by Communications and Corporate Relations & Business Strategy Staff
Jana N. Martin, PhD, joined Soroptimist International of Long Beach, Calif., a local community service organization, because she wanted to get involved with her community and connect with other professionals. Martin, a psychologist in private practice, soon found that the benefits of membership extended beyond the opportunity to serve her community and make new professional contacts. Through her volunteer activities, from giving stress management workshops to helping out at fundraisers, Martin tapped into significant new practice opportunities that helped to grow her practice.
In today's competitive health care marketplace, making community connections is a vital activity for practitioners. While Martin and others report that the primary benefit of local volunteer work is the chance to give back to the community, they also cite additional benefits, including the opportunity to learn about unmet needs and market trends in their community, diversify their practices and increase their referrals.
“So many partnerships and collaborative relationships are facilitated by participation in community events,” says Martin. “My private practice has been dramatically impacted in a positive way by my community involvement.”
Rosalind S. Dorlen, PsyD, ABPP, a clinical psychologist in independent practice in New Jersey and an active volunteer, also touts the benefits of making community connections. “Community involvement helps our community and our practices,” says Dorlen. “It raises both the visibility of psychology as a profession and the visibility of the psychologists who do community work. Although our main goal is reaching out to the community and offering help, there are side benefits that can help our practices.”