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GPA Membership Newsfeed: GPA News

PSYPACT PASSES IN GEORGIA LEGISLATURE!

Thursday, April 4, 2019   (0 Comments)

On March 26, 2019 the long awaited goal of successful passage of the PSYPACT (Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact-HB 26) was achieved in the Georgia State Legislature. On day 37 of the 40 day session, this next to the last hurdle was met with a 48-1 Senate approval, having passed out of the House on February 25th (169-1). Now, within the next 40 days, the Bill will come before the Governor for his signature and enactment, making GA the 7th state for PSYPACT and meeting the threshold for the formation of its governing Commission. While offering up many good reasons for its passage, it was the benefits made possible to the military community that won the favor of many votes.

Most of us already know how PSYPACT will address demand for providing and receiving psychological services using electronic means. www.psypact.org should be your up-to-date guide on how it will work and the benefits of PSYPACT. The most current information about its progress in other states can be found there as well. For those of you who follow the CISP Listserv, you know that the issues surrounding telepsychology as a means of providing access to services and continuity of care is a topic of frequent discussion. So- thanks to our members who have kept this interest alive and who are on the forefront of the future of practice using electronic means of communication!

The GPA journey began in the Fall of 2017 with the encouragement of the Psychology Licensing Board, and in December of that same year we decided to introduce a PSYPACT bill. Through many meetings, trainings, planning sessions and advocacy contacts, we garnered increasing support. The bill was initially introduced through the sponsorship of Representative Joyce Chandler who is now retired. She and Representative Pat Gardner have been staunch supporters. Our sponsors in the 2019 Session were Representative David Belton and Senator Bruce Thompson. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the watchful guidance and intervention on our behalf by our lobbying firm (Nelson, Mullins Riley and Scarborough) led by Stan Jones; Helen Sloat, George Ray and other staff.

GPA governance, initially led by Dr. Ren Massey and next with Dr. Dora Soublis’ support, has been most enthusiastic in cheering the effort on because of their vision for the future. Our ED Gayle Spears offered the voice of reason and reality-she is truly a Psychology veteran and knows when and where to direct our energy and resources-and of course staff expertly handled last minute “URGENT BLASTS” to members and a number of other last minute behind the scenes emergencies!

None of this would have been possible without the input and support of ASPPB, with thanks to Dr. Alex Siegel and under the direction of Janet Orwig and her team who have successfully engineered the national effort for PSYPACT. They spared nothing in helping us in this achievement.

Now- on to the Future! Annual Meeting will be geared to providing PSYPACT information now that it has become a reality for Georgia Psychologists- Check out the PSYPACT exhibit! More important, you can help us to gauge potential participation by letting us know of your interest in adding PSYPACT privileges to your portfolio. Please participate in our survey when asked and let’s all work together to take full advantage of the opportunities we have worked hard to gain.