Dear CAPDA Colleagues:
Your Board of Directors met yesterday at our annual retreat, which essentially is a daylong board meeting. As always, we debated passionately about issues big and small, and I believe our membership was represented well in the process. We accomplished a great deal, and looking back on our day I can tell you that you have a cohesive and dedicated volunteer board that is working hard to advance CAPDA’s mission to share information, develop standards of practice and conduct, educate, and advocate. We are increasing our efforts to carry out our mission on a national level, and we were mindful of this theme through all of our discussions.
As you undoubtedly know, CAPDA has very strong roots in Ontario. I mentioned in my previous letter to you that we are at a crossroads as an organization. As President, my main focus this year is working with the board to make sure we focus our efforts with a national vision. In other words, we must make sure that we grow beyond a mindset that has been more consistent with calling ourselves OAPDA. There will be growing pains, but I believe we have all the ingredients necessary to become a truly national organization. I am excited and honoured to represent CAPDA during this time of growth, and I ask for your support and patience over this critical year.
I thought you might be interested to know a bit about what we worked on yesterday. Following my address to the board about the need to focus nationally, every standing and ad hoc committee chair presented updates and plans for the coming year in line with this theme. And of course, we thoroughly discussed and debated all of the issues.
Our Treasurer, Dr. Randy Silverman, helped us to focus on the financials to make sure that our decisions are sound and that CAPDA remains viable into the future if we are to grow nationally. As always, he provided good counsel.
Our Membership Chair, Dr. Jeremy Frank, discussed outreach plans in line with both our national vision and our interest in having an active presence in our organization of member candidates. I will leave further announcements to Dr. Frank, who has been working diligently with his committee to help push CAPDA into the future as a national organization.
Dr. Annette Lorenz, our Vice-President, is in her final year as Education Chair, and is making plans for a smooth transition for her committee while I work with her over the year on a smooth transition to her Presidency. The Education Committee will be expanding our educational opportunities by increasing our number of workshops from two to three, in addition to our AGM workshop. Again, in keeping with our national vision, she and her committee will also be looking into using readily available technology to make it easier for those who are at a distance to attend workshops online.
Dr. David Kurzman, Chair of Standards and Guidelines, will be focusing his committee on two initiatives. They will explore guidelines for insurance examiners (with an eye towards being relevant to all provinces). The committee also will undertake guidelines specific to disability assessments for children and adolescents.
Dr. Ivan Kiss, our Past-President, is in his second year chairing our Credentialing Committee, and CAPDA is very close to rolling out Canada’s first diplomate (board certification) program for psychologists and neuropsychologists. This is a critical piece of our national vision. Details of the program and how to apply will be coming soon.
Dr. Deborah Cowman, our Secretary, has also spearheaded our Website committee – and you have all seen what a great website we have as a result. She continues to firm up what is already a very relevant and useful website to bring more resources directly to you, including an online library relevant to disability assessment and video footage of our excellent workshops.
Though Drs. Louisa Gembora and Marek Celinski do not chair committees, they represent you well as Members at Large in all of our discussions. Their input is always invaluable, and they are an active part of our passionate board discussions. Somehow the nine of us got through the day. I believe we are on track for continued growth and providing our members with greater value as an organization of experts that seeks on a national level to educate ourselves and others, share information, advocate on important issues in disability assessment, and continue to develop standards of practice.
Best as always,
Dr. Brian Levitt, C.Psych.
Letter from the President, March 2, 2013