APA Practice Directorate Short on Funds

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Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Aug 27, 2004
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Dear Fellow MOPA Members:

Another convention and Council meeting has come and gone. This was my last meeting as the COR representative from MOPA. It has been a pleasure and honor to serve you these past 6 years. I will truly miss being part of Council, Caucuses and especially miss the dedicated people in APA governance.

A summary of Council will be posted soon. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what I believe was the most important event. If you find the statements below somewhat confusing, they are!!

During the past two or three weeks, I have been working what seems full time along with Dr. Peter Oppenheimer from Rhode Island and a couple of other people to undo some announced grant cuts and what appeared to be policy changes announced by the grants subcommittee of CAPP. CAPP is the administrative agent for the Board of Directors of the American Psychological Association Professional Organization (APAPO). The APAPO is the organization that does almost everything concerning practice and gives various organizational, developmental, and emergency grants to state psychological associations. APA cannot do this because of its tax status as a 501c3 association. The APAPO was set up as a 501c6 association with support of states to be a major priority. All of the state associations are 501c6 organizations. A 501c3 organization may not give money or resources to a 501c6 organization. Although APA has large funding sources through its real estate and publishing empires, that money can’t be passed to the states or used for support of practice by federal law.

The APAPO is funded entirely through the voluntary practice assessment. Starting in 2007 when it was announced that the assessment was voluntary, many individuals stopped paying it. This year alone it appears that APAPO will have about a $750,000. shortfall in funds and have to take from its reserves. Because of the separation of APA and APAPO it is hard to see where APAPO will make up its deficits unless individuals start paying the practice assessment, which I do and encourage everybody else to do also.

In any case, the announced proposed changes we believed would be disastrous to the small states, some of which depend on as much as 40% of their budgets on these grants. We also believed that if small states have to close their offices it would negatively impact APA’s ability to carry out its mission.

Therefore, Dr. Oppenheimer, as chair of the Rural Health Interest Caucus in Council, and I as chair of the Caucus of State, Provincial, and Territorial Representatives (CSPTR) drafted a resolution to be put before Council on an emergency basis asking the Board of Directors to look into the matter (the situation is actually more complex because of the 501c3-501c6 issue but I think that you get the idea). We then notified all of Council about this plan and asked for support. The resolution and the accompanying letter to Council went through about ten revisions with several other people helping with the language.

The letter and resolution went out only two days before Council was to meet. Within a day we received messages from the APAPO Board of Directors asking us to meet with them and CAPP to see if we could resolve the problem (The boards of APA and APAPO are the same individuals wearing different hats). The meeting included Dr. Oppenheimer, Patricia Walz and I as representatives of the states and Caucuses, Lisa Grossman and Connie Paul from Division 31, and Teresa Bruce from CESPPA (The Association of State and Provincial Executives).

The meeting went very well. We believe that the Board heard our concerns and we received assurances during and after the meeting that no policy change had actually been made and that funding for the small and very small states would not be cut for at least 2012. We were assured that funding states would remain a major priority and that stakeholders would be involved in future policy planning.

The issue was discussed in several of the caucuses. Our decision was finally, not to introduce the resolution but to draft a joint letter coming from the APAPO Board, CAPP, State Representatives, Division 31 and CESPPA summarizing the above. Peter Oppenheimer, Lisa Grossman, Shirley Vicery, Patricia Walz and I did most of the work with help from several other people including the APAPO General Counsel, and some present and past Board members.

By the second day that Council met, the joint statement had been distributed to Board members but had not yet been approved because of time constraints. We were confident enough of being able to jointly publish the letter that I had the privilege to report on the above work to Council. We believe that the letter will be soon in final form and published. If not- there is always next Council session.

I believe that it is in our interest to maintain APAPO as a strong organization. We need to pay the practice assessments and encourage everybody else, whether or not they have an active practice to do so also. Once money starts going back into APAPO, the grant process will again strengthen.

In closing, I would like to thank Ellen McClean, our Executive Director, for staying on top of this issue and being active in CESPPA. We are very fortunate to have her.


Kenneth H. Bohm, Ph.D.

APA COR member from MOPA

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