A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE PACIFIC
NORTHWEST NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL SOCIETY

 

     PNNS had its beginnings in the mid 1980’s. As Drs. Carl Dodrill, Lloyd Cripe, and Wendy Marlowe prepared for the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) exam in Clinical Neuropsychology, they agreed that if they  passed they would further develop the profession in the Pacific Northwest region, by developing an association dedicated to continuing education and the advancement of clinical neuropsychology as a profession. They did indeed pass and were the first ABPP diplomates in Clinical Neuropsychology in the State of Washington. A party hosted by Wendy Marlowe was attended by various Northwest neuropsychologists, including Muriel Lezak, and involved discussion of the development of the Society.

The first meeting of the “Neuropsychology Interest Group” was conducted by Dr. Dodrill at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on January 13, 1986. The idea of starting a formal or informal neuropsychology group was discussed.

On January 16, 1986, Drs. David Fordyce, Jerry Le Jeune, Katie Mateer, and Brenda Townes sent out a memo addressed to “Neuropsychologists practicing in Washington State” requesting input regarding continuing education needs in the field of neuropsychology. A steering committee consisting of Drs. Paula Bass, Lloyd Cripe, Tom Green, Wendy Marlowe, Ken Muscatel, Fred Wise, and Carl Dodrill discussed and drafted bylaws which were summarized in a memo from Dr. Dodrill on February 3, 1986. On March 10, 1986, there was a general meeting conducted by Dr. Dodrill in which a set of bylaws and the name of the society were adopted.

On June 12, 1986, the monthly educational meetings were started with a presentation by Dr. Mateer. PNNS was formally established in 1987. Subsequently, there have been 10 monthly educational meetings per year, September through June, the second Monday of each month from 7-9 pm with a day long annual conference each year beginning in November 1987. From 1986 until 1993, the meetings were held at Harborview Medical Center, arranged by Dr. Dodrill. Since 1993, the meetings have been held at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, arranged by Dr. McKeever. The early annual conferences were typically held at the Sea Tac Red Lion Hotel (except for 1990 which was held at the South Center Doubletree Inn). Since 1996, the annual conferences have been held at the University of Washington Faculty Center.

Initially, Category II continuing education credit was available to attendees at the monthly meetings, per the Examining Board of Psychology’s prior continuing education rules. In 1992, the Society started providing Category I continuing education through the Washington State Psychological Association. By 1996, the Examining Board had changed its continuing education rules such that behavioral science organizations (such as PNNS) could offer full continuing education credit (for courses and seminars) independently, and there was no need to continue to provide credit through Washington State Psychological Association. Currently, PNNS is also approved through the state Professional Education and Certification process to offer continuing education credits needed by school psychologists in Washington. At some of the annual conferences, credits for speech pathologists through ASHA have been available.

The first bylaws adopted in 1986 required attainment of the ABPP diploma in Clinical Neuropsychology for full membership in the Society. In 1992, the bylaws were changed to those still in effect, which specify that membership requirements include “doctorate level psychologist with a primary interest, focus, and commitment to either neuropsychological education, research, or clinical practice.”

On December 13, 1997, at the annual conference during Dr. Majovski’s year as president, all previous presidents were honored with a plaque, as was Dr. LeJeune for his ongoing administrative efforts. Dr. LeJeune was given the title “Executive Administrative Officer” retroactive to the beginning of the Society. Dr LeJeune continued in this role until 2001. At that time, the Executive Board decided to distribute his responsibilities among the various Board members. A website was also started in 2001 for announcements, maintenance of archival materials, and communication among members with e-mail in regard to upcoming Society events and presentations, with Dr. Brad Powell (President 2000-2001) primarily involved in this development.

(Compiled by Dr. Ernst in August 2001, primarily from notes maintained by Dr. LeJeune, and from memory. Please send any corrections, additions, or comments to Dr. Ernst johnaernst@fhshealth.org).