In This Issue

The VA section update

The 15th Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference, a Quarterly Conversation, a new mentoring program and 2012 section awards.

By Anne Klee, PhD

It’s been a busy few months for the VA section of Division 18! We proudly co-hosted the 15th Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference along with the Association of VA Psychology Leaders and the APA Practice Directorate. The conference was held April 11-14, 2012, at the Westin Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Manny Garcia, Conference Chair, did a wonderful job securing a new hotel and putting together an outstanding program.The theme of this year's conference was “VA Psychology Advancing the Transformation: New Directions and Technologies for Care.” We learned about innovations in informatics, telemental health and technologies to compliment mental health treatment, as well as effective strategies for assessment and treatment of complex clinical presentations and VHA mental health outcome and performance measures. We were privileged to have Dr. Suzanne Bennett Johnson, APA President and Mr. William Shoenhard, VHA Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management as our keynote speakers. Another highlight of this year’s conference occurred when Dr. Randy Phelps, APA’s Deputy Executive Director for Professional Practice received the Patrick DeLeon Advocacy Award. Drs. Tim Carmody, Allyson Baker and I, the executive committee of the VA section, nominated Dr. Phelps for this award for his longtime support and dedication to this conference and public service psychology.

On Thursday, June 7, 2012 the VA section hosted our latest Quarterly Conversation featuring Division 18 member Dr. Brad Karlin, who gave a talk titled: “National Dissemination of Evidence-Based Psychotherapies in VHA: Process and Outcomes.” Dr. Karlin is the National Mental Health Director of Psychotherapy and Psychogeriatrics, and he provided a very interesting overview of his programs, what we have accomplished thus far, and next steps.The call was extremely well-attended with all 100 phone lines filled by participants and we received many requests for slides.

Over the past year, the VA section subcommittees have been very active. Dr. Allison Aosved has done an incredible job organizing a new mentoring program for the VA section. Many of you responded to the survey she sent out to various VA psychology email lists inquiring about affiliation with Division 18, professional and diversity interests and the opportunity to participate in our new mentoring program. Through her efforts, we were able to match 6 leaders with 6 students and early career psychologists. We are grateful to Drs. Allyson Baker, John Benesek, Dave Carroll, Steve Holliday, Erin O’Neill Zerth, Gina Raza and Mark Zerwic for serving as mentors. We appreciate your time and dedication both to mentoring and Division 18. And thank you Allison for putting this invaluable program together.

Dr. Ed Padin has been spearheading our recruitment efforts with help of committee members Drs. Lindsay Avritt, Tim Carmody, Christine Cooper, Tiffanie Fennell, Thorayya Giovannelli, Shanna Murray and Monica Roy. Dr. Cooper drafted new brochures and Dr. Padin is putting together a series of videos for our webpage. We are grateful to those who were videoed by committee members. Dr. Padin is planning on bringing his video camera to Orlando and hopes to interview as many of our luminaries as possible. Thank you Ed and Chris and the committee for all your work on these initiatives.

The VA Section Awards Committee, chaired by Dr. Dan Kivlahan, recently reviewed nominations and  selected our 2012 award recipients. We are grateful to the VA Section Awards Committee members Drs. Allyson Baker, Karen Grantz, Lisa Kearney, Dan Kivlahan, Camilla Madden, Carey Pawlowski, Dolly Sadow and Melissa Wattenberg for all their hard work and dedication to this process. We also thank  everyone who took the time to nominate worthy colleagues and trainees for these awards. For those traveling to Orlando for the APA Convention, please join us in the Division 18 suite in the Peabody Hotel at the VA section meeting on Friday, Aug. 3 at 12 p.m. when we will honor:

  • Besyner Award for Lifetime Achievement: Kathy M. McNamara, PhD, ABPP

  • Outstanding Clinician: Michael W. Marks, PhD, ABPP

  • Outstanding Researcher: Steven J. Lash, PhD

  • Outstanding Administrator: Steven J. Shea, PhD

  • Outstanding Director of Training: John E. Beauvais, PhD

  • Outstanding Supervisor or Mentor: Karen E. Krinsley, PhD

  • Outstanding Contributions in Psychosocial Rehabilitation: Elizabeth Bass, PsyD

  • Outstanding Psychology Trainee: Katherine Dixon-Gordon, PhD

I hope to see many of you in Orlando, Fla.