Featured Article

Bridging aging communities III

Latest news includes new logo, webinars, funding, programs for the 2012 APA Convention, and membership issues

By Carolyn M. Aldwin

I’m very proud to introduce our new logo! Michael Marsiske has been working with the APA IT folks to transition our website to APA, hopefully in August. Pat Parmelee and I have been helping him with decisions on various aspects of the design, including the color scheme (navy and grey). We winnowed down the various options for the logo that the designer developed and put the three finalists to a vote of the Executive Committee, which selected this one. It’s a little whimsical but charming, don’t you think?

Much of our work this past winter has focused on the upcoming meetings in Orlando in August. Monisha Pasupathi and Benjamin Mast have put together a stellar program! Highlights include three continuing education sessions: Innovative Psychotherapy Treatment for Older Adults; The Power of Possibility — Holistic Programs That Promote Mind—Body Wellness of Older Adults; and Resilience Across the Life Span. Div. 20 is also participating in a Presidential Program on Integrated Approaches to Geriatric Health Care. Chris Herzog will give the invited address for the Baltes Distinguished Research Achievement Award. James Jackson is giving an invited address entitled “From Social Diversity to Group Disparities: Aging, the Lifecourse, and Stress”. And Divs. 20, 40, and CONA have banded together to sponsor a “Speed Mentoring” program for budding geropsychologists and neuropsychologists.

Division 20 will have a convention booth this year, where you can come and get information about the Division from our Executive Committee volunteers and pick up your new Division 20 ribbon. And – Early Career Psychologists (ECPs) can enter to win a free one-year membership to Division 20! Ten memberships will be given away, so you have a great chance of winning!

Jeffrey Proulx and Lewina Lee, our grad student and post-doc representatives, working with the Div. 12-II rep, Amy Fisk, have put together a wonderful social event Saturday night at Ming Court, where we will feast on dim sum. Watch for emails and see the information later in this newsletter on how to make reservations for this event.

Work has also been progressing on the interdivisional grant, GeroCentral, which is developing an “Internet Geropsychology Resource Clearinghouse”, led by Erin Emery. For this project, Lewina Lee and Jeff Proulx developed a list of organizations that have been sponsoring aging webinars, a few of which are featured on the back of this newsletter with the whole list to be available on the website soon. Joe Gaugler and Cameron Camp are also developing webinars on various aspects of dementia care for this project.

Div. 20 clinicians have been hard at work this year! Vincent Molinari and Ben Mast are continuing to advance the ABPP in Geropsychology; Divisions 20, 12-11, Psychologists in Long-term Care, and Council of Geropsychology Training Programs have each contributed $2500 towards this effort. Michele Karele and Sarah Qualls are serving as part of an Inter-Organizational Work Group on Competencies for Psychological Practice in Primary Care. Debbie DiGilio is organizing an effort to update the Geropsychology Practice Guidelines and has put in a funding request to APA. Greg Hinrichsen is chairing that committee, and Patricia Areán, Adam Brickman, Barry Edelstein, Tammi Vacha-Haase, and Kimberly Hiroto will also be serving, among many others. I’m very proud to say that we were particularly careful to make certain that this group reflected our Bridging Aging Communities theme, and its membership includes both academic and practice psychologists, and representatives from diverse groups and ECPs.

Finally, the APA Aging Leadership Team, Neil Charness, Erin Emery, and myself, yet again organized by Debbie DiGilio, had a conference call to identify concerns that CONA would express to Suzanne Bennett- Johnson. In addition to membership and the need to recruit more ECPs, we also emphasized that APA should really spearhead the effort to increase the visibility of non-pharmacological therapies for dementia patients.

The three major issues that we will be addressing in next summer’s meeting include changes in voting procedures, potential changes in the dues structure, and potential changes in the use of the list serve. As I mentioned in the last issue of this newsletter, APA is moving towards electronic voting, and we need to change our by-laws to accommodate this. The EC has approved this change, but this is something that needs to be voted on by the Div. 20 membership (You!). Second, a number of years ago we voted to include P&A as a benefit of our membership, but that raised our dues by $25. There are pros and cons for doing this, and we will be considering whether discontinuing this benefit and reducing our dues will help to increase our membership. Third, APA has changed its list serve guidelines to ban the use of list serves for most research purposes, an issue which I believe needs to be discussed.

It’s shaping up to be a great convention this year in Orlando, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone! Now if I can just find someone to go with me to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.