During the 2023 AK-PA board retreat in August, outgoing Board President Ruddy Taylor, PhD officially handed over the association leadership to Seth Green, PhD as he transitioned from his term as President Elect to Board President. He shared his three goals of Collaboration, Vision, and Membership with the board. He would like to increase and create new collaboration with other Alaska mental health organizations and other state psychological associations. Dr Green plans to revisit AK-PA’s mission to make sure it continues to be relevant and continue to grow the membership by developing new benefits.

Dr Taylor received a crystal clock in appreciation for her recent 4 years of volunteer leadership.

Dr Taylor was presented with a special crystal clock in appreciation for her combined 4 years of leadership as President Elect and President that she had completed. She also served as AK-PA’s APA Council Representative during those same years and remains on the budget committee. Dr. Taylor expressed her gratitude and honor to have served the association commented that she complete faith in Dr Green and is looking forward to his leadership.

Kevin Tarlow, PhD, also began his 2-year term as board Secretary. Elected to the position in June, this is his first year on the board and has been an active member of the Ethics committee and has presented an Ethics workshop for AK-PA in 2022.

In addition to the new officers, three new board members were also appointed by the board to allow them to vote during the retreat. They are Bekah Burket, PhD from Fairbanks, Rebekah Villalon, PhD from Anchorage, and Princilla Usery, MA/CMHC from Fairbanks. Monique Andrews was also appointed to the board. She had served as the AKPAGs rep from Alaska Pacific University and wanted to continue after she received her PhD.

To be in compliance with having seated offices for state reporting it was decided to have a special election for President Elect and Treasurer. The 4 appointed board members were also included on the ballot to have an official vote from the membership.

2023 AK-PA Hybrid board retreat.

Orientation and Updates

The August retreat provided an orientation to new board members of AK-PA organization chart, staff, and various Listservs.

The Membership report showed numbers are on the rise with 132 combined Members and Affiliates which includes students. This is a 5% increase from last year but more importantly a 43% increase from 2021 when we had our lowest member numbers of 93 due to the pandemic. The growth in membership is attributed to the end of the pandemic and moving to an anniversary membership renewal versus an annual renewal.

It was noted to the board that the difference between the two membership categories is that Members are allowed to vote. Affiliates include students and it was brought up by Dr Joel Wieman, our APA Council Rep, that APA allows students members to vote. After discussion the board voted to elevate students with APA membership to AK-PA members with voting privileges. With the addition of student members the association has 117 Members and 15 Affiliates

The financial review showed that the association is financially stable with the Membership Dues and CE workshop fees being our major income sources. AK-PA was also awarded a $15,500 APA Small State Operational Grant. This grant is provided to help defray the costs of the salary or stipend of an association’s Executive Director. In the past it the grant also helped defray the costs of an association’s Lobbyist. When we have legislative work we can apply for a Legislative Grant that would pay for our Lobbyist’s fees. The end of year financial forecast is for AK-PA to end the year with a net gain of $3000.

Dr Joel Wieman provided an APA Council Rep. update reviewing the structure of the APA Council of Representatives, provided input on the initiatives and actions taken at the summer Council meeting.

Dr Marjorie Kyle, our APA Federal and State Advocacy Rep provided an update reviewing our legislative priorities that were adopted last May.

  • Support for legislation protecting the clinical records and licenses of psychologists working with clients living in states with more restrictive laws (e.g., gender-affirming treatment, reproductive healthcare services).
  • Support for legislation expanding psychologists’ scope of practice to include prescription privileges with appropriate training.
  • Support for legislation enforcing and expanding mental health parity.
  • Review of legislation impacting workforce issues for psychologists and the reimbursement of services provided by trainees.
  • Review of legislation impacting licensure for psychologists in Alaska.
  • Support for legislation that deconstructs barriers to Psychology students from Alaska, who want to become licensed in Alaska.
  • Support of APU’s Doctoral Degree program.
  • Support of PSYPACT – the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact that is designed to facilitate the practice of telepsychology and the temporary in-person, face-to-face practice of psychology across state boundaries. PSYPACT was introduced by Assoc. of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

A listserv will be created to keep all legislative conversations separate from the community Mental Health listserv.