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W. Mark Hamilton, PhD
AMHCA Executive Director & CEO

Looking Back on a Great Fiscal Year for the Association

AMHCA is concluding the association’s fiscal year in a very strong position. Over the last 12 months, we have:

  • Strengthened our finances,
  • Improved our advocacy efforts,
  • Increased our membership,
  • Promoted new professional programs, and
  • Prepared for a dynamic national conference and leadership training here in Washington, D.C.

Clearly, AMHCA is fulfilling its vision: “To be the national organization representing licensed clinical mental health counselors and state chapters, with consistent standards of education, training, licensing, practice, advocacy, and ethics.”

Public Policy Challenges Ahead  Could Shape the Profession for Years to Come

Our public policy advocacy efforts move forward, but under extremely difficult congressional and political challenges. We are hopeful that in the months ahead, the legislative climate will change for the better, and AMHCA will attain new goals. 

James Finley, AMHCA’s associate executive director and director of public policy, urges members to lend their voices and support to AMHCA’s advocacy efforts. He makes a compelling case that members need to understand the likely impact of healthcare reform (“Obamacare”): “If CMHCs are not included in Medicare soon, members of the profession will confront growing disadvantages in the marketplace.”

Also, join us in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, July 18, for our “Day on the Hill” as we  meet with Capitol Hill insiders about important bills and other measures to boost recognition of our profession. Before going to the Hill, participants will have a full briefing to come up to date on current priority issues by AMHCA’s public policy director, and they will receive handy talking points for their Capitol Hill meetings with legislators. 

Everyone is welcome, not only conference attendees.

Our Annual Conferences Are Top-Notch

Last July in Orlando, we had record registrations at our 2012 Annual Conference, and we sold out the exhibit space, too. This July, we convene in Washington, D.C., and I am pleased to report that registrations are looking strong, our block of hotel rooms is almost full, and we have already set records for sponsorships and exhibits! 

Remember, AMHCA’s conference is the only national conference devoted exclusively to the needs of mental health counselors. You won’t want to miss the terrific, informative programs, the great networking opportunities, and the many social activities we have planned. 

You know a conference is going to be good when it’s hard to choose which sessions to attend because they all look so appealing. 

Our nation’s capital city is beautiful and filled with museum treasures, international flavor, a lively arts scene—and it welcomes tourists with hospitality.

I hope you’ll join us in D.C. this summer!

Stepping Down

As a former publications executive myself, I hope you won’t think I’ve “buried the lead,” but I want to tell AMHCA members that last fall I advised the AMHCA board that I wanted to retire as AMHCA’s executive director and CEO, and that I wished to do so this fall. So the board has undertaken a national search for a new executive director/CEO. That effort is now in progress. 

It has been my great privilege to be your CEO for 15 years, and to help lead and grow AMHCA. To be sure, I will miss very much our work together to promote the profession. Still, all good things must come to an end, and as I take my leave, I am gratified that AMHCA has never been stronger. 

Your board and I are committed to a smooth transition, and I wish to thank AMHCA’s members, the many elected leaders I have worked with closely over the years, and the professional staff and consultants for your trust and support. 

Over this past year in particular, I wish to thank especially AMHCA President Karen Langer, LMHC, and our great board of directors for their hard work and dedication. In addition, our several hard-working committees are contributing so much to AMHCA. And, as always, your staff works full-time, day in and day out. 

Working with you all, I am immensely proud of the job we have done together—thank you!