In This Issue

VA section report

A new section chair highlights his section's contributions to the Veterans Administration

By Timothy Carmody, PhD

As I write my first report as chair of the Division 18 VA Section, I look forward to a busy, excit­ing, and fulfilling year with the section, culminating with the APA meeting in Hawaii next August. It was great seeing so many of you at the APA Conven­tion in Orlando this past August. One of the many rewarding aspects of being a member of the VA section is the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented and hard-working psychologists who are passionate about their work in public service psychology and the VA. One of my goals as chair is to find ways of highlighting the outstanding contributions of our VA section members to the overall mission of the VA. I also want to acknowledge the outstanding job that Dr. Anne Klee did during her tenure as Chair of the VA Section during the past couple of years. Truly commendable and much appreciated! 

At the APA meeting in Orlando, we had a great turnout at our VA Section meeting. APA staffers Drs. Diane Elmore and Heather Kelly from the APA Public Interest Government Relations Office provided an update on their work in promoting psychological services for veterans and active military. Dr Manny Garcia provided an update on the VA Psychology Leadership Conference. We also heard from Dr. Ed Padin regarding recruitment plans, and from Dr. Allison Aosved regarding the results of the survey she conducted in organizing the VA section mentoring program. We also proudly honored our own thanks to the hard work of the awards committee — under the leadership of Dr. Dan Kivlahan and comprised of Drs. Karen Grantz, Lisa Kearney, Camilla Madden, Carey Pawlowski, Dolly Sadow and Melissa Wattenberg — who selected several deserving colleagues for VA Section awards. Thanks also to the many VA psychologists for nominating your col­leagues. Please join us in congratulating:

  • Outstanding researcher —  Steven J. Lash, PhD
  • Outstanding clinician — Michael Wm. Marks, PhD, ABPP
  • 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
  • James K. Besyner Lifetime Achievement Award — Kathleen M. McNamara, PhD, ABPP

The VA Section has three active committees working on recruitment, mentoring and section awards. Dr. Ed Padin has been spearheading our recruitment effort by exploring opportunities to use new media, such as video, and internet to disseminate information about Division 18. Dr. Christine Cooper has been working on a new brochure (for hard copy and electronic distribution) as another way of promoting the recruitment of VA psychologists into Division 18. The recruitment sub-committee has also been developing plans to create a “Network of Champions at VA facilities” to disseminate information about Division 18, promote advocate involvement in professional issues through the division, and to be a resource to psychologists in different career stages and tracks. As part of this effort, we hope to develop stronger partnerships with psychology chiefs and training directors by provide them with membership information to pass on to their staff. 

Dr. Allison Aosved is chairing a new mentoring committee that is looking to establish a “Network of Mentors” that can provide guidance for our early career psychologists to help them in developing their careers. To inform the development of this program, Dr. Aosved conducted a survey among VA psychologists and trainees to assess their needs, preferences, and interests in a mentorship program. If you would like to join our recruitment or mentoring committees or serve as a local “champion” at your medical center, please email Dr. Padin, Dr. Aosved or Dr. Carmody.

We are planning to continue the Quarterly Conversations, a wonderful forum for dialogue, networking and information exchange that was developed by Dr. Anne Klee. Last March, in collaboration with Psychological Services, Dr. John Klocek presented on “How to Review an Article.” This call offered guidance on the review process with a particular emphasis on reviewing for Psychological Services. We are grateful to Division 18 member Dr. Klocek for sharing his expertise. We are very pleased that Dr. Kathleen McNamara has agreed to present at our next Quarterly Conversation in early November. Stay tuned for more details we will be sending out on the VA Section listserv in the near future. 

Last, the executive committee of the VA Section is busy collaborating with our colleagues from the Association of VA psychology Leaders and APA Practice Directorate for the 16th Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference May in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Sam Wan is the conference chair-elect and we are grateful that he is representing Division 18 on the planning committee. Also a special thanks to Dr. Allyson Baker, the VA Section Secretary, for all her work behind the scenes supporting the VA Section efforts. Hope to see many of you in San Antonio!

Next summer’s APA meeting will be taking place in Hawai‘i. What a wonderful location for a meeting and perhaps an opportunity to enjoy a few extra days vacationing in that beautiful tropical paradise. We hope to see many of you there.