2019 NJPA Trenton Day

On December 5, 2019, NJPA held a Trenton Day at the State House with the purpose of providing NJPA and affiliate member guests with an opportunity to learn about the NJ legislative process, talk with legislators, understand how a bill becomes a law, and learn the importance of grassroots advocacy. Please consider joining us next time! 

NJPA Member Attendees - Drs. Susan Esquilin, Aida Ishmael-Lennon, Barry Katz, Gerald Leventhal, NJPA President, Morgan Murray,  ECP Co-Chair, Michelle Pievsky, NJPA President-Elect, Lucy Sant'Anna Takagi, with Vanessa Chafos, Kristina Kroot, NJPA Executive Director, Keira Boertzel-Smith,  and NJPA Government Affairs Agent, Jon Bombardieri.  Also pictured is Assemblyman Paul D. Moriarty. 









NJPA September 2018 Trenton Day Field Trip
by Keira Boertzel-Smith, NJPA Executive Director

On Monday, September 17, 2018, Dr. Morgan Murray, NJPA President-Elect, Dr. Alan Lee, NJPA Member-at-Large, and I met in Trenton with Jon Bombardieri, NJPA’s Government Affairs Agent. As a group, we explored the State House, discussed the New Jersey legislative process, and observed a committee meeting with testimony. We were able to meet Assemblyman Daniel Benson (D-14) and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker ((D-16). We would like to create more opportunities for NJPA to meet with them and other legislators to discuss best ways to support quality mental health care in the state of New Jersey. We began discussions about a potential NJPA hosted advocacy day at the State House and a gathering at our Government Affairs Agent’s office for legislators. Equally as important, we discussed the best way to incorporate legislators into our 2019 Mental Health Awareness efforts and building and maintaining a grassroots network of psychologists in each New Jersey district to respond to requests for grassroots action in a timely fashion. NJPA will host more NJPA Trenton field trips to ensure that NJPA and psychologists are visable in Trenton.

Professional Advocacy Corner
NJPA continues to work on important professional issues that impact our members, psychology, and psychologists.  Below are some current topics were are working on via the NJPA executive board and various NJPA Committees.

Task Forces: NJPA task forces are time-limited and mission related groups to serve the executive board. The NJPA president convenes them, appoints chairs, and approves its members. In 2018, we will be using the following task forces to move forward with the association’s work: Colleague Assistance Task Force: to foster health and wellness in our members and to assist our members in addressing the range of difficulties a psychologist might face and identify strategies to address concerns before they impair professional practice;
Civility Now Campaign Task Force: to create a community and culture that navigates multiple perspectives through self-reflection, care, respect, and empathy while acknowledging the culture and humanity of others;
Organizational Structure Study Task Force: to review the NJPA organizational structure and leadership development efforts;
Licensure Task Force: to facilitate NJPA’s support of the movement towards the 2010 APA Model License Act in New Jersey;
RxP Task Force: to gather current information on members' views on RxP, investigate the pro's and con's of RxP, and report their findings and recommendations to the Executive Board and to membership;
Integrative Care Task Force: to investigate and develop the integrate care practice model for psychologists in New Jersey;
Medicaid Reimbursement:  COLA reached out to the sponsors of bills A3035 and S957 to request that the bills amend the bill definition of “Evidence Based” to a treatment provided by licensed mental health professionals;
Medical Necessity: We are working with our Managed Care Coalition to find new sponsors for the Medical Necessity bill. Medical necessity remains a large loophole that insurers use to deny and curtail necessary mental health treatment. Through the guise of case management, diagnostic categories, and so called cost effective treatment, private insurance companies define medical necessity in ways that seemingly aren’t in a patient’s best interests;
Medicaid Provider Expansion: We are working to include graduate doctoral level interns and post-doctoral temporary permit holders and fellows in the New Jersey Medicaid program;
Network Adequacy: NJPA is researching the Department of Banking and Insurance regulations governing insurance and network adequacy.

State and National Advocacy

NJPA is committed to strengthening our political outreach and advocating for the interests of NJ psychologists and mental health issues that are important to the public.  Over the years, our advocacy took many forms.  Through our Committee on Legislative Affairs (COLA) and our Governmental Affairs Agent (GAA), NJPA was instrumental in maintaining standards of psychology practice in NJ, protecting patients rights, and supporting public policy.  NJPA also monitors State Rules and Laws that regulate the profession, and maintains a liaison with the NJ Board of Psychological Examiners so we are always informed about any changes that may affect our members.  As an affiliate of APA, NJPA is also involved in federal advocacy initiatives and regularly lobbies for federal issues that affect psychology.

The American Health Care Act
March 23, 2017
The NJPA Executive Board approved an endorsement of the American Psychological Association's/American Psychological Association Practice Organization’s letter of opposition to the American Health Care Act, that was recently approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee and the Budget Committee. Read our press release here.

State Advocacy

Read about our successful changes to NJ laws affecting psychologists!

Federal Advocacy/Practice Leadership Conference