Annual Report 2018 Print

President's Message



Eric H. Berko, Ph.D

The state of the association is strong.  Under the steady hand of perennial leadership figures and an infusion of new board members, the Cleveland Psychological Association has a solid foundation to serve the Cleveland psychological community as the field continues to evolve.  

As was promised a year ago, we have revised the Bylaws of the organization, updated the website, provided continuing education programming, social responsibility programming and opportunities for networking.  

The purpose of the bylaws revision was to bring the organization into compliance with current IRS requirements and non-profit standards. We have added a Conflict of Interest Policy, Record Retention Policy and Whistleblower Policy. In addition, we have revised some language in the bylaws to clarify categories of membership, current committees of the organization and update language around ways we communicate with membership as most of it is now web based.  

The website update has been an adventure to say the least.  Larger than life “thank yous” are again needed for Angela Bailey and Alex Uzdavines for their hard work and diligence in continually revising the website to be both functional and useful for membership.  We have enlisted help from Ohio Psychological Association staff for the ongoing maintenance of the site, including the ‘find a psychologist’ function. In today’s world, a website is the literal and figurative portal to the organization.  Future goals include regular blogging, expanding our social media presence and driving traffic to the site that will benefit members and the community.

An organization is only as good as its members and leaders.  The membership has been outstanding and I would like to thank everyone for attending continuing education seminars, contributing time and attending social responsibility activities in which CPA has been involved.

I would also like to thank our board of directors who bring their time, energy and culinary talents to monthly board meetings as well as their respective positions.  Miriam Boraz has provided a steady hand serving a second term as past president!  April Sobieralski has done an amazing job tracking down often cryptic financial bills and even credits as treasurer!  We are more than pleased that she will be running for president. Debbie Ross graciously continues to create relevant and meaningful continuing education seminars.  The amount of the behind the scenes work she does is worthy of a hearty “thank you” if you run into her at the annual meeting!!  Nancy Duff-Boehm quietly goes about her business transforming with the times, changing from a newsletter to a blog, brainstorming needed programming and asking thoughtful questions to keep the board on track.  Catherine Gaw faithfully attends Ohio Psychological Association meetings and keeps our organization informed on local, state and national news that is vital to our membership. Thank you Cathy for your diligence and patience with such complicated issues! Rick Schiller is the perennial steady hand and thoughtful voice that guides with a perspective on the past and an eye on the future. Almost every situation we discuss has a historical context, and Rick has the eyes, ears and memory to inform the organization!  Thank you Rick! As a student leader, Alex Uzdavines has contributed not only web based saving knowledge, but a willingness to offer his perspective on current trends and future perspectives that is a fresh voice for our board!

We are very excited about the energy and contributions of three new board members: Brittany Sommers has infused energy into the Membership chair position, increasing membership numbers and reaching out to newly licensed professionals.  She will continue to expand programming for all members to ensure the relevance of the organization to all! Jason Friedman has stepped up as Social Responsibility chair.  He has already an impact with participation in local walks and events!  He is sorting through many, many worthy organizations, finding fundraising and volunteering opportunities for our membership. Ask him how you can help!!  Jenny Walinsky has quick fingers as secretary and an equally enthusiastic spirit for expanding the opportunities our organization provides, especially partnering with Jason on social responsibility opportunities.

The compassionate, detailed and thoughtful support of our Administrator, Angela Bailey cannot be overstated.  She takes all calls for referrals, organizes meetings, and most importantly, is abundantly patient with our busy band of do-gooders known as the CPA board and membership.  It must feel like herding cats!

It has been a very good year for CPA.  I personally appreciate the important contribution to the psychological community that the organization makes.  It is easy to become isolated in one’s professional life, and having the support, kindness and professionalism of psychology colleagues during times of change give me hope for the future of our profession.  If you have any ideas for the organization, or would like to become more involved, please feel free to contact me or any board member. You will be happy you gave some extra time that you thought you might not have!!!!  I for one, am glad I did.

Respectfully submitted,

Eric H. Berko, Ph.D.

CPA President 2017-2018

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Community Service

This past year, the social responsibilities group has worked to identify various causes within the community to be a part of.  In September, CPA put together a team for the annual NAMI walk. Collectively, NAMI surpassed its fundraising goal of $140,000, which will be used to create additional supports, resources and advocacy to promote raise awareness and education about mental health concerns.  In October, CPA assembled a team for the Out of the Darkness Cleveland walk. This walk also exceeded its fundraising goal of $100,000. These donations will go toward funding research for suicide prevention, creating education programs, and supporting survivors of suicide loss.  It has been an incredible empowering experience to see the wonderful initiatives being held within the greater Cleveland area.  In the upcoming year, the goal of the social responsibilities group is to identify additional causes and organization within the community to become involved in.  We encourage and welcome suggestions and participation from our membership to reach out with any additional ideas or events they know within the community.

Respectfully submitted,

Jason Friedman, Psy.D

Social Responsibility Chair

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Membership Report

Thank you to those who have joined or renewed their membership this year! In 2018, we were delighted to welcome five new student affiliates and seven new full members of whom four are early career members. I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new CPA members:

Talla Azem, PsyD (early career)

Zoe Beard (student)

Jason Friedman, PsyD (early career)

Jonathan Gordon, PhD, JD

Marie Helene Gosselin (student)

Helen Green (student)

Mark Lovinger, PhD

Lauren McClintock (student)

Anthony Nedelman (student)

Lisa Ramirez Shah, PhD (early career)

Sheerli Ratner, PhD

Tira Stebbins, PhD (early career)

Please be sure to introduce yourself and welcome these new members! If you are interested in joining as a new member, please visit our website. It is quick and easy to sign up on-line!

This year, we were pleased to host a coffee hour for new members and early career members. It was an enjoyable time to meet each other, network, and discuss questions related to professional development. Be on the lookout for another similar event in the spring!

We are excited to announce the initiation of a mentoring program within CPA. While this is a program which has been available on an informal basis in the past, we have reorganized the process and are looking to revitalize it. We recognize the great value in having local connections and supporting one another! I would strongly encourage you to sign up to be a mentor, a mentee, or both! Please see the website or contact me at [email protected] to sign up.

Lastly, I encourage you to log in to your profile on our website to ensure that your contact information is up to date. This is important as we strive to stay in communication with our members.

Respectfully submitted,

Brittany Sommers, Ph.D.

Membership Chair

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Program Report

February:  Speakers from NAMI and Western Reserve Hospital presented “In Our Own Words,” regarding services to the mentally ill.

March: A three hour Saturday morning program on the Opiod Epidemic featuring Sybil Marsh, M.D., Nancy Duff-Boehm, Ph.D., and Greg Boehm, M.D.

May:  Our annual west side program at Dave and Busters at which Sandy McPherson, Ph.D. presented on Lay Guardians ad Litem.

After our summer break our programs continued with:

September:  Angela Kummel, Ph.D. of the VA hospital presented on Cultural Competence in Dealing with People wit Disabilities.

November:  Sheryl Kingsburg, Ph.D. of UH presented on Hypoactive Sexual Desire in Women

December:  At our Annual Meeting, Susan Muszynski, Ph.D. will give a presentation on her organization, Values in Action.

As always, I welcome suggestions on topics and speakers.

Debbie Ross, Ph.D.

Program Chair

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Ohio Psychological Association News

September 1, 2017 was the first day of OPA’s new Board structure, paring down from a Board of 22 members (executive committee, committee chairs and regional reps) that met face-to-face quarterly to a Board of 11 members (presidential trio and 5 vice presidents) that met monthly via Zoom.  The VPs worked with groupings (Communication, Diversity, Membership, Professional Practice, Science and Education) of committees and regional leaders called Leadership Teams, to allow for: better collaboration within groupings, a broader view of the issues raised and a more rapid response to these issues.  The regional representatives no longer have a voting seat on the Board, thus regional associations are no longer required to have a specific percentage of OPA members in order to be represented on the Board.  This change actually allows for more regions, especially those who are geographically widespread and have limited access to one another, to meaningfully participate on the VPs Leadership Teams. The regional representatives continue to meet via conference call on a quarterly basis, but we all appreciate no longer having to donate a full Saturday in order to drive to and from Columbus to attend Board meetings!

This new structure has enabled the Board meetings to focus less on committee and regional reports (which are given in the VP meetings) and to focus more on ways OPA can impact the health and social justice issues of Ohioans.  Also during this year, OPA has held 2 membership assemblies for the purpose of dialoguing about member priorities and issues where Psychology can have an impact. These priorities dovetailed nicely with the new 5 year Strategic Plan that OPA developed over this past year (and passed the second reading in the November 2018 Board meeting).   The Leadership Development Academy began the third class in September 2018, ensuring an ongoing and rich diversity of future leaders in psychology. Issues that OPA has actively addressed include: legislation involving prescriptive authority, Parity @10 Coalition (Ohio is one of 10 states selected to establish effective models for the robust enforcement of the Federal Parity Act, for dissemination across the country), Federal advocacy, update of the OPA Policy and Procedures manual, creation of the Interdisciplinary Task Force for Violence Prevention Across the Life-Span (to create a comprehensive website of resources for education, psychology, law enforcement, social work, etc.).  For more detailed information regarding OPA committee, regional and task force work throughout September 2017 – August 2018, please refer to the OPA website: for the 2018 Annual Report.     

OPA Staff have been extremely generous with their time to help CPA staff and Board members with input regarding CPA’s new website.  We are very fortunate to be associated with such a preeminent state association!

Respectfully submitted,

Cathy Gaw, Psy.D.

Ohio Psychological Association Representative

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Tech Report

See Dr. Eric Berko’s President’s Report for a brief summary of the ongoing changes to CPA’s website. Further updates are ongoing with the support of OPA.

Respectfully submitted,

Alex Uzdavines, M.A.

Student Representative 1

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Message from the Editor

CPA is stepping forward into the 21st century by changing the format of our newsletter to a blog. The Board is still in the process of working out the rules and responsibilities of the editorial staff in this endeavor. Please bear with us as we create a platform that imparts good information and encourages a frank exchange of ideas in an environment of civility and respect.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Duff-Boehm, Ph.D


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