Invitation Letter

February 12, 2021

Dear VA Psychologists and VA Psychology Trainees:
We are very pleased to invite you to our 24th Annual VA Psychology Leadership Conference (VAPLC) that will be held virtually Wednesday, May 26th  through Thursday, May 27, 2021. In addition there may virtual pre-conference opportunities for networking and connecting on the evening of Tuesday May 25th. The conference is sponsored by the Association of Veterans Affairs Psychologist Leaders (AVAPL), the American Psychological Association (APA), and APA Division 18: Psychologists in Public Service. The Office of Mental Health Services and Suicide Prevention at VA Central Office also collaborate with the sponsoring organizations to support content for the conference. The theme this year is “VA Psychology: Leading in Challenging Times with Resilience, Hope, and Courage.
The world has changed dramatically in the past year, and we sincerely wish we could have offered an in-person event in 2021. Although we are disappointed, we have become quite skilled in connecting virtually and thus, are excited to offer a two-day virtual conference. Our virtual event will be slightly different than our typical in-person event, but we still hope to provide you with high-quality programming, opportunities to connect, as well as experiences that will challenge you and help you to grow professionally. Our program this year will be abbreviated and will follow a slightly different format and schedule. Although different from what we are able to provide for an in-person conference, we are excited about the opportunities that it brings for us to share and connect in different ways.
Over the course of the past year, we have observed many instances of Psychologists leading with courage, integrity, and resilience. We have seen our colleagues face adversity and exhaustion, while maintaining steadfast to leading and our mission. In line with this year’s theme, we want to pay tribute to these outstanding Psychologists.  We will feature presentations designed to promote leadership best practices in difficult times, address diversity and health disparities, emphasize advocacy, share updates from VA Central Office and Congress as well as strong and innovative practices in telehealth.
The committee is still working on finalizing the agenda, so be sure to visit the conference website regularly to see the most recent agenda:
One tradition we will continue is the open plenary session. We invite all VA psychologists and psychology trainees to consider submitting a proposal for a brief presentation (10-15 minutes). This year we are specifically interested in innovative practices related to diversity/health equity, COVID response, telemental health, and exceptional leadership during challenging times.  We will select three to five proposals for this open session. Proposals should be submitted via email to Dr. Kaela Joseph, Plenary Session Committee Chair at using the “Open Plenary Submission Form” found at the website. The deadline for consideration is March 5th, 2021.
Conference registration fees are as follows:

Attendees will receive up to 8 hours APA-approved CE credits (subject to final APA approval) for attending sessions on Wednesday and Thursday.
Per updated VA Financial Policies and Procedures, Volume XIV, Chapter 10 (December 22, 2016), non-federal conferences no longer require ACES approval! Accordingly, you will not need to register with ACES for this conference.
If you would like to send your registration and payment via check, please send to:

VA Psychology Leadership Conference
c/o Association of VA Psychologist Leaders
1906 Filbert Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Please share the above information widely with all VA psychologists (administrators, clinicians, and researchers) and trainees at your station. Information on how to join AVAPL, APA, or APA Division 18 prior to the conference can be obtained from the following locations:
APA Division 18

This is a wonderful conference energized by the dedication, expertise, and vision of VA psychologists nationwide. We are certain you will find it both informative and inspiring, and we look forward to seeing you virtually! Please also note that we fully expect to return in person to San Antonio in 2022!

Kenneth R. Jones, Ph.D.
President, Association of Veterans Affairs Psychologist Leaders
Gayle Y. Iwamasa, Ph.D., HSPP
Chair, VA Section, Division 18
American Psychological Association
Sophie Friedl, MPH
Director of Congressional and Federal Affairs, Military and Veterans Health Policy
American Psychological Association


Sponsoring Organizations

Sponsoring Organizations