Candidates for APA President

When elected APA treasurer, I had no idea the world economy would soon crash. Serving as treasurer during this catastrophic recession has been akin to being Lt. Dan, clinging to the mast of Forrest Gump’s shrimp boat through the hurricane.

APA ended 2008 with a $4.97 million operating deficit. I worked diligently with APA’s Council of Representatives and management to reduce expenditures and increase revenues. APA ended 2009 with a $6.59 million surplus, replenishing the losses of the prior year. I learned much about leadership during this challenging time.

For the past 25 years, I have been in full-time independent practice in Anchorage, Alaska. I am board certified (ABPP) in clinical neuropsychology and have an appointment as a clinical professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, WWAMI health training consortium, where I teach first-year medical students about neuropsychology.

Education includes:

  • BS — biopsychology, Nebraska Wesleyan University (1974);

  • PhD — clinical psychology, University of Wyoming (1980);

  • Internship — health-care psychology, University of Minnesota Health Sciences Center (1980);

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship — rural community-clinical psychology, University of Washington School of Medicine (1981).

Near the end of training, I was recruited to become director of the South Peninsula Community Mental Health Center in Homer, Alaska, serving a large rural catchment area including remote Alaska Native villages. Three years later, my desire to specialize led to a fellowship in clinical neuropsychology with “Oz” Parsons and Russ Adams at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (1985).

In the 1990s, a psychiatrist and I co-founded an interprofessional group practice in Anchorage that is now owned by a national nonprofit health corporation. Currently, I own a small neuropsychology specialty practice.

Historically, I was elected as member-at-large on APA’s Board of Directors; founding member of APA’s Committee on Rural Health; APA Council of Representatives for Div. 40 (Clinical Neuropsychology) and the Alaska Psychological Association; Board of Directors of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology; and president of the Alaska Psychological Association. Gov. Tony Knowles appointed me to the Alaska Psychology Licensing Board. Former HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt appointed me to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services.

Eleven years ago, a local television news program featured me as Anchorage’s “Psychologist of Choice” in its “Doctors Rate Doctors” poll of more than 700 Anchorage-area physicians and psychologists.

I have published more than 25 peer-reviewed articles and chapters and have presented frequently at professional conferences regarding neuropsychology and rural health. I have served as a consulting editor for Professional Psychology, the Journal of Rural Community Psychology, and as a guest editor for several other journals, including the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

I am the proud father of three remarkable young women and a bicycling enthusiast. During the summer of 1976, I pedaled my bike, fully loaded with camping equipment, from New York City to Oregon and continue enjoying bicycling today.

I love being a psychologist and appreciate the benefits society enjoys from psychology.

Craig’s candidate statement

Council of Representatives recently adopted APA’s first strategic plan in its 118-year history. APA’s mission is “... to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society ....” The goals APA adopted are to maximize organizational effectiveness, expand psychology’s role in advancing health, and increase recognition of psychology as a science. As president, I would welcome the opportunity to develop initiatives to implement APA’s strategic plan.

As APA’s treasurer, I have demonstrated my ability to improve organizational effectiveness. Regarding health, I believe Congress should include psychologists within the federal definition of physician — a definition that already includes optometrists, chiropractors and others. The psychologist’s role as a primary-care provider should be promoted. Psychologists are well-trained in a broad spectrum of effective assessment and treatment modalities to address the mental and behavioral health needs of Americans. Interprofessional care within the patient-centered health home is a system in which psychologists should play a leadership role. Psychological services should be valued equally with other health services provided by doctoral-level professionals. Regarding science, psychology’s prominence as a STEM discipline needs to be promoted. Increased funding for psychological research should be an area of emphasis. APA needs to support education and training models that appropriately prepare the next generation of psychologists to do the research and provide the services needed in our increasingly diverse society. I am particularly concerned about the internship shortage crisis and the dearth of career options available for early career psychologists.

In summary, APA must be focused on benefiting society and meeting the needs of our younger members. If the APA steadfastly focuses on these issues, all of APA’s members will benefit.

Please visit my Web site. It is an honor to be nominated for president-elect and I welcome the opportunity to serve you if elected as APA’s president.