In this issue

Substantive change is in the air

Tim Barksdale, PsyD, reports on Annual Advocacy Day hosted by the Pennsylvania Psychological Association.

By Le Ondra Clark Harvey, PhD

Tim Barksdale, PsyDThis month, I would like to highlight Tim Barksdale, PsyD, who is an early career psychologist and the Public Interest Board chair to the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA).

Barksdale provided a report of the successful Annual Advocacy Day hosted by the PPA:

“The PPA is the third largest state association affiliated with the American Psychological Association (APA). On April 4, 2016, The PPA leadership conducted their Annual Advocacy Day. A group of determined early career professionals and other PPA members and staff visited the state Capitol Building, in Harrisburg, Penn., to further legislation to improve the practice and service delivery of our noble field. PPA spoke to their State senators and representative on current legislative issues of importance to psychologists, specifically SB 772 (Psychology Practice Modernization Bill) and HB 706 (Tele-health Payment Authorization bill) In addition, PPA members advocated for current federal legislation, HR 2646 (Helping Families in MH Crisis Act) and HR 4277 (Medicare MH Access Act).

In the afternoon, PPA called a press conference to discuss the presidential initiative for 2016: Overcoming Interpersonal Violence Throughout the Lifespan. PPA Executive Director Krista P. Bower and Board President Dr. Beatrice Salter offered sobering statistics and detailed the consequences, such as cognitive impairments, suffered by those who experience violence. PPA asked those gathered to think about what they can do individually to stop the spread of violence in their communities and sign a pledge to take action.

Although done on a state level, these issues and legislation impact the practice of psychology on the national level. PPA continues to follow the model of the APA, in advocacy and professional leadership.”