Professional Development Resources Marks 20th Anniversary

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Professional Development Resources, a nationally accredited provider of continuing education (CE) to psychologists, social workers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, registered dietitians and occupational therapists, is celebrating a major landmark this year: 20 years of continuous operation.

Leo Christie, with wife Catherine, founded Professional Development Resources in 1992.

Leo Christie, with wife Catherine, founded Professional Development Resources in 1992.

The first steps were to become credentialed by the professional boards, select and develop a topic, identify target audiences, implement a marketing plan, and arrange funding for a series of delivery sites – a daunting process, to say the least.

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Professional Development Resources (http://www.pdresources.org/) has reached a major milestone in its corporate growth: 20 years of continuous operation as an accredited provider of continuing education to psychologists, social workers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, registered dietitians and occupational therapists. In the years since its incorporation in 1992, the company has grown from one person presenting a single live seminar to groups in selected Florida cities to an organization that features over 180 self-study CE courses that are available online anywhere in the world.

Professional Development Resources was incorporated on August 12, 1992 in the State of Florida as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation. Its mission was – and continues to be – to seek out the most recent scientific and clinical publications in selected professional areas of psychology, mental health, social work, nutrition, speech language pathology, and occupational therapy and to present continuing education topics of current clinical relevance to the named professions for the purpose of improving patient care.

The company’s founder, Leo Christie, PhD, is a Florida-licensed marriage and family therapist who was in private practice in Jacksonville, Florida from 1982 to 1992. With the intention of establishing an outlet for his interest in writing and teaching, Christie founded the new company and set out to explore the possibility of planning and delivering live educational seminars. The vice president and director of continuing education was – and still is – his wife, Dr. Catherine Christie, who is a registered dietitian.

Christie recalls the early years: “The first steps were to become credentialed by the professional boards, select and develop a topic, identify target audiences, implement a marketing plan, and arrange funding for a series of delivery sites in the State of Florida – a daunting process, to say the least. We set out to secure accreditations from some of the Florida licensing boards so that we could award official CE credit to those who attended our conferences. That process took over 8 months. I remember having some difficulty with the Florida Board of Psychology, and it required a personal appeal and some restructuring before we were eventually recognized as a CE provider. We also sought and received approval to offer CE to nurses, under the auspices of the New York Nurses Association, which was a widely accepted accrediting board at the time. In the early years, nurses represented more than 50% of our seminar attendees.

“During the summer and fall of 1993, we completed 12 six-hour seminars in 7 Florida cities. The summer seminars were titled ‘Fears, Phobia, and Panic’ and dealt with the full spectrum of anxiety disorders. In fall, we introduced a new topic ‘Compulsive Behaviors,’ which featured a study of obsessive compulsive disorder. As a startup year, 1993 generated enough revenue to make further planning and development possible for the new company.

From there, the company went on to secure provider accreditation credentials from a number of national and state boards, including the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). The speaker circuit grew to the point at which there were four speakers on the road at one time presenting various topics in 46 of the 50 states.

About Professional Development Resources, Inc.

Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1992 by licensed marriage and family therapist Leo Christie, PhD. The company, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) – as well as many other national and state boards – has focused its efforts on making continuing education courses more cost-effective and widely accessible to health professionals by offering online home study coursework. Its current expanded curriculum includes a wide variety of clinical topics intended to equip health professionals to offer state-of-the art services to their clients.

Contact:
Leo Christie, PhD, CEO
Professional Development Resources, Inc.
904-645-3456
http://www.pdresources.org/

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