Div. 18 Section Reports

VA section report

As the VA section embarks on a new year after a productive meeting at the APA convention in Washington, D.C., it is a good time to reflect on the past year and upcoming events for the new year.

By Monica Roy, PhD

As the VA section embarks on a new year after a productive meeting at the APA convention in Washington D.C., it is a good time to reflect on the past year and upcoming events for the new year. I would like to thank all of those who attended the VA section meeting at APA where we reviewed the goals that were met over the past year, brainstormed goals for this next year and honored those who received VA section awards. It was a pleasure meeting members of the section and colleagues in the VA.

First, welcome to our new VA section chair-elect, Tiffanie Fennell, PhD, and our new secretary-treasurer, Charlotte McCloskey, PsyD. In addition to our new leadership, our student representative, Savannah Lebarre, will be serving a second year in this position, and Josh Rinker, PhD, will continue to serve as our Early Career Psychologists representative. I look forward to working with the leadership for the section over the next year.

Over the past year, the VA section has worked on providing more educational opportunities for section members. This goal will continue in the coming year. During the month of October, the Quarterly Conversation webinar, “How to Get a VA Postdoctoral Fellowship: An Hour with Leaders in VA Training,” was held for the second year. The speakers included Alison Aosved, Jeffrey Berke, Bernadette Pasquale, Joel Schmidt and Wayne Siegel from the VA Psychology Training Council and was attended by close to one hundred potential postdoctoral fellows. In addition to this event, several Quarterly Conversations are being planned for this year. On Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. EST, a webinar on the use of adaptive disclosure is scheduled, and a webinar on the ethical use of bilingual assessment is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2018, at 12 p.m. EST. More information regarding how to sign up and receive CE credits for these events will be posted on the VA section listserv and PUBSERV over the next few months. In addition to offering CE credits, we are also currently brainstorming ideas for how to increase the dissemination of information and education for VA section members using social media and the listserv. We would like to hear more from you about topics and information that would be beneficial to learn about and relevant for VA section members.

Finally, the 21st Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference is currently in the planning stages. This year it is being held in San Antonio, Texas, at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel from Tuesday, May 30, 2018, to Friday, June 1, 2018. The conference is co-sponsored by the Association of Veterans Affairs Psychology Leaders and Div. 18. The theme this year will be “Preventing Suicide and Enhancing Access through Integrated Healthcare.” This conference is a great opportunity to learn about topics that are relevant for VA psychologists at all levels in their career, and is also a great networking opportunity. More information and updates regarding this event will be disseminated on the VA Section listserv.

For more information regarding upcoming webinars, the VA Psychology Leadership Conference, and other VA section news, please attend our monthly VA section conference calls. These meetings, which are held on the third Thursday of the month at 3 p.m. EST, are open to all section members and a great way to be involved in the section. Announcements about these meetings are sent out to the VA section listserv. Hope to hear from you there.