Executive Committee meeting minutes
By Rhett Graves, PhD
Feb. 22, 2012: Alexandria, Va.
Attendees (in alphabetical order): Nathan Ainspan, Morgan Banks, Arwin DeCostanza, Diane Elmore, Armando Estrada, Jessica Gallus, Sena Garven, Rhett Graves, Jim Griffith, Tonia Heffner, Larry James, Irwin Jose, Heather Kelly, Kristen Kochanski, Kate LaPort, Anne Landes, Bob Roland, Mike Rumsey, Bill Strickland and Eve Weber.
President’s Report: Heffner introduced herself as President of Division 19 (as of 1 Jan 2012) and introductions were given around the room. Heffner described her intentions as President to continue Estrada’s initiatives and develop executable strategies (1) to raise the visibility of the Division by getting money out in the form of grants and awards for undergraduate/graduate students as well as early, mid, and senior career military psychologists, (2) provide a viable and cost-effective continuing education program, and (3) to encourage increased membership and participation of early career psychologists. Heffner described an objective to obtain EXCOM approval to establish four new committees: Research Grants; Workshop, Advocacy, and Travel Grants; Continuing Education; and Early Career Psychologists. In order to establish these committees, she needed the EXCOM to help determine membership, terms, and guidance for interactions between the committees and operations of the committees, as well as changes to By-Laws associated with forming these committees. Heffner discussed whether Division 19 needs forms of communication beyond the existing listserv, Newsletter, Website, and Facebook page; particular changes to the By-Laws that will allow for online voting; and guidance for the Hospitality Suite, concerning use, reimbursement, and time limits.
Secretary’s Report: Graves motioned to have Minutes from the Annual Meeting 2011 approved. Minutes were approved. Graves introduced Dr. Jessica Gallus, who later briefed the EXCOM on the Early Career Psychologists initiative within Division 19.
Treasurer’s Report: James presented the Treasurer’s Report. James reported that the Division is in good financial solvency, with a total income of $107,000 and the journal is doing well. After James reported on the balance sheet for the Division, discussion moved to a spending plan including five Division 19 grants and the procedural process by which members can submit requests for funding. On the basis of good financial solvency, Estrada covered the various types of proposed grants that the Division could initiate. Strickland noted that in total the grants would be affordable, given a cost to the Division of approximately $40,000/year and considering that the Journal brings in approximately $45,000/year. Heffner asked whether the Division will award the grants each year. The committees proposed to manage the grants were Committee for Research Grants; Workshop, Advocacy, and Travel Grants; Continuing Education Grants; Early Career Psychologists Grants; and Fellowship Grants. The question arose concerning how we will do the review process and establish accountability. Banks asked how someone would use those funds. Strickland noted that Division 19 does not currently require accountability on the Dissertation Grants. Banks asked how the grantee will account for what they are spending on. Garven suggested doling out the grant in increments. Estrada noted the various requirements to track funds and that we are providing funds to help develop military psychologists. Heffner added that we need to refine criteria in order to move forward. James added also that military psychologists working within Government would need to go to JAG to ensure they can legally receive the funding. Landes brought up the issue of taxes. Heffner asked if the grants could be applied to tuition. Estrada noted that additional details are needed before we can act on the grants issue. Discussion continued between Strickland, Heffner, and Banks. Heffner suggested that EXCOM approve establishment of the committees to continue work. Roland agreed on giving issues that require clarification to committees. Strickland asked whether the financial planning committee will have oversight. James suggested the awards committee. Estrada suggested extending the financial planning committee. Strickland noted that EXCOM needs to establish who the committees would be working for. Heffner suggested the financial awards committee as the overarching committee. Strickland noted that we need a financial committee beyond the treasurer—perhaps the treasurer as chair, with past president, etc. Estrada suggested treasurer, past president, and members-at-large. Weber and Heffner discussed the possibility of a permanent finance committee, responsible for different awarding procedures; Banks added that the committee needs to have visibility, a financial strategy, and specific procedures for how to issue the monies, and proposed a semi-permanent position to help out the treasurer—the strategy would be handled by a subset of president, president elect, etc. Strickland, Heffner, and Roland discussed APA’s role in helping to manage the awards. Garven noted that there may be a role for a selection committee. Estrada diagrammed the possible committee structure as below.
Grants PGM - Research; Fellowship
Travel, Advocacy, Outreach - Travel; Workshop; Advocacy
Garven responded that the treasurer should not be involved in decision making about who gets awards. Estrada suggested that a change in By-Laws could create a committee that consists of treasurer, past-treasurer, and treasurer elect. James noted that this would create a system of checks and balances with the treasurer. Strickland noted that when his organization submits a bill to APA, the treasurer approves the expenditure. Landes noted that there would be some benefit to on-the-job training with the treasurer elect term. Estrada noted that $39,000 is a lot of documentation to account for to get APA to disperse funds. Heffner summarized the options being discussed: terms for the treasurer, a supercommittee finance committee, one awards committee or multiple committees or one large committee. Estrada suggested forming ad hoc committees to establish a finance committee to oversee the development of these things and bring in the Members-at-Large. DeCostanza suggested that we could distribute some of the easier travel awards, etc., and Garven added that that gets a system in place. Heffner noted that she wants to get out the small grants because that brings visibility to the Division. Estrada referenced the travel awards program and that it is one that we can begin without too many complications.
Discussion between DeCostanza, Heffner, and Morgan. Heffner noted that EXCOM needs to decide on Grants/Programs and Travel/Advocacy/Outreach. Weber asked if there are programs from other divisions that can serve as models. Heffner noted that SIOP and Education have some models. Banks asked about distinguishing between fellowships and research grants; Strickland responded that the candidate would need a Ph.D. for a research grant, but that students could apply for a fellowship. Estrada noted that there are a lot of people interested in helping retiring service members, individuals interested in serving military populations, but who are not connected to the Division. Heffner argued that the only option at this point is to continue the financial strategy group; Strickland added with a focus on travel grants for the Convention first. Heffner motioned to continue the financial strategy group. The motion was approved with a focus on awarding travel and small grants.
10 Minute Break
Student Affairs Committee: Kochanski presented the report. She reported that the student awards are now on the website and that she has passed along the information DeCostanza needed to move forward on the Division 19 website. A total of 8 student awards were given last year, 1 research award and 7 travel awards. There were only 2 submissions for the research award. Kochanski asked that the EXCOM approve 10 travel ($750 each) and 2 research ($1,500 each) awards (total is $10,500) to be advertised in the Grad Psych Bulletin. Given the turnover of the student representative position, she recommended a 15 October deadline for student representative applications, with the position to be announced through email, the listserv, and website. The deadline for a decision would be by 30 November. Currently, there are 292 student members in Division 19. She also noted that the Division should consider providing funding for a student representative to travel to the EXCOM meetings, given that she is local to the DC area, but a future student representative may not be. Estrada noted that student representatives are funded to attend EXCOM meetings and the Convention. With Early Career Psychologist Committee responsibilities, it may be useful to have more student representatives on the Student Affairs Committee—this may be a mechanism to include others. Heffner reintroduced the issue of travel awards for Student Affairs, and motioned to increase Student Affairs awards, to the requested 2 research awards, and 10 travel awards, a decision to be revisited on a yearly basis. The motion was approved.
Membership Committee: Garven reported that membership in the Division continues to grow, and discussed increases and decreases in various categories of membership, with student memberships increasing the most. Griffith also noted that he has seen notable increase in interest through the VA.
Members at Large Committee (1): Banks presented the report. Banks discussed supporting the efforts of the president to develop a web-based communications and discussion methodology for Military Psychologists. He suggested that the Division consider a moderated group Web Log (Blog) that will encourage the discussion of topics relevant to Military Psychology. A moderator would help manage issues related to security. James noted that a Blog may miss some senior members. Estrada asked whether there was another medium. Heffner noted that the current listserv is only for announcements. The discussion turned to a Division 19 facebook page. Banks and DeCostanza discussed working together on a blog that would have Banks as moderator. Another topic that came up was the Division’s response to the APA ethics vignettes. Banks noted that most of the vignettes do not describe ethical issues, but instead issues related to violations of law, and have questionable training value. Estrada supported Banks contention noting that Division 19 does need to put forward a position. Banks suggested keeping the PENS report, but expanding the ethical guidance. He suggested a formal response, indicating that the vignettes are online for review. Banks presented a handout that included the text for a potential official response to the APA ethics vignettes for review.
Members at Large Committee (2): Ainspan proposed a joint project between Divisions 14 (SIOP) and Division 19 concerning returning service members, helping them to translate their skills into civilian professions. Ainspan requested assistance from Division 19 for suggestions on where to find service members interested in this assistance and on materials (i.e., hand-outs, resources on military life, MOS descriptions, PTSD symptoms) to disseminate to SIOP volunteers. He suggested starting with 10 SIOP volunteers, then expanding to cover more people. Estrada noted that this is the nature and intent of advocacy programs. Discussion centered on producing checklists, pamphlets, etc., concerning topics like TBI, PTSD, Warrior in Transition Program, DTAPs classes, Battlemind, etc. Estrada suggested sending a message through the listserv to identify volunteers. Discussion moved to formal mentoring programs, the interventionoriented focus of the program, and the target audience—active duty who are leaving the service. Garven also suggested developing a reading list.
APA Council of Representative: Strickland presented the report. He discussed attending August 2011 Council Meeting, chairing the Fall 2011 meeting of the APA Committee on Structure and Function of Council, and participating in conference calls among social justice and national security psychologists attempting to codify APA's various policy statements regarding psychologists’ participation in national security interrogations. He reported on the discussions occurring that are related to annulling the PENS report; he suggested the Divisions’ position would be to revise PENS to remove conflicting or obsolete information, to annul the old resolutions and roll it into a single document. Strickland also noted that Division 19 needs a new council representative, as he is only attending two more meetings.
Research Advocacy/Lobbying: Kelly and Elmore discussed a partnership with University of Utah to host a military/VA suicide prevention best practices conference. There was large uniformed turnout for the conference and various policymakers came to a dinner the first night. In addition, there was a members-only roundtable that provided a venue for a 1.5-hour discussion about beliefs and misconceptions about military/veterans. Mental health stigma and the faith-based community was also discussed. APA to partner with Senator Berkle to talk about suicidality, PTSD, and whether it is a moral issue. House and Veterans Affairs want mental health and other sectors of society to engage. Next, they discussed the Joining Forces Initiative and provided materials to EXCOM that provided an overview of initiatives related to military service members, veterans, and their families. The Joining Forces Initiative is intended to bring together 30 health professions to determine what can be done to support military/veterans with PTSD, TBI, and combating depression. The question arose concerning how APA frames the psychologist’s role. Kelly moved the discussion to the President’s budget, which has increases in some 6.2 funding, but cuts in 6.3 funding. Overall 6.1- 6.3 is down, and there is continued emphasis on 6.1, concerning topics related to neuroscience and substance abuse. Kelly also discussed a meeting she had with Suzanne Johnson.
Liaison for Reserve and National Guard Affairs: Griffith presented the report. Griffith noted that there are concerns about identification, referral, and systematic treatment of conditions. Accessibility of services is a big issue in the National Guard. James indicated that he had chaired a special issue on this topic for Military Psychology.
Awards Committee: Estrada presented the report and noted that he had put out the call for awards on the listserv.
APA Program: Landes presented the report. The review process stayed the same as in previous years. There were 14 symposia, but none concerned skills building submissions, a topic she would like to see more of. There were two poster sessions this year, and 28 reviewers participated in selecting the program. Estrada and Heffner made recommendations about hosting the social hour.
Midyear Meeting: No report presented.
Military Psychology Journal: Estrada presented the report. He is committed to publishing 6 issues per year. In 2010 there were 40 papers published; in 2011, there were 41. The rejection rate for the journal was 85%. John Lipinski was voted on to the editorial board. Discussion turned to royalties; the contract guarantees the Division royalties of $45,000/year. James brought up the possibility of a military psychology related book series; Estrada indicated that he was working on it. Roland, James, and Estrada discussed revenue from the publisher. The new publisher will move to a standard size journal 7x10 inches with Vol. 26. Also Estrada discussed bidding processes and contract renewal for the journal.
Military Psychology Website: DeCostanza presented the report. She has proceeded with development of the website and APA is working on the website, aiming for a March 12 suspense to go live. She worked out the tabs, solicited content and information from Division 19 members. The goal is to continually add information to the site— like news and events, awards. She is working on the Early Career Psychologists tab, determining content with the ECP Committee. She is working out a process and plan for putting new information up on the website, as well as a solicitation and approval process for what goes on the site. Estrada and Heffner asked how do we get rid of the old sites. Discussion between DeCostanza, Garven, Estrada, and Heffner concerned content for the website, such as posting employment opportunities or links to other sites on which those opportunities are posted. DeCostanza discussed contacting APA to solicit recommendations re content and tabs.
Clinical Practice Committee: Weber presented the report. Weber discussed a clinical practice discussion site that provides support to clinicians, regarding care for active duty service members and military families. The current membership on the Division 19 practice discussion site is 599. Discussion topics on the site include: Future of Military Clinical Psychology Group, Treatment recommendations for PTSD, Student research/inquiry/and mentoring, Suicide prevention, Competencies and best practices for effective military psychologists, Instructions updates, DSM V, Calls for paper, posters, etc, position postings, media inquiry, and treatment rapport. James noted that the group likely had been sanctioned by Will Wilson. Heffner suggested that we provide a link to the group from our website. Weber noted that not all posters are Division 19 members; Strickland noted that it was a way that Wilson sought to draw new members into the Division. James noted that there are good discussions on the group. Heffner argued that if it is sanctioned by Division 19, then we should know what is going on. Strickland noted that Division 19 may not have sanctioned it; it’s not Division 19, but instead a Military Psychology Google Group. Estrada expressed that Division 19 should be supportive of the site and express our support by providing a link. Weber noted that there are many lurkers. Heffner asked if there was an approval process to join the list. Estrada noted that we’d like to hear their concerns to pass back to APA. DeCostanza asked Weber to send her the link to post on the Division 19 website. To conclude her four year tenure as Clinical Practice Committee Chair, Weber asked CDR Arlene Saitzyk to consider accepting the position and to assume Chair position in one year. Saitzyk has accepted.
Continuing Education: Estrada presented the report. He described establishing CE Committee to work on CE program plan for APA 2012 and sponsored a 4 hour pre-convention workshop for the APA meeting in Orlando (with Heidi Kraft). He also sponsored a 2-hour symposium for APA meeting in Orlando with Shannon Johnson, Bret Moore, Heidi Kraft, and Jeff Case. The discussant is Gerry Koocher. Estrada opened the discussion to make the Continuing Education Committee a permanent committee within the division by amending the Division’s by-laws, proposing that the committee consist of 3 members serving staggered 3-year terms. One new member will be appointed each year. During his or her third year as a member of the committee, that member will serve as chair. The motion was passed to amend the by-laws. Strickland noted that this would need to be presented in the Newsletter. Estrada described the way ahead to include offering of high-quality preconvention and convention CEcredit workshops and symposia such that military and VA clinical psychologists become accustomed to participating in division-sponsored CEs annually and to pursue additional avenues for delivering high quality CEs, such as through online programs and other mechanisms for deployed or isolated psychologists.
Early Career Psychologists: Gallus presented the report. Gallus reported that the Committee organized two submissions for the APA Conference, including a conversation hour and a poster, and identified five potential activities for promoting engagement and participation of ECPs in Division 19. These included continued participation in the annual APA conference through symposium and poster submissions; proposed development of an information tab on Division 19 website focused on ECP engagement; proposed development of an ECP needs analysis survey assessing ECP perceptions of Division 19 and strategies for recruitment, retention and engagement of ECPs within Division 19; introduction of travel awards to promote ECP engagement in Division 19 activities; and establishment of a permanent committee for ECP within EXCOM. Graves motioned to amend the by-laws to make the ECP Committee a permanent committee within Division 19. The motion was approved. Discussion turned to the relative contributions of the ECP committee and travel awards. Gallus proposed 5-10 awards be given in the amount of $750 each for a total of $3750- $7500 per year, on a competitive basis and contingent on acceptance of poster/presentation at the APA conference, with special consideration to individuals attending the conference for the first time. James noted that smaller facilities may not get funding to support travel to the conference. Landes asked how we quantify return on investment for travel awards to ECPs. Estrada noted that we should require poster or paper presentation or service on the EXCOM. Estrada also noted that a lot of us got involved in military psychology by accident and that a more concerted effort to bring in ECP would be beneficial. Discussion then moved to conducting a needs analysis for ECPs. Graves motioned for the EXCOM to approve $500 to conduct a needs analysis. The motion was approved.
Fellowship Committee: Rumsey reported that there were no fellowship applications this year.
New Business: Heffner reported that APA had requested that we change our by-laws to allow online voting and they provided her with the text to include. She motioned to amend the by-laws to include the text allowing online voting; the motion was approved. Heffner provided Graves an email that included the text to be amended.
Hospitality Suite: Heffner recommended a limit of the hospitality suite chair term length, and rules concerning that the room not be obtained more than one day before the conference. Discussion concerned issues of reimbursement for additional days.
Newsletter: Estrada reported that the Division Newsletter will be published in March 2012.
New Business: Estrada reported on ABPP certification and his intention to convene a study group with James and Banks to educate larger group about ABPP certification.
The EXCOM meeting adjourned at 1453.