The President shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation, and consistent with the rules and procedures of the Board of Trustees, shall have broad authority to: oversee the operation of the Corporation, promote the purposes and goals of the Corporation, establish the agenda for meetings of the Board of Trustees, be the chair of the Executive Committee, be responsible for reviews of the operations of the Executive Officer and Central Office, represent the Corporation to other organizations and the public, coordinate the work of the officers of the Corporation, make appointments to committees, and have such other powers and duties as may be assigned by the Board of Trustees.
Brenda J. Spiegler, PhD, ABPP
It is hard to believe that I am halfway through my Presidency of the ABPP BOT. We have made much progress, but, as always, there remains an enormous amount of work to be done.
Our Executive Committee (EC) has worked hard and well over the past year, and I am eager to continue our work together with our 2023 EC. We bid farewell to Dr. Joel Frost, our secretary for the past 4 years and we welcome Dr. Leo Caraballo as our new Secretary. We celebrated Joel’s many years of service to the BOT at our meeting in December and we will miss him. Dr. Caraballo, board certified in Clinical Psychology, has served us well as ECP trustee and moves into the Secretary position poised to contribute even more going forward. We look forward to his ongoing contributions.
What can I say? We cope. We were able to meet in person in Chapel Hill in December with no infections reported. It was wonderful to be together and even more wonderful that no one got sick. We will meet virtually in June as a cost-saving measure and come together in person again next December.
Addressing our ongoing Information Technology (IT) challenge was at the top of my list for 2022 and I am happy to report that we have been able to establish a multi-year contract with Cerebral Consulting. Under the leadership of Dr. Rob Davis, Cerebral Consulting has successfully completed the platform build-out for all the ABPP specialty boards, from initial application right through to MOC. Our processes are much improved, leading to a huge reduction of stress at the central office and among our specialty board leadership. The work is ongoing and more improvements are in the pipeline for 2023. Thanks to Dr. Davis and his team as well as CO staff and SB leadership for their patience and significant contributions.
Under the leadership of our Treasurer, Dr. Corey, ABPP’s finance reporting was re-aligned this year to clarify what dollars the SBs control and what dollars the CO/BOT control. This has helped us greatly in our planning and we recognize that the vast majority of ABPP’s funds are under the control of the SBs. This means that we have had to make a few changes to enable the organization to grow in some important ways. As noted above, we have entered into a longer term contract with Cerebral Consulting, who have already made marked changes to our IT capabilities. Furthermore, we have increased the professionalism of the organization by offering a comprehensive benefits package for our staff, a first for the organization. Our staff are incredibly loyal and work hard for our benefit, with little to no turnover over the past decade. It is only right that they should have benefits as part of their total compensation package. In order to fund these two large investments, we have had to make some difficult decisions. One is to hold our mid-year meeting virtually for the next two years. The other is to convert our previously automatic annual 6K stipend to the SBs to a needs-based stipend that any board may request with a clear plan for how they plan to spend it and a rationale for why their current accounts are not sufficient. Some of this money is offset by the IT contract which will cover many technology-related costs that were previously paid by SBs. By increasing the number of attestation-paying specialists, some of these decisions may be reversed in the future.
New Specialty Boards
Our two new affiliating boards are making excellent progress toward full affiliation during the monitoring phase of their process. Addiction Psychology has examined their entire founding board with all six members passing the oral exams. They plan to start advertising for candidates to apply for the Addiction Psychology specialty early in 2023 and hope to have the first 30 candidates examined in the next 6 to 9 months. The Serious Mental Illness specialty has also successfully boarded all of their founding members and are ready to move on to examine other people who are likely to be added to the board. This is truly an exciting time for ABPP as we welcome two new SBs.
Diversity remains an important element of my presidential initiative. With Dr. Bowman as incoming chair, the Diversity Committee will work with diversity champions from each SB to implement joint strategies. And importantly, 2023 will be the first year that ABPP will have work setting AND demographic information about all our specialists, as this was collected as part of the attestation process. This information can be used for marketing, recruitment, and strategic planning. We will have demographic data describing who applies, who follows through to candidacy, who goes on to become a specialist, and into which specialty. Thus, we will be in a better place to follow through with targeted marketing and to provide feedback to each SB about how they might encourage their applicants from diverse backgrounds. Once we have these data, we will be able to describe our specialists fully for the first time.
Engagement and Marketing
Under Dr. Caraballo’s capable leadership, we have made good strides in this area.
- We finalized our partnership agreement with the Trust, the largest insurer of psychologists within the US. As part of that agreement, the Trust hosted two webinars in 2022, providing us access to many non-board-certified psychologists.
- We also began a partnership with CONCEPT, who hosted 5 live webinars in 2022 presented by board certified psychologists. At least 3 more are planned for 2023. Please visit the CONCEPT website at https://concept.paloaltou.edu/abpp/ for further information.
- Psychologists in Public Service
The Psychologists in Public Service Initiative aims to reach out to Psychologists who practice in the VA, Bureau of Prisons (BoP) and Department of Defense (DoD) in order to inform them of the benefits of ABPP board certification.
- This committee has raised ABPP’s profile in the DOD, BOP and VA systems.
- A special Issue of the Specialist highlighted innovative work being done in this sector and the issue was shared broadly.
- Under the leadership of Dr. Sam James, the committee is offering a ‘warm handoff’ for any Psychologist in public service who expresses an interest in exploring BCn in a specific specialty.
And New for 2023
- We will be re-imagining the Specialist as we recruit a new editor. If you are interested in this role as a non-voting member of the BOT, please contact Nancy McDonald at the central office.
- We will develop a strategic plan to address our social media presence.
It is clear from the above that the ABPP BOT is busy with many new and ongoing initiatives. As your President, I plan to continue our forward progress on these issues. I am grateful for the time and dedication each of our trustees and employees gives to the organization and want to ensure that our efforts are most productive. We are truly a working board, so please take a moment to thank your trustees. I look forward to our ongoing collaboration for the benefit of our specialists, the ABPP organization and our mission. Please feel free to contact me directly with your feedback and suggestions.
Brenda J. Spiegler, PhD, ABPP
President, American Board of Professional Psychology
Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology
Board Certified Subspecialist in Pediatric Neuropsychology