In This Issue | JUNE 2022
As of June 2022, my term as President will come to an end. I will still be on the Board in a mentoring role, as past-President, to help provide a smooth transition for our new President, Lisa Kays.
I am very glad that I had a chance to serve the Society for the past two years. Despite the challenges of Covid, I had the good fortune to work with a stellar group of therapists on the Board. We accomplished a lot of important goals for our association’s viability and future development.
As President, I am aware of the effort and dedication of those on the Board. We are a volunteer-run Board and most of our membership are not aware of the commitment that the small core of Board members exhibits to keep the Society alive and well. While attending monthly meetings and lending energy and expertise to resolve the many and varied needs of our Society, the Board works hard. I am grateful to all of those who joined with me in our efforts during the past two years. I also appreciate the talents and commitment of Donna Dietz, our paid Executive Administrator, who is diligent and excellent in her job.
I want to mention a few of the areas of focus for our 2020-22 Board during the past two years. We worked well and collaboratively in order to:
Connect our members via programs, the listserv, the newsletter, policies and events to find help and support to stay strong and safe, while working with an increased demand for services during the worst of the Covid pandemic.
Improve and enhance our Educational Branch process. We developed our CEU offerings via Zoom, including welcoming nationally-known presenters to offer programs for our membership. As a result, our educational offerings have become a strong source of income for the Society, in addition to our membership dues. We are able to provide a full host of high quality CEU courses online, at a very low fee for our members.
Begin a process of becoming a more diverse, anti-racist, social justice organization. We coordinated with our Anti-racism Task Force and began to educate ourselves within leadership, with the goal of making the Society a more welcoming, open and brave space for all members.
Continue outreach to new and existing members. With our university liaisons, new member get-togethers on Zoom, and other events, we increased our presence on social media sites. Our Communications Branch Director also worked to improve and update our website.
Focus on essential legislative and advocacy goals and work with our paid lobbyists to advance our priorities and interests in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.
Build morale, make the work of leadership rewarding, maintain a caring and respectful culture with the Board to help our Society be a place where all can feel welcome.
I thank all of you for your support and advice and good wishes during this time. I look forward to our 2022-24 Board continuing these efforts and moving forward in important ways.
GWSCSW Board Meeting | Member Meeting
Saturday, June 25, 2022 | 10:00 AM-11:00 AM
GWSCW membership are invited to our annual open board meeting on Saturday, June 25th from 10am to 11am. (The board will continue to meet from 11am to 12pm for a business meeting, but the open part will end at 11am).
This is the last meeting for the current leadership term. During the open part, we will announce the new leadership team, thank the outgoing leadership, report on the 2020-2022 term, and hear reports from the branch directors.
Please register in advanced to receive the ZOOM link or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions? Please contact:
Donna Dietz, GWSCSW Administrator | email@example.com | P.O. Box 711 | Garrisonville, VA 22463 | (202) 478-7638
Alex Wood, GWSCSW Board TreasurerWhere do my membership dues go? I’m so glad you asked! First, a quick overview on revenue. The Society has two main sources of revenue: membership dues and fees from CEUs. Some income (through comparatively very little) also comes from newsletter advertisements and interest from funds held in bank accounts.
So, what is that money spent on? Let me tell you! In short, it’s spent on the day-to-day operations of the Society and in fulfilling GWSCSW’s mission. This is done in several ways.
For its day-to-day functioning, GWSCSW utilizes the superb services of an administrator (Donna Dietz) and a bookkeeper. We also pay an accountant to prepare our yearly tax returns, and a social media consultant. Funds are also spent on website hosting, postage, Zoom subscriptions, payment processing, and printing—among other things. All these expenditures are vital to GWSCSW functioning at the highest level possible and ultimately serving our members.
But funds go toward much more than just administrative costs. A few (of many) expenditures of note:
Funds are spent on our significant advocacy activities. Guided by our Legislative & Advocacy Committee, GWSCSW retains the services of lobbyists in Maryland and Virginia (a volunteer serves this role in the District of Columbia) that lobbies on behalf of our profession and on issues related to the services we provide to our clients. They are our voice in Annapolis and Richmond.
We make significant contributions to both the Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA) which is the national clinical social work society, and Maryland’s Pro-Bono Project, which provides free or reduced-fee therapy to those in need in Maryland.
Funds also go to our community-building events such as Wine and Cheese Receptions and the New Member Brunch.
Lastly, funds go to our continuing education events. Two prime examples are when Dr. Ken Hardy facilitated last September’s session: Tips and Tactics for Talking About Race: A Toolkit for Clinicians, and our Virtual Trauma Conference a few months ago. While we often receive CEU registration fees, sometimes we use other funds to bring-in certain speakers. Another example is the licensure workshop we sponsor every year with The Catholic University of America.
Aren’t you forgetting something? I probably am! GWSCSW does a lot, all thanks to your membership dues and the time of our volunteers.
How does GWSCSW decide how to allocate its money? And who is doing the deciding? There’s a careful process in place that is headed-up by the Treasurer. At the start of every fiscal year (at the beginning of July to the end of the following June), the Finance Committee (the executive committee and branch directors) meets and using budget requests submitted from each branch and information gleaned from the previous year’s realized income and expenditures, creates a proposed budget. The proposed budget is the product of several hours of work and discussion about the Society’s activities in the coming year. Then, in the Fall this proposal is presented to the entire Society Board which votes on it.
What else does the treasurer do? The treasurer approves expenses as they come in, monitors the Society’s finances, presents an update at every meeting of the Executive Committee and Board, and shepherds the preparation of GWSCSW’s annual tax returns.
What if I want to know more? Contact the treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Wood, MPA, MSW, LMSW, has served as treasurer of GWSCSW since 2018. He’s currently a hospital social worker in Towson, Maryland.
Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice
House HELP Committee Hearing, April 5, 2022
There are over 100 bills in Congress that affect clinical social work practice. Nineteen of them were heard in a HELP hearing on April 5 and will be voted on shortly. They are a good summary of the way that mental health is being addressed currently. You can hear the testimony at the following link: https://energycommerce.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/hearing-on-communities-in-need-legislation-to-support-mental-health-and well-being.
Below are the bills being considered:
H.R. 2376, the “Excellence in Recovery Housing Act”
H.R. 2929, the “Virtual Peer Support Act”
H.R. 4251, “Native Behavioral Health Access Improvement Act of 2021”
H.R. 4944, “Helping Kids Cope Act of 2021”
H.R. 5218, the “Collaborate in an Orderly and Cohesive Manner”
H.R. 7073, the “Into the Light for Maternal Mental Health Act”
H.R. 7076, the “Supporting Children’s Mental Health Care Access Act of 2022”
H.R. 7232, the “9–8–8 and Parity Assistance Act of 2022”
H.R. 7233, the “Keeping Incarceration Discharges Streamlined for Children and Accommodating Resources in Education Act” or the “KIDS CARES Act”
H.R. 7234, the “Summer Barrow Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Act”
H.R. 7235, the “Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant Act of 2022”
H.R. 7236, the “Strengthen Kids’ Mental Health Now Act of 2022”
H.R. 7237, the “Reauthorizing Evidence-based and Crisis Help Initiatives Needed to Generate Improved Mental Health Outcomes for Patients Act of 2022” or the “REACHING Improved Mental Health Outcomes for Patients Act of 2022”
H.R. 7238, the “Timely Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder Act of 2022”
H.R. 7241, the “Community Mental Health Services Block Grant Reauthorization Act”
H.R. 7248, the “Continuing Systems of Care for Children Act”
H.R. 7249, the "Anna Westin Legacy Act of 2022"
H.R. 7254, the “Mental Health Justice and Parity Act of 2022”
H.R. 7255, the “Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Reauthorization Act”
Whether these bills will get passed out of committee is hard to say but there was agreement that there is a mental health crisis, even if the funding to correct it is not yet available.
Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D.
Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Carole Johnson, M.A.
Health Resources and Services Administration
Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D.
American Psychiatric Association
Sandy L. Chung, M.D., F.A.A.P., F.A.C.H.E.
American Academy of Pediatrics
Steven Adelsheim, M.D.
Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director
Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford Children's Health
Debra Pinals, M.D.
Medical Director, Behavioral Health and Forensic Programs
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
On behalf of the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors
Cassandra Price, M.B.A.
Director, Office of Addictive Diseases
Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
On behalf of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
LeVail W. Smith, C.P.S.S.
Peer Support Specialist Instructor and Mentor
Adele Natter, DC Legislation and Advocacy Co-Chair
DC Board of Social Work Update on Practice Issues Related to COVID
Board of Social Work Meetings
Meetings take place on the 4th Monday of the month at 10:00 AM. The next meeting will be held on June 27, 2022. The meetings are virtual and anyone can attend. The Board takes notice of our participation and this allows us to increase the Board's awareness of our practice issues and allows us to influence Board decisions. Please contact me for instructions as to how to participate in these meetings.
Adele Natter, LICSW, Co-Chairs the GWSCSW Legislation & Advocacy Committee for DC.. Adele has been an active participant on the Committee for the past four years; she represented GWSCSW on a Board of Social Work sub-committee, which included NASW and CSWA representatives. Adele maintains a private practice focused on helping individuals with anger and emotional regulation issues. She is also a Clinical Instructor in the Psychiatry Residency Program of the George Washington University Medical School. She holds a BA in Psychology from UCLA and received her MSW from the University of Maryland.
Judy Gallant, MD Legislation and Advocacy Chair
This report is based, in part, on the multi-page summary of this year’s legislative session from our lobbyist, Pam Metz Kasemeyer, JD.
The Maryland General Assembly completed its 2022 legislative session on Monday, April 11.
The only legislation required to pass each year is a budget, and that job was made easier this year with a surplus larger than the State has seen in its history, thanks to federal funds sent down through COVID-19 relief legislation and the Build Back Better infrastructure monies.
The budget committees have instructed State agencies to submit reports on various issues. One of specific interest to the practice of social work is the report on Optum.
Optum-Medicaid Specialty Mental Health System: Budget language was adopted which withholds $1 million from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) pending a report on the actual amount of overpayments outstanding, recoupment and forgiveness of overpayments, the total number and total amount of claims still in dispute, and more. Since Optum assumed the ASO contract, its implementation has been catastrophic, and the provider community continues to look for avenues to address the total chaos regarding claims management. (The ASO is the Administrative Service Organization for the specialty mental health contract carved out under Medicaid’s HealthChoice program.) The report on the Optum issue is due from the MDH on August 1, 2022.
The relevant Committees in the House and Senate have been very engaged in gathering information on the Optum controversy and have expressed an interest in making MDH accountable for resolving the problems. A bill failed that was introduced to address the challenges providers have faced in resolving claims with Optum, in part due to strong pushback by Optum and MDH and the inability to determine the actual fiscal impact of the bill. The legislation’s failure was especially disheartening to the behavioral health community, given the continued challenges we face. Perhaps the directives by the budget committees will provide a pathway to resolution of these issues, although they will not provide the immediate relief necessary. These recoupment plans are moving forward despite the lack of reliable data to reconcile historical payments and services.
Health Insurance Coverage
House Bill 912/Senate Bill 707: Health Insurance-Provider Panels-Coverage for Nonparticipation: This bill passed and will require a carrier to ensure that service provided by a nonparticipating specialist (including those licensed for treatment of mental health or substance use disorders) are provided at no greater cost than if the covered benefit were provided by a practitioner on the carrier’s provider panel. (Managed Care Organizations [MCOs] are exempt from this requirement.) Each carrier must inform members of the procedure to request a referral to a specialist or non-physician specialist, and the Consumer Education and Advocacy Program must provide public education to inform consumers of these procedures. By December 31, 2022, each health occupations board that regulates mental health or substance use disorder providers must report to the General Assembly on their progress in developing a process for providing information to carriers for the purpose of carriers reaching out to providers regarding participation in provider panels.
Early Intervention for Children
House Bill 725/Senate Bill 506: Therapeutic Child Care Grant Program-Establishment: This bill creates a Therapeutic Child Care Program and mandates an appropriation in the Governor’s annual budget to fund the Program. Therapeutic Child Care Programs provide specialized childcare and early childhood education to children under the age of 6 who have developmental delays, including physical disabilities or delays in social, emotional or behavioral functioning. This bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
Health Crisis Response Services
House Bill 293/Senate Bill 241: 9-8-8 Trust Fund: This bill establishes the 9-8-8 Trust Fund in order to provide reimbursement for costs associated with designating and maintaining 9-8-8 as the universal telephone number for a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline and developing and implementing a Statewide initiative for the coordination and delivery of the continuum of behavioral health crisis response services in the State. In 2020, Congress passed the National Suicide Designation Act of 2020, which establishes 9-8-8 as a universal number for mental health crises and suicide prevention. In July 2022, 9-8-8 will go live. All phone companies will then route 9-8-8 calls to local crisis call centers that are part of the Lifeline network. Local crisis call centers provide 24/7 free, confidential emotional support to individuals calling for help. Our State bill included $5 million for FY 2023 and $5.5 million in funding for the FY 2024 budget.
Unfortunate failed advocacy efforts
Many of the bills we advocated for this year, including the Behavioral Health System Modernization Act, and a number of bills related to the practice of social work, did not pass to become law during this legislative session. We will report further on those in our next newsletter report.
Judy Gallant, LCSW-C, is the director of the Society’s Legislation & Advocacy program, as well as chair of the Maryland Clinical Social Work Coalition, our GWSCSW legislative committee in Maryland. She maintains a private practice in Silver Spring.Pamela Metz Kasemeyer, JD, and her firm of Schwartz, Metz & Wise, PA, represent us in Annapolis and guide our advocacy strategy. Specifically, we have also had the able assistance of Christine Krone during this legislative session. Ms. Kasemeyer is an acknowledged authority on Maryland’s health care and environmental laws and has represented a variety of interests before the Maryland General Assembly and regulatory agencies for more than 25 years.
Judy Ratliff and Wayne Martin, Co-Chairs, VA Legislation and Advocacy Committee
As some of you may know, Virginia has been without a lobbyist since December, 2021. Our lobbyist of many years, Sue Rowland, decided to semi-retire at that time. GWSCSW and VSCSW did launch an exhaustive search, and had two excellent candidates. Unfortunately, we did not realize the cost of current fees charged by lobbyists in Virginia, and found that they were way outside of our shared budgets. Although Sue was in semi-retirement, she did still have some clients, and we approached her to establish terms on which she might return. Just a few weeks ago, we were able to conclude negotiations. and she has agreed to return for one year, with the option to return for a second year. We are so, so excited that she is going to continue to keep us as clients, because she knows us and knows the needs of clinical social work and social workers in Virginia.
New member of the Virginia Legislation and Advocacy Committee
We welcome Brian Rink as a new member of our committee. Brian recently moved to Virginia from Maryland and has a strong interest in legislation and advocacy. We are very happy to have him.
Judy Ratliff, LCSC , recently retired from work but not from GWSCSW or from life. She is the Co-Chair, VA Legislation and Advocacy Committee.
GWSCSW welcomed its new members on April 10, 2022.
GWSCSW had its first IN-PERSON event since the start of the Covid pandemic on April 10, 2022. It was great to be back in-person and to see each other away from the computer. Zoom has been great for keeping in touch, but nothing like actually being in the same room as someone.
We had a wonderful brunch at the home of Cindy Crane. About 20 people attended at a fully outdoor event on Cindy’s indoor-outdoor porch. Despite the cold weather we were toasty under her outdoor heaters.
Several members of the Board were present to help orient new members to the organization and encourage them to get involved. Carla Dabney, Vice President, did an overview of various Society activities; Nancy Harris talked about the Mentor Program; Bev Magida reflected on the annual cocktail party coming up on September 11, 2022; Steve Szopa reviewed all the different things the Society does; Rachel Keller talked about her personal satisfaction from serving on the Board as secretary.
New members were reminded that GWSCSW is an all-volunteer organization and were encouraged to get involved.
The Membership Committee (Cindy Crane, Catherine Lowry, & Nancy Harris) wants to welcome new members to GWSCSW. We encourage you to take a moment and look through the website (GWSCSW.org) and familiarize yourselves with all that GWSCSW has to offer. Join a committee! Get involved! If you’re a brand-new social worker, please check out the Early Career Committee or the Mentor Program. If you’re an established social worker, please check out our continuing education programs and the informative listserv. GWSCSW has something for everyone. Please contact one of us for questions about the organization.
Nancy Harris, Mentor Liaison
The Mentor Program is available to GWSCSW members still in school, the newly-graduated, and to those approaching their clinical licensure and wondering about the next steps. Mentors can assist with questions about career direction, licensing, continuing education, relationships with supervisisors, and decisions about what to do after clinical licensure. Mentorship is a powerful tool to enhance new social workers’ development.
If you are a member of GWSCSW and are interested in signing up to be a mentee, please fill out the Mentor Program form, or contact Nancy Harris, LCSW-C, coordinator of the Mentor Program, for questions. Her phone is (301) 385-3375, email is email@example.com or www.gwscsw.com/mentoring
Experienced social workers are always welcome to be mentors. The application form to be a mentor is found at the same place on the GWSCSW website.
Steve Szopa, Communications Branch Director
The Communications Branch has been busy maintaining the listserv, keeping the website up to date, creating our quarterly newsletters and expanding our social media presence. We would like to increase our connection and engagement with you. When you have a moment, please head to our website and click on our various social media icons to connect with us and ‘like’ any posts you see that are interesting. We are very interested in learning what types of content you would like to receive.
Chana Lockerman has been our loyal and skillful Social Media Committee Chair for several administrations. She has helped expand our social media presence and stay connected, as well as writing our Tech Talk column in the newsletter. Chana is returning to school to get her doctorate and will not be able to continue in her position. We will miss her! If you have any interest in volunteering to be our Social Media Chair, please reach out to Chana at: firstname.lastname@example.org or to Steve Szopa at email@example.com. You do not have to be an expert in social media. We have a paid consultant who guides us and keeps us connected. Your role would be to work with the consultant by providing guidance and keeping the consultant abreast of any important happenings that should be posted on our social media sites.
PLEASE LIKE US AND FOLLOW GWSCSW ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS!
Patricia Gibberman, Community Branch Director
The Community Branch is the largest branch and the heart of our Society. As its name suggests, it is all about community! It provides many rewarding opportunities for involvement and connection.
Currently, we are looking for a new chairperson for the Volunteer Committee and a new co-chairperson for the Networking Committee, as well as a new Community Branch Director for the upcoming term of 2022-2024. I would be willing to mentor the new director. If you or anybody you know would be interested in any of these positions, please ask them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Volunteer Committee Chair recruits volunteers to help at various events, like the Annual Cocktail Party and helps new members find their respective committees of interest.
The Networking Committee Chair provides monthly informal opportunities for GWSCSW members to meet, socialize, and network over Zoom. These events can be themed, according to the needs of our members. Tory Huesgen has volunteered to co-chair this committee. All she needs is another co-chair to work with her.
The Community Branch Director oversees and assists with the activities of the many committees of the Community Branch.
Remember, you get more out of the Society if you put more into it! These are great opportunities to become involved!
Ariste Sallas-Brookwell, Education Branch Director
The Education Branch hosted over 40 educational events since January, 2020. The branch pivoted to hosting virtual events and the membership adapted quickly to distance learning. Attendance at educational workshops increased significantly following the shift to virtual, compared to attendance at our in-person workshops. The feedback we’ve received indicates that although people miss connecting in-person, virtual events are more accessible to many. Popular education events have included workshops on topics such as anti-racism, ethics, substance use and abuse, trauma, and the business of private practice.
We’re always looking for workshop presenters. Are you a clinical social worker? Do you have expertise in a subject area you would like to share with fellow members? Please consider submitting a proposal via our online form, which can be here. Prior to submitting a proposal, please review our proposal guidelines.
Finally, if you’re interested in supporting the efforts of the GWSCSW Education Branch, please consider joining the Education Branch committee. It’s a great way to network, identify and outreach compelling presenters, and shape the educational offerings of the Society. We are dedicated to supporting efforts to further anti-racism in clinical social work and invite those who are committed to that work to join us. Please click HERE above for more information about how to volunteer.
GWSCSW is proud to feature a job resource to connect career opportunities with our members.
Manage Your Career:
Recruit for Open Positions:
Advertisements, accompanied by full payment, must be received by GWSCSW by the first of the month preceding publication. Material should be sent to email@example.com. For questions about advertising, call 202-537-0007.
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Presenter: Robert Scuka, PhD, MSW, LCSW-C | Author of Relationship Enhancement Therapy: Healing through Deep Empathy and Intimate Dialogue
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Electronic submission (JPG) preferred. Publication does not in any way constitute endorsement or approval by GWSCSW, which reserves the right to reject advertisements for any reason at any time.
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Nancy Pines, Editor
News & Views is published four times a year: March, June, September and December.
Articles expressing the personal views of members on issues affecting the social work profession are welcome and will be reviewed and published at the discretion of the editor. Signed articles reflect the views of the authors; society endorsement is not intended. Articles are subject to editing for space and clarity.
News & Views Submission Guidelines
If you have a submission, please send it to me: email@example.com. I edit the articles and reports and send them on to the proofers who check up on me. BTW, we have two dedicated proofers, Shoba Nayar and Adele Natter, but could use another one. Please let me know if you are interested. Email address is above.
Articles: Focus on your area of expertise and practice, ethical dilemmas, responses to events in the media or other topics relevant to clinical social work. Articles should be 500–700 words.
Reports: For each newsletter, I hope to hear from all branch and committee people to inform us of their activities.
Out & About – Share news about you: an article you’ve written, if you’ve been in the news, taught a class, earned a new certification or are a singer, artist or writer. Submissions should be 50 words or less. Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next submission deadline: July, 31, 2022
Need to reach a Board member? Click here for the listing of the GWSCSW Board of Directors