Veterans Affairs

The new section chair introduces herself, discusses her plans to explore ways to better serve the division members, and solicits submissions for an upcoming journal devoted to telehealth

By Anne Klee, PhD

As the new section chair, I am looking forward to serving you over the next two years. I am starting in this role a year earlier than planned as Dr. Linda Bodie has been elected to Division 18 President and is currently serving as the President Elect for the Division. Congratulations Linda! In turn, Dr. Tim Carmody assumed the role of Chair Elect of the VA Section and Dr. Pamela Fischer assumed the role of Secretary. The VA Section operates on a six year cycle with those elected chair serving for two years each as Chair–elect, Chair and Past-chair. We will hold elections this spring for Chair-elect and Secretary. The different sections of Division 18 all have varying periods of elected service and we are exploring if it makes sense to formally change the section bylaws to institute more uniformity in leadership among the sections.
The VA Section has been busy these past few months. We have several active members working on recruitment, awards and succession planning. For the past four years, the VA Section Awards committee has been chaired by Dr. Richard Greenblatt, the Executive Psychologist at the Hines VA in Illinois. Rich is retiring from the VA this December after thirty years of service. He has been involved with Division 18 in various capacities over the years and the VA Section will miss his leadership and friendship. His last act of kindness was to help identify someone to fill his role with the Awards Committee. We are so pleased that Dr. Daniel Kivlahan will be serving as the new Chair of the Awards Committee. Please start thinking about nominations. We will send out more information in the coming weeks. 

In exploring ways to better serve our membership, we have been talking with Drs. Lisa Kearney and Leon Green, VA associate editors and Dr. Pat DeLeon, editor from Psychological Services, Division 18’s journal. This winter we are planning a phone didactic to present a tutorial on how to write up papers for publication with an emphasis on submissions for Psychological Services. For those interested, Psychological Services is soliciting submissions for an upcoming journal devoted to Telehealth. Submissions are due March 15, 2011; please contact Dr. Lisa Kearney.

Linda Bodie, Tim Carmody and I are representing Division 18 on the planning committee for the 14th Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference co-sponsored by the APA Practice Directorate, the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders and Division 18. It will be held May 18-21 in San Antonio, TX. As I write, several dynamic speakers are already confirmed to participate and include: Drs. David Carroll, Diane Elmore, Shirley Glynn, Michael Goldstein, Robert Gresen, Carl Isenhart, Bradley Karlin, Daniel Kivlahan, Susan McCutcheon, Katherine Nordal, Randy Phelps, Mary Schohn, Melba Vasquez, Mark Ward, Kendra Weaver, Antonette Zeiss, and Robert Zeiss. Registration is now open: For more information you can also contact Dr. Lisa Kearney, the Conference Chair. The theme of the conference is “Advancing VA's T-21 Initiatives: Innovation through Leadership, Research, Service, and Advocacy.” It is a very exciting time in the VA with the “T-21” Transformation of the VA into a 21st Century Organization. With a goal of eliminating homelessness among Veterans, our community-based mental health programs are intensifying their efforts to house homeless Veterans with the influx of permanent housing vouchers and clinical case management staff. We are also witnessing the expansion of mental health focused primary care and the implementation of evidence-based practices. Psychologists are playing important roles in these endeavors. It would be great to showcase some of our colleagues’ work in these arenas --  please contact me if you are involved with these initiatives locally, regionally or nationally and would be willing to share your stories.   

The VA Section has over 400 members, the largest section of Division 18, but there are still many of our colleagues out there who would benefit from membership. Please encourage your colleagues to join. The best recruitment happens by word of mouth.   Dr. David Pilkey is the new membership chair for Division 18 and can be contacted by email. If you would like to get more involved in the VA Section, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2011.