The President's Message
by Hengameh Maroufi, PhD
It is my great pleasure to write to you all for the first time in our newsletter. First of all, I would like to thank Dr. Alissa Scanlin for her leadership during the past two years. I would also like to thank our wonderful board for the great work they do. I am very fortunate to be part of such a great team of professionals. It has been an exciting start to the year with the Leadership and Advocacy Day in Sacramento as well as The CPA Annual Convention in San Francisco. Both of those events have left me very energized. There are so many exciting things going on in our field. There is also so much that is troubling in terms of legislation. At the Leadership and Advocacy Day, I was very inspired by the work that California Psychological Association is doing on behalf of our profession in Sacramento. However, they remain limited by funds and lack of members. This is where we all can play a role by remaining involved. If you are not a member of CPA, please consider doing so. They work hard on our behalf. I hope you have had a chance to read Dr. Ellin Sadur’s updates from the Capitol. Dr. Sadur and I will both continue to keep our membership informed about all that is happening in the legislature and what we all can do to advocate for our profession. If you have ever doubted if your letter or phone call to a legislator’s office matters I am here to tell you it really does. Every legislator we met with in Sacramento urged us to contact their office more. Each letter or phone called is logged and represents your voice. The elected officials need to be able to quote the number of people who have contacted them.
The CPA convention was a great opportunity to attend some great workshops and connect with colleagues. It was wonderful to see some of you there. I would like to acknowledge our own Dr. Bruce Feingold who gave a wonderful presentation at the CPA Convention this year on “The Effect of Gender on Male Depression and Suicide”. I was also on a panel as part of the Division VII Diversity Town Hall which was an absolute privilege. I will be sharing more about that experience later in the newsletter. The most moving presentation for me was one where three amazing panelists each spoke about their way of becoming engaged in their community and creating change. Many presenters highlighted the challenging times we are in in terms of the future of healthcare and social justice issues.
Much like CPA, our challenge remains the recruitment of new members. It is truly and honor to be part of such a wonderful association. We have a core group of committed, active and loyal members we can count on. However, our goal remains to reach out to more professionals. I welcome any ideas you may have for how we may increase our membership. I ask each of you to talk to colleagues about our association. Recently, we have heard about a couple of incidents where a psychologist did not know we even exist! On that note, one of my goals is to make us more visible to other professionals and to community members. I believe we have a duty to be more involved in our community. One project we are working on is to organize a showing of the documentary of the movie “Screenagers” at a middle school. CCPA would be donating the fees associated with the viewing and offer a panel discussion on the effects of electronics and technology on the lives of teenagers. We will keep you updated as to when and where will be scheduling that. I am really looking forward to our association making that happen. One of our other goals is to establish a relationship with our colleagues and students at JFK University which will be a great way of engaging some of the new generation of psychologists.
On another, I hope many of you were able to attend our CE dinner meeting “California’s End of Life Options Act – A Primer for Psychologists” on April 27th. It was a great opportunity to learn more about this topic.
Finally, I would like to take a moment to remind our members that we have some board positions that are vacant. We would welcome any of you who are interested in becoming more involved. None of the positions are too time consuming and I you would be joining a board that works very well together. Please contact me for more details about about the positions and time commitment. The monthly meeting takes place on the second Tuesday of every month in Walnut Creek from 11:30-1 at the office of Dr. Pojman.
I look forward to seeing you all soon at our events. Please remember I always welcome any ideas you may have on how to make our already great organization even better!