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News & Press: General

MPA's Open Meeting on Steps Forward After the Hoffman Report

Thursday, August 13, 2015  
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MPA's Open Meeting on Steps Forward After the Hoffman Report

 
More than 40 MPA members attended the open member meeting Tuesday evening at Brighton Marine Health Center, to discuss the Hoffman Report, ask questions, and recommend appropriate steps forward. All attendees who asked to speak were given ample time and the discussion was respectful and impassioned.    
 
APA Council Representative for Massachusetts Gene D'Angelo, MPA President Abbie Seibert, and MPA Executive Director Brian Doherty addressed attendees on various aspects of how the report is being received in Massachusetts.  Council Representative D'Angelo detailed his emotional response to the Report, the process of how the APA Council of Representatives will consider actions and hear directly from Hoffman at their upcoming meetings, and expressed his intent to listen to member input throughout the process.   
 
President Seibert explained the MPA Board of Directors' approach of listening to member input on the appropriate steps forward via the listserv, open meetings, and other means.  She emphasized that the Hoffman Report presents a great ethical dilemma for psychologists as well as many implications for association governance, and that she and the MPA Board of Directors will carefully hear input and read relevant materials and options before recommending specific steps to APA.   
 
MPA's new Executive Director Brian Doherty introduced himself and emphasized that one of the key lessons from the Hoffman Report was that an insular process and rushed responses due to public relations pressures were detrimental to association policy, and that MPA is taking that wisdom to heart by listening to feedback from all MPA members, holding open meetings, and inviting wider participation on MPA committees. 
 
The meeting attendees included new members, longtime members, current and former directors, and staff.  Discussion ranged from questions and input for Council Rep. D'Angelo and President Seibert, and sharing of concerns and ideas for reforms by most meeting attendees.  By all accounts received from attendees, it was a productive meeting that produced a better understanding of the issues and potential options for steps forward.     
 
President Seibert emphasized that the next steps for MPA are to hear from members at another open meeting in Amherst on Tuesday, September 3rd at the University of Massachusetts (register here) and to craft a response to APA based on members' recommendations and formal recommendations that may be formulated, made public, and considered after the APA Convention.  Council Representative D'Angelo said he will send a summary to MPA members of the APA meetings and resolutions and potential reforms in mid-August. 
 
MPA members are welcome to provide input to the Board via Brian Doherty at Doherty@masspsych.org and directly to APA via the following channels below that were detailed in a message from APA: "We want to thank all of the members and SPTAs who have written and emailed, and want you to know your messages are being read and reviewed. Staff is tracking and cataloging all of your recommendations to be shared with governance as they determine over the coming months how best to move APA forward.
 
We want to continue hearing your ideas about what APA needs to do to move forward.  A special email has been set up to collect  recommendations: IRFeedback@apa.org.  In addition, there is a comment section on the web at http://www.apa.org/independent-review/index.aspx. 
 
Also, we have heard from many people asking about APA providing a space for people who have been mentioned or otherwise with personal knowledge about the events discussed in the final Independent Report to respond based on the facts presented or provide their own account of issues pertaining to them.  The page for this can be found off of our main IR web page: http://www.apa.org/independent-review/index.aspx."


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