2015-2016 President's Report

Aug 24, 2015
Summer is almost halfway over and, once, again, it is time to write to you in conjunction with the letter from the Membership Chair asking you to renew your membership.

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CAPDA,

Summer is almost halfway over and, once, again, it is time to write to you in conjunction with the letter from the Membership Chair asking you to renew your membership.  This is always an opportunity for me to update you on some of our activities throughout our busy year as members of the Board of Directors.

We currently have a very active and energetic Board, consisting of some loyal members, who have been on the Board for some time, and, new members who have had previous experience as Directors, which makes for a very experienced and knowledgeable Board.  Due to a number of activities that required a great deal of time and energy, and, due to many and various issues that required my attention, I have not yet introduced the newest members of the Board to you, the membership, following the usual one-day Board retreat. So, let me update you and introduce those who have recently joined the Board of Directors, and, make you aware of the issues which currently occupy our attention.

Dr. John VanDeursen is our new Chair of Standards and Guidelines. John has reviewed the diligent work that has been completed by Dr. Brian Levitt, and is carefully weighing how, in future, CAPDA can be an organization that can guide colleagues in Ontario and across Canada on ethical and professional principles when conducting assessments, writing reports, and providing treatment. This is a task that will always hold our attention, as our professional environment continues to change in Ontario, across Canada and in the U.S.  This has been especially important recently, and, I will comment briefly on what the vice-president's activities are in this regard, which will inform John's future work.  John will provide you with an update on his activities as soon as some of the more difficult issues have been reviewed and decisions been made, to our satisfaction on the Board.  It is important to always remember that CAPDA is a national organization and that we need to focus not only on Ontario but also, on what is happening across the country, in other provinces. So, we need to keep our focus, while carefully paying attention to what is happening in Ontario, on the bigger picture of the profession of psychology in Canada.  For this reason, John has been reviewing Standards and Guidelines of other national organizations, such as the APA, and has called our attention to recent very important ethical issues that have evolved in the United States, and which we will need to take into consideration when we make decisions about how to write standards and guidelines on ethical principles of assessment in Canada.

This brings me to our Vice-President, Dr. Jeremy Frank. Jeremy has been actively involved in Ontario's initiatives with regard to changes in the regulations affecting both catastrophic and non-catastrophic determinations in the auto sector. He has recently informed the Board of some of the issues that are happening in this regard, and we will be paying close attention to these issues. Your president will continue to remain in close communication with OPA's president, so that CAPDA may contribute to this very important initiative as part of the bigger picture if necessary and as appropriate, keeping in mind, once again, that CAPDA is a national organization. Ontario is one, although important, focus in CAPDA's priorities, but as part of the national and much bigger picture, and this is how I will address the issues facing us in Ontario.

We have a new Education Chair, Dr. Lara Davidson. Lara has worked hard to bring interesting and challenging presenters to CAPDA's educational events so that our members continue to be drawn to our conferences and have the best opportunities in updating their professional knowledge.  Lara has recently successfully organized the first workshop that offered a webinar across the country, enabling participants from other provinces to participate, all the way to British Columbia, when we had our second workshop on the DSM 5. This is a first for CAPDA, and we are strongly committed to continuing in our efforts to become more technologically savvy and use social media in our efforts to reach out to new members, and, to reach potential members in other provinces and across the country, to join us, so that we become a more national organization. Future workshops will focus on issues that are foremost in our professional lives, and will include workshops on validity measures. We are planning additional workshops focusing on the various pitfalls and professionals issues that we face in a variety of professional environments, including plaintiff, defense, independent evaluations, and, disability assessments in a much wider range of contexts, thus, enabling us to comment on issues that reach beyond Ontario.

Dr. David Kurzman has been our advisor in all matters technological, and has been a strong proponent of expansion in this regard, such that we plan to continue to offer our workshops on our website for members, and, having helped us to make the appropriate choices in having a company produce our last workshop as a webinar. 

I would like to express my special appreciation to Dr. Joanna Hamilton, who recently joined as the new Secretary. She has done a wonderful job educating me in the various procedures directly associated with running meetings! Often, it is difficult to remember that this is a difficult and specific democratic process, and, that Board meetings need to be run in a specific fashion.  Beyond that, Joanna has been an active and inspiring Board member, who continues to advise us on what is important to psychologists practicing in Ontario and across Canada.  Joanna is an active participant on the Membership Committee and assists us in ensuring that our new members fulfill the credentials and qualifications that we continue to require in those psychologists who join CAPDA.

Dr. Marek Celinski continues on our board as Member At Large, and has proven to be an enthusiastic contributor whenever questions arise and decisions need to be carefully vetted.

Dr. Randy Silverman continues as our trusted treasurer, a position many of us would not prefer to deal with. He has proven to be thoughtful and attentive in reviewing our financial status and needs.

Last, but not least, I would like to especially introduce Dr. Janani Deffendall.  Janani has joined our Board as a volunteer assistant to the Secretary, and, with the thought that she will learn as much as possible about CAPDA and the process that this Board of Director needs to follow.  In this way, an early career psychologist may (this is my hope) become interested in CAPDA not only as a member, but perhaps as a future Board member, when she has achieved full membership status (she is currently a Candidate). Janani has been exceedingly helpful in telling us more about what psychologists face who are early in their career.  This will also help us plan workshops for early career psychologists. 

Dr. Gembora continues to head and guide the membership committee that reviews all new applications. Her letter guiding you through the membership renewal will be accompanying mine.

In closing, I would like to emphasize, once, again, that we are the only organization in this province (besides CRHSPP, which is also a national organization focusing on credentialing issues), which continues to believe in, promote, and require the doctorate as the minimum level of education to practice in this profession, for eligibility as a member with us. CAPDA will continue to advocate for doctoral-level entry into professional membership in a manner that is reasonable and professionally acceptable, along with other professional credentials that have become the threshold for CAPDA membership. CAPDA membership will continue to stand for, and promote professional expertise and seniority in the field of disability assessment and treatment. 

I hope to welcome you at our next workshop in the Fall, which will be addressing validity measures, and wish you all the best for this summer and the coming year. As always, I am taking this opportunity to encourage your participation in CAPDA’s activities in whichever way fits with your needs and responsibilities. I look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.

With warm regards,

Dr. Annette Lorenz, C.Psych.

President, CAPDA

2015-2016 President's Report1

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