Conference Agenda

24th Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference

VA Psychology: Leading in Challenging Times with Resilience, Hope, and Courage

Sponsored by APA, the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders (AVAPL) and APA Division 18-Psychologists in Public Service

May 26 – 27, 2021

Pre-Conference: Tuesday May 25, 2021

There will be informal, optional pre-conference events the evening of May 25th, including networking opportunities and orientation to the conference virtual platform. Additional details to follow.

Virtual Conference Day 1: Wednesday May 26, 2021

All times listed below are in the Eastern time zone.  
10:30 am - 11:00 am Introduction to the Conference Platform: Wecome to REMO (OPTIONAL)
11:00 am - 11:15 am Welcome and Overview
Katherine M. Dollar, Ph.D., ABPP
Associate Director- Education and Implementation
VA Center for Integrated Healthcare
11:15 am - Noon Opening Invited Address
Carolyn Clancy, MD
Acting Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Noon - 12:45 pm Invited Presentation
The Magic Trick: Moving from Staff Psychologist to VA Leader in Times of Calm and Crisis
Maureen Marks, PhD
Executive Director
VHA National Center for Organization Development
12:45 pm - 1:15 pm 30-Minute Brief Break
1:15 pm - 2:00 pm Invited Presentation
Update from the Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
David Carroll, Ph.D
Executive Director
Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
Stacey Pollack, Ph.D.
National Director, Program Policy Implementation
Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm Panel Presentation: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strong and Innovative Practices
Race Based Stress and Trauma Empowerment Group
Maurice Endsley, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Hines VAMC
Designing and Implementing a Diversity Committee
Danielle Lespinasse, Ph.D.
Psychologist, Philadelphia VAMC
White Allyship Practices
Nikki Panasci, Ph.D.
Psychology Program Manager, Orlando VAMC
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm 15-Minute Break
3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Updates from Capitol Hill (A Panel Discussion)
Heather O’Beirne Kelly, Ph.D.
Professional Staff Member
Subcommittee on Health/Chairwoman Brownley (CA-26)
Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41)
Shauna Rust
Professional Staff Member
U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
3:45 pm - 4:00 pm Day 1 Wrap Up and Adjourn
There will be informal, optional networking events the evening of May 26th. Additional details to follow.

Conference Day 2: Thursday May 27, 2021

10:30 am - 11:00 am Networking time (OPTIONAL)
11:00 am - 11:15 am Housekeeping
Katherine M. Dollar, Ph.D., ABPP
11:15 am - Noon Keynote Address
APA Presidential Address
Dr. Jennifer Kelly
President, American Psychological Association
Noon - 12:30 pm Invited Pleneary: Update from the Biden Administration
Terri Tanielian, MA
Special Assistant to the President for Veterans Affairs on the Domestic Policy Council
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm Update from APA
Sophie Friedl, MPH
Director, Military and Veterans Health Policy
American Psychological Association
1:00 pm - 1:30 pm 30-Minute Brief Break
1:30 pm - 2:15 pm Invited Panel (Open Plenary)
Best Practices from the Field
The Role of a Diversity Committee in the Implementation of Diversity-Related Initiatives within a VA Psychology Training Program
Kelly Allred, PhD, Psychologist
Puget Sound VAMC
Trans-Affirmative Narrative Exposure Therapy (TA-NET): A Therapeutic Approach for Addressing Trauma- and Minority-Related Stressors
Tiffany Lange, PhD, Psychologist
Hampton VAMC
Resiliency for Staff, Veterans & Caregivers Response Program
Melanie Perez, PhD
Chief of Psychology
West Palm Beach VAMC
Lessons Learned Serving Patients and Healthcare Workers during a Pandemic:  In-Person Psychology Services on a COVID Unit
Brian Shenal, PhD
Associate Chief of Mental Health
Salem VAMC
2:15 pm - 2:45 pm Suicide Prevention Updates
Matt Miller, Ph.D.
Director, Suicide Prevention Program
Lisa Kearney, Ph.D., ABPP
Deputy Director, Suicide Prevention Program
2:45 pm - 3:00 pm Presentation of the Russell B. Lemle Award
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Closing Remarks and Open Discussion

The presenters have reported no conflicts of interest or commercial support for this program.

Division 18 – Psychologists in Public Service – of the American Psychological Association is the continuing education sponsor for this VA Psychology Leadership Conference.   Division 18 is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Division 18 maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. This conference has been approved for xx hours of continuing education credit. The Friday Workshop has been approved for an additional xx hours of continuing education credit. Participants must attend all portions of the conference and/or workshop to obtain continuing education credit. For information about the conference, please contact Katherine Dollar, Ph.D., at For any complaints or grievances about this CE event, please contact Dr. Abigail Tucker via email at

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