New Edition of the AVAPL Newsletter

The next edition of the AVAPL Newsletter is now available! Click here!

AVAPL President Provides Testimony to Congress

On October 13, AVAPL President Kaki York-Ward, PhD provided compelling testimony to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee for their legislative hearing. Dr. York-Ward’s testimony highlighted the importance of VA mental health research and the excellent work that VA psychologists are doing in that field. Dr. York-Ward’s testimony also touched on the critical community-based services that VA supports that help prevent veteran suicide and improve access to mental health care, including VA’s VITAL program, the Governor’s Challenge to Prevent Veteran Suicide, and the Veteran Justice Outreach program. Dr. York-Ward’s written statement can be found here.
 
Dr. York-Ward expertly answered questions from Chairwoman Julia Brownley and Acting Ranking Member Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Both congresswomen were very engaged and appreciated Dr. York-Ward’s subject-matter expertise. A link to Dr. York-Ward’s opening statement and responses to the congresswomen can be found here.
 
Dr. York-Ward’s live testimony is a follow up on written testimony that AVAPL provided to the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing titled “Veteran Suicide Prevention: Innovative Research and Expanded Public Health Efforts”. AVAPL’s written testimony to that September 20 hearing can be found here.

 

JAMA Article: Impact of COVID-19 on VA In-Person Care

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) examined changes in the provision of health care services in VA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the findings was a siginficant loss of in-person VA encounters compared to in-person community care encounters. To read this article and to review other issues related to AVAPL's advocacy efforts, please click here to visit the Advocacy page.

AVAPL Community Care Survey

September 2021
 
In June 2021, the AVAPL Executive Committee circulated a survey that asked AVAPL members who interface with non-VA providers to voluntarily provide their impressions of the Community Care program.
 
The results of the 36 respondents are attached. (FYI, the Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs just conducted a similar survey. Their results can be found at https://www.vanurse.org/news/581288/NOVA-Community-Care-Survey-Results-Show-Improvements-Needed.htm
 
Among the key highlights of AVAPL survey, between 79 and 100 percent of respondents who interface with the Community Care Program:

  • feel that there were clinical practices by community providers that were questionable.
  • believe that specified recommendations for the type of psychotherapy and issues needing to be addressed in referrals to Community Care were often not adhered to.
  • feel that Community Care providers don’t send progress measurements, treatment plan updates or chart records when requesting additional psychotherapy sessions.
  • believe that their VA facility was not generally supplied data about outcomes when veterans were referred to residential program.

ANNOUNCEMENT!

Renew membership or join at no cost for 2021!

AVAPL has over 900 members, making us the single largest professional association for VA Psychologists.  As AVAPL works on the behalf a large percentage of VA Psychologists, we find that members of Congress and other stakeholders attend to our guidance and views on important issues. Because of COVID-19, AVAPL has not had its normal expenditures.  Therefore, the Executive Council is waiving the annual membership fees for current members for the membership year January 1 to December 31, 2021. Also, to expand our membership, we are also waiving the new membership fee for the remainder of this year as well as for next year.  Thus, we are inviting non-members to join and encouraging members to alert their peers about this opportunity.  If psychologists give AVAPL a try for one year, we think the benefits of being a member of this community will be obvious.

If you are joining as a New Member (professional and trainee level): You may register at any time starting November 5, 2020. Our association uses MemberPlanet to manage memberships, and you will be asked to set up an account at that site. Your membership will expire on December 31, 2021. You will be prompted to renew at the Current Member rate during our renewal period beginning in December 2021 for the year beginning January 1, 2022. You will have the choice to set your future renewals to automatic or manual.

Information for Current Members (PROFESSIONAL level): For those of you who are current members, starting November 5, 2020 your renewal dues have been set to $0 for 2021 in MemberPlanet. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING and your membership will expire on December 31, 2021. You will be prompted to renew at the Current Member rate during our renewal period beginning in December 2021 for the year beginning January 1, 2022.

Information for Current Members (INTERN OR POSTDOCTORAL level): For those of you who are intern or postdoctoral members, now would be a good time to revisit your profile to indicate whether or not you remain an intern or postdoctoral resident/fellow. If you have graduated from internship or your postdoctoral training program and wish to remain a member (FREE for 2021), you will need to select the appropriate level for renewal in MemberPlanet.

You do not need to create a new account for your different membership level – but you do need to select the most appropriate level for 2021.
 
Listserv(s): Each year, on or around March 1st we refresh our main listserv membership. We plan to do this again in March 2021, so please join before then to receive or to continue to messages. Special Interest Group lists are maintained separately and are you will need to contact the SIG chairs to be added to the lists.

Thank you for your membership in AVAPL. We are pleased that you will be with us in 2021!
Please let us know if you have any questions.

The AVAPL Executive Committee

 

Statement of AVAPL Regarding OMB Orders
of September 22 & 28, 2020

Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping
and Training in the Federal Government
October 16, 2020

The recent OMB Orders have caused a good deal of confusion and angst. While stating that the administration is committed to “fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States,” OMB has ordered a cessation of any training that includes “divisive, un-American propaganda.” Examples of this included press reports of training that suggested that “virtually all White People contribute to racism,” or they “benefit from racism.”

In our professional work, VA psychologists work for and with Veterans, one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cohorts in our country. Our APA ethical principles state, “Psychologists are aware of cultural, individual, and role differences, including those due to age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone unfair discriminatory practices.” Many of us serve as training supervisors for APA-accredited internships and residencies, and that accreditation requires that we work towards having diverse faculty and training cohorts and that we provide training that includes cultural diversity. As social scientists, we recognize this nation’s history, the fact that our justice systems often reflect unequal treatment for minority members, and that these disparities impact the wellbeing of many members of the population we serve.

Through our meetings, educational activities, advocacy, and work with Veterans, the membership of AVAPL will continue to support and to promote diversity and inclusion.

AVAPL Executive Committee and on Behalf of the Organization:
Kenneth R. Jones, PhD, President; Samuel Wan, PhD, Past President; Kaki York, PhD, President Elect; Mary Beth Shea, PhD, Treasurer; and Jennifer Boyd, PhD, Secretary

Download this statement here.
 

Nominate a Colleague for an AVAPL Award!

Graphic of an award Do you know a psychology colleague who deserves to be recognized for their hard work? Consider nominating them for an award from AVAPL. Awards are announced at the annual AVAPL Business Meeting at the APA Convention. Click here to submit your nomination and to read about the various awards.
 

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AVAPL supports the Campaign to Change Direction's Know the Five Signs. Click on the picture below for more information.

The Campaign to Change Direction, Know the Five Signs


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Welcome to the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders' spot on the web! This web site is devoted to the interests of psychologists working in the Department of Veterans Affairs. We want to make this site useful for you, so please let us know what you'd like us to include. Just click on the Contact Us! button to the left, and send us some mail!

 

Disclaimer: This website is not sponsored by, endorsed by, or officially affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of AVAPL.

VA Psychology Leadership Directory


VA Psychology Leadership Directory (updated September 13, 2020; send changes to directory@avapl.org)

 VA Psychology Leadership Conference Future Dates

June 1 - 3, 2022

Minutes

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, June 2021

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, May 2021

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, April 2021

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, March 2021

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, February 2021

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, January 2021

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, December 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, November 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, October 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, September 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, August 2020

AVAPL Annual Meeting Minutes, August 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, July 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, June 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, May 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, April 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, February 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, January 2020

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, December 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, November 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, October 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, September 2019

AVAPL Annual Meeting Minutes, August 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, July 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, June 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, May 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, April 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, March 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, February 2019

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, December 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, November 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, October 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, September 2018

AVAPL Annual Meeting Minutes, August 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Strategic Planning Meeting Minutes, August 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, August 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, July 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, June 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, May 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, April 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, March 2018

AVAPL Mid-Winter Meeting Minutes, March 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, February 2018

AVAPL Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, January 2018

For minutes from earlier meetings, please go to the Archives page.