on hold. By the end of 2015, SDPA had been significantly involved in the BOP, announcing that they had officially postponed their approval of the CPD model until at least 2017-2018.
The BOP’s decision allowed the SDPA to continue to plan for the provision of traditional CE’s for its members. In addition to our continuing to offer low cost CE’s, and in response to member requests, SDPA provided many professional and social networking events for members, mostly at no or very low-cost. This included a major 2015 Signature Fall Conference with over 100 members in attendance. Also, in 2015, SDPA was invited to partner to develop the first major conference focused on mental health issues for children and youth. Mental health issues in children and youth are complex. Family issues, developmental issues, peer relationships, substance use, all complicate our understanding and ability to treat this population. Education efforts are continually underway to teach physicians, therapists, educators, social service workers, and law enforcement officers how to better identify and intervene so children and youth do not have to suffer unnecessarily, are safe from harm from others and themselves, and improve function in school, at home and in their communities. This joint collaborative effort provided very low cost CE’s of $50 for an all day conference for SDPA members and all of the San Diego community. It was the result of a collaborative planning of marriage and family therapists, psychiatrists, and San Diego County mental health community leaders (SD CAMFT, SDACAP, UCSD, and SD County behavioral health services). As a result of dedicated planning and tremendous effort by these partners, on March 11, 2016, SDPA and the planning committee put on the first Critical Issues in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference (CICAMH) with 200 attendees.
By the end of 2015, SDPA operated with a $160,000 budget, a budget lowered by $20,000 in comparison to 2014 and about $40,000 lower than 2013. In addition to lowering our operating costs, we additionally had a yearend financial gain of $5,000. Further, in 2015, SDPA changed the name of “The Restructuring Committee” to the “Mission and Vision Committee.” This committee was designated to move the SDPA forward with continued lowered operating costs, but with the same solid offerings, support, and commitments to our SDPA members and the San Diego community. A dedicated and hard working 2015 Board throughout the year reset the course for SDPA, psychology, and the community and led to a substantial increase in active involvement in the SDPA’s membership by year end, and for years to come.