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A message from MPA's New Director of Professional Affairs, Jennifer B. Warkentin, Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016   (0 Comments)
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A message from MPA's New Director of Professional Affairs, Jennifer B. Warkentin, Ph.D.

 

 
Dear MPA Members,

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself as the new Director of Professional Affairs. For those of you who don't know me (yet!), I have a broad clinical background and a range of professional interests. Most recently, I served as a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of New Hampshire for 4 years, in addition to my clinical work in skilled nursing facilities. My clinical experiences and training include a wide variety of both populations (adolescents, adults, veterans, etc.) and clinical settings (acute and chronic inpatient, residential, medical, outpatient, emergency departments, etc.). I believe that this breadth of experience will enable me to be an effective advocate on the wide-ranging issues that we encounter in this profession.

The role of DPA is varied and includes working with members to respond to professional issues and/or concerns, addressing advocacy issues through writing position papers and testifying at the statehouse, and working to increase the role that psychologists play in healthcare across the state. In Michael Goldberg's work as DPA, we achieved successes in the areas of greater telehealth coverage and increased transparency around heath plan rate-setting. As the new DPA, I will be building on the work done by Dr. Goldberg, Dr. Jim Leffert, Brian Doherty and the Board of Directors and Advocacy Committee to continue advocating for the clawback bill
(instituting a 6-month limit to insurance companies ability to take back payments made in good faith) and eliminating barriers that restrict access to care (such as allowing psychologists in outpatient practice to treat MassHealth patients). You can read more about our advocacy efforts on the MPA news page.

As psychologists, we have encountered many changes taking place in health care in general, and mental health in particular, which have resulted in some obstacles and frustrations. However, I remain optimistic about our ability to navigate both current and future challenges. Our training as psychologists provides us with the knowledge and skills necessary to enact significant change, and our dedication to our profession and our clients provides us with the ability to persevere through adversity. I also believe that there is strength in numbers - the more members we have, the greater our ability to advocate for improvements on your behalf, including the ability for me to dedicate more of my time to working as your DPA. As such, I encourage each of you to actively reach out to, and educate, other psychologists about the important work that MPA does (which benefits all psychologists, not just our members).

You can contact me by email (warkentin@masspsych.org) or by calling our main office (781-263-0080). I look forward to meeting many of you at our upcoming MPA workshops, conferences, and socials and encourage you to reach out to me with any questions, ideas or concerns you may have!
 
Sincerely,
Jennifer B. Warkentin, Ph.D.

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