Thank You!


I want to extend a sincere “Thank You” to the AAMFT Board of Directors in offering me the privilege and honor to serve as AAMFT’s first female CEO.

AAMFT and I are not new to one another; I’ve been happy to call AAMFT my professional home for over 34 years. It was a bit of fate and lack of funds that prompted me to take the entry-level job AAMFT offered at their first headquarters in Washington, DC. I knew nothing about AAMFT, the MFT field, or associations. Little did I know that taking that first job would take on a rare professional journey.

The foundation of my leadership journey at AAMFT has always been on learning and connections. I learned from our members about thinking systemically and found words for how I had always approached problems. I learned that being uncomfortable with the unknown and taking risks are two important skills necessary for professional growth and leadership. I learned that connections bring knowledge and support that opens you to new possibilities. I developed a respect for the important work done by associations for their fields. And more importantly, I developed a deep passion for the work that you all do as MFTs, and I believe it to be absolutely vital to our health as a society.

I feel blessed to have witnessed the MFT field grow into a vibrant profession recognized as one of the five mental health fields at the federal level and to have had a hand in AAMFT’s journey into the strong association it is today. It has been inspiring and energizing to see the commitment and contributions of our many dedicated volunteers over the years and to work with AAMFT team members to develop programs and services.

As I embark on my first year as CEO, I am grateful for the exceptional work done by our former CEO Tracy Todd, and the many AAMFT Boards that have helped to make AAMFT a vital, relevant, and strong organization. That work helped AAMFT weather three long years of COVID and pivot quickly at every turn. I am very optimistic about AAMFT’s future, particularly around advocacy, creating unity in the profession so we have a stronger voice, opening our membership and resources to qualified systemic therapists globally, and continuing to expand our DEI efforts by identifying areas for improvement and growth.

It was exhilarating to watch the omnibus bill pass that included MFTs as Medicare-eligible providers, a major federal advocacy victory that AAMFT has been working on for over three decades; achieved by years of hard work by many member MFTs, dedicated staff, professional partners, and stakeholders. We have celebrated tremendously over the years with other advocacy victories such as achieving licensure in all the states, the Texas Medical Association lawsuit – protecting MFTs’ right to diagnose in that state, and achieving Medicaid recognition and associate licensure in many states. These victories are just the beginning, as there is still much advocacy work to be done to ensure full inclusion at both the federal and state levels and to defend against ongoing threats to the profession. As the only national advocate for the MFT profession, it is critical that AAMFT and all licensed MFTs advocate and protect against threats to the profession.

At the federal level, we have begun a series of webinars to discuss the intensive onboarding process for MFTs to enter Medicare and have been having ongoing meetings with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in preparation for the January 2024 launch.

At the state level, AAMFT is embarking on an intensive effort to increase licensure portability and tackle parity issues that will ultimately impact each of the 50 states.

Globally, we continue to work on reducing barriers to membership and supervision for highly qualified systemic therapists around the world by creating equivalency pathways and developing resources. Elevating the Clinical Fellow category to a designation and creating a digital badge helps to distinguish systemic therapists from other mental health professionals around the world.

DEI efforts continue and are vital to the growth of AAMFT. We have made much progress over the past few years, but there is still much to do. Progress is monitored and evaluated at every level of the organization. New for 2023 is a DEI Oversight Committee that will monitor progress and make recommendations for future improvements.

In closing, I am excited for my first year as CEO and the progress AAMFT has made over the years. AAMFT is strategically positioned to continue to advance the profession and practice of systemic therapy around the globe. As history has shown us, AAMFT’s success is directly attributed to many dedicated volunteers, supporters, and staff. I hope that you will join me in building on our success and taking AAMFT and the MFT profession to new heights.

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