State Advocacy FAQs

What is the name of the 3 DB Alliance doing our state advocacy?

Three of the five APA District Branches in California have formed an alliance to provide state advocacy for their members upon the dissolution of CPA. These three DB’s are Northern California Psychiatric Society, San Diego Psychiatric Society and Orange County Psychiatric Society. The name of this organization is the California State Association of Psychiatrists (CSAP), and is fully funded by your membership with NCPS, SDPS and OCPS.

What will the form and function of the 3 DB Alliance be?

This association will serve to be the main advocacy and lobbying arm in California for the participating DB’s. The CSAP board will consist of representatives from each participating DB, which will direct the work of CSAP. 

Who will do our state advocacy for our members?

We have contracted with Shaw Yoder, Antwih, Schmelzer & Lange (SYASL) for both advocacy and management of our new state association.

How qualified are they and who have they worked with?

They have been in practice since 1975 and is perennially ranked among California’s top ten advocacy firms with proven history of sponsoring and defeating legislation with extensive expertise in the behavioral health landscape. SYASL has experience with other physicians’ organizations including CMA and CAL-ACAP and are highly regarded in Sacramento.

Concern over a divided front in state advocacy in Sacramento – what if the two alliances don’t agree and present differently to legislatures?

Our new lobbyist knows Randall Hagar well and has a professional working relationship with him. They have both expressed an interest in supporting each other whenever possible. There may be disagreements, but they will be rare and handled professionally.

How to collaborate or have a presence with CMA?

We are working on continuing our relationship with CMA through their specialty delegation. Our representatives have a long history with CMA and a positive working relationship. We are confident we will be able to maintain and strengthen this relationship.

Explain the member billing and how it is different than past years.

Billing for state advocacy is now included with your DB dues as one line item on the APA Centralized Billing invoice. The total for your NCPS membership dues and state advocacy are on average 20% less than in 2020 when CPA billed for advocacy independently. All membership categories are paying less in total than last year.

How does this affect Area 6?

Area 6 is separate from state advocacy and all DB’s will continue to participate per APA guidelines. Essentially, Area 6 will continue to operate unchanged.

Will there still be collaboration with Randall Hagar?

As mentioned above, our main lobbyist (Paul Yoder) has a professional relationship with Randall Hagar and will collaborate whenever possible.

Is there a possibility that all 5 DB’s will work together again in the future?

Yes, this is a possibility and members of CSAP are open to this. The organization has been established to make it a smooth transition if one or both of the remaining California DB’s decide to join forces with CSAP. In the meantime, there may be opportunities for collaboration among the DBs and their two state advocacy organizations.


To advance the quality and effectiveness of psychiatric care through advocacy, professional education and camaraderie.



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