As AMHCA concludes its current “association year”—the fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011—I would like to provide our loyal members and supporters with a status report of our advancements in several key areas.
Membership growth. AMHCA has enjoyed this year a strong membership growth—close to 9 percent year-to-date. We now exceed 6,000 members strong and are growing.
Annual Conference. The Boston Leadership Training and Annual Conference held last July and featuring the positivity research of keynote speaker Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, had a very positive affect on conference attendance. In fact we broke attendance records for both meetings, and we are on track for similar results in San Francisco next month.
Online presence. Also during the past association year, AMHCA has expanded its online efforts with additional CE provides and the launch of AMHCA’s Facebook page.
Professional international travel. Under the leadership of AMHCA President 2010–11 Tom Ferro, LCPC, an AMHCA delegation of mental health counselors visited Cuba in late May to learn and exchange professional ideas and research with their Cuban counterparts. Among the scheduled activities was a meeting with the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. (Look for Tom’s report about the trip in the July/August issue of The Advocate.)
Public policy. AMHCA has made substantial progress in the public policy area with the implementation of regulations allowing licensed mental health counselors to practice in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and we are awaiting final approval for TRICARE independent practice from the Department of Defense. We are all pleased to welcome James K. Finley as our new director for Public Policy. Jim has an outstanding accomplishment record, and we look forward to his future public policy contributions in the months ahead as we push ahead for coverage in Medicare legislation as well as other legislative goals.
Strong financial health. AMHCA’s financial status continues to be solid and strong. We have enhanced our non-revenue income and monitored our expenses with considerable care. As with all organizations, our operations expenses continue to rise, but we work hard to “live within our means” and expand our services, too.
Election results. Warm congratulations to AMHCA President–Elect Karen Langer, LMHC, as well as to our new Midwest Region Director Erik Oostenink, LMHC, and Western Region Director Steven Tierney, LMHC, CAS. Welcome to the AMHCA Board of Directors! The three will take up their new positions on July 1. Thanks also go to all the candidates who ran for office, and all the members who voted.
Board members stepping down. Special thanks to our out-going President Tom Ferro for his outstanding leadership and many contributions to AMHCA’s progress over the past year. A note of appreciation to Janice Gnas, LPC, NCC, CADCIII, ICADC, SAP, as she steps down from her position on AMHCA’s board as Midwest Region director. Last but not least, warm thanks and appreciation to Linda Barclay, PhD, LPCC/S, LICDC, NCC, for her many contributions to AMHCA’s successes.
All of our efforts are dependent on the professional national office staff and external consultants. We appreciate the skill they devote each day to meet our members’ needs and exceed their expectations.
Annual Conference. All of AMHCA’s leadership and staff hope to see you in San Francisco next month for a stimulating and enjoyable series of workshops and conference sessions. We are especially eager to meet with our state chapter leadership and further enhance the bond between AMHCA and its many vibrant chapters. And since it’s AMHCA members who will be gathering, you can count on having some fun, too!