From MPA's President Tabitha Grier-Reed, Ph.D., L.P.

Strategic Updates

I am now entering the last quarter of my Presidency, and am happy to share with you the strategic accomplishments MPA has achieved this year. The objectives for 2013 included identifying gaps and strategies to strengthen four major areas: organization structure and operations; fiscal solvency; leadership and governance; and, member engagement. First, let me tell you that at this point MPA is financially solvent.  In addition, the 2013 Governing Council has worked to review and approve policies to secure the foundation for financial stability and organizational health into the future in all four major areas of MPA. For example, with respect to leadership and governance, the organization has instituted board training for each Governing Council as well as clear documentation of Governing Council Members’ Duties and Responsibilities. Similar documents have been developed and approved for MPA Division Chairs and Committee/Task Force Chairs. Moreover, to increase oversight, MPA has passed a Whistle Blower Policy as well as an Annual Audit Policy. We have also updated our Travel, Reimbursement and Expenditure Requests policies and forms. Finally, we have increased our membership to close to 700 members, and we are focused on continuing to work toward the protection, connection, and growth of psychologists.

Connection, Protection, and Growth

MPA exists for the protection, connection, and growth of psychologists, and we need you to effectively serve this function. Many of you may be aware of changes occurring within Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) who recently implemented a drastic fee reduction affecting psychologists and switched to the Mihalik Group’s Medical Necessity Review Criteria for Behavioral Health. As a result psychologists have complained about difficulty getting access to the manual.

Our star Legislative Committee, chaired by Trisha Stark, is working with the APA Committee for Advancement of Professional Psychology to advocate for transparency and parity with respect to the Mihalik Group’s Medical Necessity Review Criteria for Behavioral Health. However, the recent fee reduction speaks to our need for a Payer Committee. The mission of MPA’s Payer Committee is to focus on federal, state, and private/third party payers. This includes: monitoring policies of payers; advocating for beneficial policies for MPA members and the clients they serve; initiating change with regard to payers; and, educating MPA members about policy issues. In the past the Payer Committee was chaired by the Director of Professional Affairs (DPA). We don’t currently have a DPA as we can’t afford one. What we need now is for those who have depth of knowledge (or fire in the belly) regarding Payer issues to come together as at least ad hoc members of the Payer Committee to strategize over the issue with BCBS. Please, step up. MPA and Minnesota psychologists need you. Contact me at [email protected] or Administrative Director Rhea Sullivan ([email protected]) to volunteer and/or to get more information.


There are number of kudos and shoutouts as MPA members and committees are doing extraordinary work.

  • Please recognize Legislative Chair Trisha Stark for her work this year that resulted in the passing of a bill to pay for psychologists’ consultation to primary care providers. We also saw a 5% raise in MA rates for primary care and mental health providers due in part to MPA’s tireless legislative efforts led by Trisha Stark. Kudos to the Legislative Committee.
  • Please recognize the Chair of our Disaster Relief Network (DRN) Rebecca Thomley. The DRN works under the Memorandum of Understanding which defines a working relationship between the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American National Red Cross. Through the DRN, MPA provides an avenue of cooperation between these two entities assisting victims of disaster nationally and internationally. Rebecca Thomley who leads the network has been invited to the International Women’s Global Summit, a major accomplishment!
  • Please recognize Mera Kachgal our current Secretary who was recently elected Member-At-Large to the Executive Committee for Division 31 State, Provincial, and Territorial Affairs (SPTA) of APA.
  • Please welcome Bravada Garrett-Akinsanya as our new APA Council Representative. She will be following in the footsteps of Marge Charmoli, our current representative, and I know that MPA will continue to be well-represented.
  • A final kudos goes out to the MPA Governing Council for our recent investment in research and education. In 1990 MPA started an endowment fund at The Saint Paul Foundation with the intention of obtaining a 501 (c) 3 status from the IRS. With that non-profit designation, The Saint Paul Foundation would have been able to make grants back to MPA. MPA never became a 501 (c) 3, and was therefore unable to receive an annual distribution from the foundation. Meanwhile the fund continued to grow to the amount of $15,691.80. In accord with the wishes of the originators of this fund and with the encouragement of The St. Paul Foundation, this year the Governing Council unanimously approved a donation of $15,691.80 to the American Psychological Foundation Visionary Grants fund which focuses on fostering the connection between mental and physical health; reducing stigma and prejudice; preventing violence; and supporting programs that address the long-term psychological needs of individuals and communities in the aftermath of disaster. Such acts of philanthropy and altruism make me proud to be a member of MPA.

Stay in the Know

Stay in the know by checking out the Rural Conference coming up October 11 and the President's Conference coming up November 9 and 11 featuring Harvard psychologist Jessica Henderson Daniel.  Also MPA elections for 2014 are now open.  Please remember to vote!

Finally, make sure you stay in the know regarding the upcoming HIPAA compliance deadline. Click here for more information and resources on the HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Security Rule.

Your President,

Tabitha Grier-Reed, Ph.D., L.P.

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