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Letter to the Editor
Member Input
Psychiatric News
Volume 36 Number 16 page 26-26

In a letter in the June 15 issue, Dr. David Dawes objected to the Board of Trustees’ taking a position on gay marriages without first soliciting members’ ideas on the subject.

Though I support the Board’s position, I think Dr. Dawes, with whom I have had private correspondence, has a really good idea.

Does APA currently have any such mechanism to solicit members’ reactions to positions or actions that the Board is considering? If not, could such a mechanism be developed? I believe the membership would feel more "ownership" of Board decisions if they were given an opportunity to offer their input prior to decision making.

APA President Richard Harding, M.D., responds:

I know I speak for the Board of Trustees in welcoming Dr. Silverman’s interest in having members’ input on Board actions and discussions. This is an excellent idea that Web-based technology now makes feasible. Using the APA Web site, we will begin experimenting with putting selected agenda items, such as proposed position statements, online for members’ comments and discussion as much in advance of Board meetings as possible.

We expect this feature to be working before the next Board meeting, which is being held October 8 and 9. The Board welcomes members’ comments on how well this new feature works, along with thoughtful opinions from our fellow members that would help guide our thoughts and ultimately our votes on these critical issues. ▪

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