I hope you are having a wonderful August! Our Advocacy Committee has been busy this year following many issues relevant to psychologists. We hope to provide more updates on a regular basis. Please see below for our most recent updates:
Federal Advocacy (by Susan Farber, Ph.D.):
Federal advocacy has been moving along with messages from the national organization informing members about issues and updates. The biggest issue since April was around the separation of immigrant parents and children. There was a strong outcry to our legislators. I do not know how many IPA members wrote but I know of several including myself who did. Both Jim Risch and Mike Crapo listened and responded positively to our concern. They co-sponsored a bill along with others that would keep families together. I received a personally dictated and signed letter from Senator Risch stating his opposition to family separation.
RXP had major movement toward implementation in the last few months. An advisory committee of two psychiatrists appointed by the board of medicine, two psychologists – Mike Tilus and myself – appointed by the board of psychology, and a PhD level pharmacist appointed by the board of pharmacy, held many meetings with vigorous but fair discussion and have created a body of rules that now is open for public comment and will be sent to the legislature when it convenes in January.
Page Haviland is working with the ISU department of Pharmacy to establish the masters level training program. They currently are recruiting a prescribing psychologist to oversee the program. Page has written that they expect military participation in 2020.
State Advocacy (by Lyn McArthur, Ph.D.):
The advocacy committee has continued to monitor many issues relevant to psychology in Idaho, including topics such as the progression of RxP, use/billing of Health and Behavior codes, new laws including the abortion complication reporting law, the consortium, admission privileges, and more.
Notably, we have been working on an improved method of bringing up issues relevant to advocacy and are working on implementing this in the next few months. This should improve our tracking of issues, as well as transparency of the topics we are addressing to IPA members. We will send out an email to the list serve detailing this process once it is established and functional, which we estimate will be in a few months. .
We are working on establishing a mental health legislative day and have been engaging Kris Ellis in this endeavor. We hope to be finalizing the details, including a date, within the next few months. We would love to have involvement from IPA members for our legislative day and will be updating you about this as we learn more.
Thanks for reading! Please watch for future updates as they become available.