The following notes highlight discussion and action from the March 14-15, 2014,
CAMFT Board of Directors meeting in Washington, D.C.
(Note: The Board of Directors spent March 12-13, 2014 lobbying on Capitol
Hill in Washington, D.C. on the issues of LMFTs within Medicare and the VA.)
CAMFT Board in DC
2014/2015 Board of Directors Election
Deputy Executive Director, Cathy Atkins* reported on the upcoming Board of
Directors election. She discussed the low voter turnout rate that CAMFT (as
well as most other Associations) routinely experience, and some of the ways
CAMFT is attempting to increase voter turnout for this election. She noted
that ballots were mailed on March 3, 2014 and voting Clinical members should
receive the mailing no later than March 27, 2014. Visit CAMFT's website to
learn more about the candidates .
Ms. Atkins reported on staffing and operations at CAMFT. The Board received
reports on The Therapist, continuing education programs, marketing and public
relations, and the CAMFT website.
Ms. Atkins discussed CAMFT’s new program providing student members malpractice
insurance, free of charge. She reported on the positive feedback CAMFT has
been receiving by members and schools.
Also discussed was the status of CAMFT’s new programs for 2014. Two
CAMFT sponsored Law & Ethics workshops will be held in Berkeley and Los
Angeles, on March 29, 2014 and August 15, 2014, respectively. Two CAMFT sponsored
Advanced DSM-5 workshops will be held in Anaheim and Santa Clara, on June 20,
2014 and August 1, 2014, respectively. Four CAMFT Connects meetings are in
the process of being planned for summer and fall 2014.
Ms. Atkins reported on the numerous ways in which CAMFT has begun celebrating
CAMFT’s 50th Anniversary. Also discussed, was the official celebration
which would be occurring on May 1-4, 2014, at CAMFT’s 50th Annual Conference,
in Indian Wells (Palm Springs.)
In closed session, the Board discussed personnel issues.
Ms. Atkins reported on the status of CAMFT’s federal legislation (S
562 and HR 3662) requiring Medicare to reimburse LMFTs as providers. CAMFT
continues to obtain additional co-sponsors of these two bills, many of which
were a result of the Board’s direct lobbying efforts of Congress during
their recent Washington, D.C. visit. The Board was also presented the final
research report on the projected actual cost of allowing LMFTs to be reimbursed
providers with Medicare—the findings were as CAMFT hoped and indicate
a reduction of actual costs originally projected by the Congressional Budget
Also discussed was CAMFT’s efforts to remove the COAMFTE requirement
for LMFTs to work within the VA. CAMFT has been lobbying Congress, specifically
Representative Sam Farr, over the last few years on this issue. Especially
exciting was the news that following Board Chief Financial Officer, Victoria
Campbell and Secretary, Leah Flagg-Wilson’s grassroots local outreach
to Rep. Farr (a senior member of the Appropriations Committee), he presented
a congressional direction paper to the Sub-Committee on Military Construction
and Veterans Affairs (overseen by the Appropriations Committee) requesting
that the VA begin hiring LMFTs, and specifically removing the COAMFTE hurdle.
This is a very encouraging development and we will keep the membership appraised
of any developments.
Ms. Atkins reported that CAMFT had secured three authors for its 2014 California
legislative priorities: SB 1012 (Wyland), which removes the five hour maximum
per week of supervisory hours; SB 1148 (Yee), which mimics the psychologist
statute codifying the length of time a therapist must keep patient records;
and AB 1775 (Melendez), which brings the child abuse reporting laws up-to-date
with the internet age, and includes the downloading of child pornography as
a mandatory report.
Discussed was CAMFT’s continued priority to be a visible and active
stakeholder within the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)
as the Affordable Care Act is being implemented. Following CAMFT’s
advocacy on this issue, the DHCS recently reached out to CAMFT to discuss
their application for a state plan amendment, which would include LMFTs as
direct Medi-Cal providers.
The Board reviewed updates about the Board of Behavioral Sciences. Ms. Atkins
discussed the recent addition of three positions in the LMFT examination unit
of the BBS, which will decrease exam application waiting times from 9 months
to 90 days by the end of the year. Also discussed, was a recent joint venture
between CAMFT and AAMFT to review and assess how to better structure the hours
of experience LMFTs must complete for licensure in a manner which does not
result in excessive wait times.
After receiving feedback from the Chapters regarding the pending Chapter agreements,
the Board voted to extend the comment period six months, until the September
2014 Board meeting. In the interim, the Board directed staff to solicit additional
comment from the Chapters, as well as direct chapters to view Executive Director,
Jill Epstein’s webcast on the agreements.
CAMFT staff clarified confusion surrounding a statement made in the December
2013 Board highlights stating the 2014 “proposed budget” had the
first operational surplus in seven years. Not only is the 2014 “proposed
budget” showing a surplus, but CAMFT has in fact been operating in the
black for over 5 years—an achievement very difficult given the economic
layout since 2007. The Board expressed their appreciation of staff’s
management of CAMFT’s finances. The Board also reviewed the 2013 auditor’s
report on CAMFT’s financial statements.
The Board received reports from the following Committees: Ethics Committee,
Nominating Committee, Continuing Education Provider Approval Program Task
Force, Annual Conference Planning Committee, Crisis Response Education and
Resource Committee, Honors Committee and Bylaws Task Force.
The Board selected prominent past CAMFT leaders to form the newly created
Leadership Council. The Council was created to serve in an advisory capacity
to the Board on current issues surrounding CAMFT, the Board and staff, and
any big ticket items affecting the Association. Selected to the Council are:
Jack Kennedy, J.M. Evosevich, H. Dan Smith, Carol Campbell, Mary Ellen McTamaney,
and Lois Abrams.
The Board discussed the status of CAMFT applying to become a Continuing Education
Provider Approval Program once the BBS ceases approving providers. CAMFT will
be applying to become an Approval Agency in July 2014 and if approved, will
begin accepting applications in late summer/early fall. The Board added the
following members to the Continuing Education Provider Approval Program Task
Force: Ellyn Herb, Anna Osborn, Michael Murray, Linda Lawless, Patsy Phillips,
Barbara Pannoni, Kami Storck, and Lisa Gioia.
The Board discussed the current process of the President chairing the Nominating
Committee. The Board voted to instead place the Past President as Chair to
allow for more experience and historical perspective. The Board also reviewed
the Nominating Committee report--of the 14 original candidates, 9 were selected
to appear on the ballot, 6 of whom accepted the nomination. Please visit the
CAMFT website to review the candidate statements.
The Board voted on and approved Palm Springs Unified School District Mental
Health Program to receive the 2014 Outstanding School and Agency Award. This
award will be presented at CAMFT’s 50th Annual Conference in May 2014.
The Board voted to create a Bylaws/Strategic Planning and Member Engagement
Task Force to provide feedback to the Board on better ways to engage membership
on the formation and implementation of bylaws and strategic planning changes.
The Task Force will be made up of 6-7 members, with 4-5 members being non-Board
members. A call for nominees will be made shortly.
Membership Dues Increase
The Board deliberated on the issue of increasing member dues. Based on the
increasing costs of business administration, new programs recently created
for members, and additional legal staff hired to counteract the long waiting
times to speak to the Legal Department, the Board did believe a dues raise
was critical. However, the Board determined that before it voted to raise
dues, more member input was necessary on this issue, and they would reconvene
for a vote in September 2014.
Next Board Meeting
The next Board meeting will be held June 7-8, 2014 in San Diego. For more details,
please visit the Board of Directors section of the CAMFT website.
*Executive Director, Jill Epstein, was in attendance by conference call for
the Board meeting.