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GPA Membership Newsfeed: GPA News

APA's Practice Leadership Conference 2020

Thursday, March 19, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Hannah Steinberg

Annually GPA sends a strong delegation of members to the Practice Leadership Conference, sponsored by APA in DC in early March – this year, March 7-10. Those who attended are: Rachel Kieran, GPA President-Elect; Jennifer Kelly, Federal Advocacy Coordinator and APA President-Elect; Adriana Flores, Diversity Delegate; Sean Hirt, Early Career Psychologist Delegate; Mary Fernandes, Chair of GPAGS and Chair-Elect of APAGS; Anita Brown, Director of Professional Affairs; and Gayle Spears, Executive Director.

The theme for PLC 2020 was MAXIMIZING the IMPACT of State and Federal Advocacy (emphasis added by the PLC organizers). So, we had myriad sessions related to advocacy. Charlie Cook, publisher of the Cook Political Report, enthralled us on Sunday morning with his insights about the political landscape. Jennifer Kelly and Gayle Spears were on a panel for a plenary session on Monday morning – Guild and Social Advocacy Communications in 2020 – Psychological Science Research Leading the Way. This plenary session also featured Katherine McGuire, APA Chief Advocacy Officer; Kim Mills, Senior Director, Strategic External Communications and Public Affairs for APA; and Michael Ranney, CEO for the Ohio Psychological Association. Anita Brown and Mary Fernandes served on a workshop panel: Choosing to Lead: Distinguishing Doctoral Psychology in the Marketplace with Lynn Bufka, Senior Director, Practice Research and Policy; John Northman, an independent consultant; and Catherine Grus, Acting Chief Education Officer for APA.

The GPA delegation made every effort to optimize the benefit of our attendance for GPA and our own experience by dividing up to attend as many concurrent workshops as we could. Concurrent workshops covered topics such as: expanding access to care, addressing membership in state psychological associations, drug overdose epidemic, and issues of intergenerational leadership. We also had a full hour presentation on Health Care Financing by Stephen Gillaspy who is the newly appointed Senior Director, Health Care Financing for APA.

As in past years, on the last day of the conference all delegates spend the day on Capitol Hill. We divided into small groups to visit various offices. Over the course of the day, we visited the offices of five members of the House of Representatives: John Lewis, Lucy McBath, Thomas Graves, Drew Ferguson and Buddy Carter and one Senator: David Perdue. Our advocacy on the Hill focused on 3 issues: Medicare Mental Health Access Act (explanation of the physician definition to include psychologists); safeguarding psychologists’ services from harmful Medicare reimbursement cuts; and increasing appropriations for critical psychology workforce training programs.

In the next enewsletter folks who attended PLC will be submitting their reflections on the experience. 

See pictures from PLC here: