Baby steps lead to giant leaps

The president shares what she learned from the editorial board of the division's journal, Psychological Services, and discusses how the division and journal can support each other

By Linda Bodie, PsyD

This has been an exciting year for Division 18. Sections have been busy recruiting new members, especially Early Career Psychologists, a new section has been developed, the Psychological Services journal is doing exceptionally well, and it will soon be time for the Annual APA Convention. Drs. Jay Supnick and Howard Steinberg have organized another outstanding program for Division 18. APA is working hard to improve the programming and reduce the scheduling conflicts in terms of similar presentations. This year the convention will be in family friendly Orlando, Fla. August 2 - 5, 2012. Convention is a great time to reconnect with colleagues, take advantage of the opportunities for continuing education and participate in Division decisions and activities. Orlando will be a perfect place to come and bring the kids.

The apportionment ballot to determine the composition of the APA Council of Representatives was mailed to eligible members in November 2011. We are very pleased that Division 18 maintained our two council seats. Thanks to everyone who voted for Division 18. And thanks to Drs. Lorraine W. Greene and Dolly Sadow, who serve as our council representatives, for their work on council.
Dr. Kellie Condon continues to work with APA to develop a much improved Division 18 Website. The project is coming along nicely and hopefully will be finished soon. Kellie's commitment to this important project is very much appreciated.

Congratulations to Dr. Mary Jensen for her success in developing the new section, Serious Mental Illness and Severe Emotional Disturbance (SMI/SED). Officers have been elected, membership list developed, and bylaws completed. The section will be 'official' as soon as the board gives formal approval.

Two distinguished leaders and long-standing members of Division 18 were recently recognized in the APA Monitor. The December 2011 Monitor featured an article, "Psychologist named VA mental health chief", regarding Dr. Antonette Zeiss, who made history when she became the first psychologist, the first woman and the first  nonphysician to head the Department of Veterans Affairs health policy office. The January 2012 edition featured Dr. Patrick H. DeLeon, former APA President and Editor, Psychological Services in an article "A trail blazer moves on",  acknowledging his retirement after decades of service to Sen. Daniel Inouye. He was described as a "visionary and trailblazer who has made extraordinary contributions over the years to APA, to the field of psychology and to our nation". We applaud the accomplishments of these outstanding psychologists.

In 1999, leaders from around the country came together in California with a shared commitment to advancing multiculturalism within psychology. This historic meeting has grown into a biennial conference. Division 18 Board  of Directors voted to make a sponsorship commitment of $1,000 for the 2013 National Multicultural Conference and Summit "Transforming Multicultural Psychology: Engagement, Renewal, and Action Across Generations" to be held in Houston, Texas January 17-18, 2013. Division 18 will be listed on the summit webpage and in the brochure to be handed out during the 2012 APA Convention. Division 18 Diversity Committee is working on promoting diversity and multicultural training at the convention, possibly in the division suite. More to follow..

The Board of Directors also voted to support the petition submitted by Police and Public Safety Section to recognize Police and Public Safety Psychology as a specialty from APA.

Division 18 hosted the first Fall Conference in Revere, Mass. on October 28, 2011, "Using Science to Inform Practice: Roles for Public Psychologists" Attendees were able to obtain seven CE credits for a minimal charge. Kudos to Drs. Anne Klee and Guy Seymour for organizing the conference. Plans are underway for another conference on the East Coast with a tentative date of October 20, 2012. We are looking for someone to organize a conference on the West Coast. Any volunteers?

One of my Presidential initiatives is to increase awareness of the importance of addressing smoking and tobacco use in the professional practice of psychology. The APA Monitor has published recent articles focusing on tobacco use, ranging from information about graphic cigarette warning labels (December 2011) to APA scientists relying on psychologists' expertise to guide tobacco regulation to protect the public from harm associated with tobacco use (February 2012). With the emphasis today on developing healthy life styles, as psychology leaders and policy makers, we can make a positive impact on the health of our patients and employees. Start by joining efforts with the health and wellness initiatives in your facilities or develop an initiative yourself. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I look forward to seeing you in Orlando.