President's Column

"United we stand, divided we fall." — Aesop

Dear APA Colleagues and Friends,

Being a psychologist runs in my family. So psychology is in my blood, heart, mind and soul. That is why I am thrilled to be your president. In this role, I will strive to lead by being compassionate, empowering others, collaborating with multiple constituency groups and appreciating diverse views. I will turn to you as learning partners and members of my "competence constellation" — described in the October 2013 issue of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice — so we can foster one another's learning, capability and innovation.

Uniting psychology for the future is my presidential theme and my passion (see article on page 38). Our future is so bright, yet sometimes our differences become obstacles rather than gifts. Our unification requires that we:

  1. Join hands and build bridges among educators, social activists, basic and applied scientists, health service providers and general applied psychologists of all backgrounds.
  2. Welcome students, early career psychologists and senior psychologists alike.
  3. Interact as full partners with psychologists from other national and international organizations.

Such collaborations will increase our capacity to advance the field of psychology and best serve the public. Unity must occur with genuine respect for the diversity that exists among us.

Uniting psychology also means integrating the various aspects of ourselves. As a scientist, practitioner, educator and social activist, I have struggled to integrate these different parts of myself — an internal struggle that I recognize often mirrors the diverse values and perspectives of our discipline. When I have done so, my life has been more meaningful and my work has been more impactful.

My presidential initiatives are each co-chaired by an experienced psychologist and an early career psychologist, uniting my team across developmental pathways and reflecting my investment in engaging and mentoring the next generation. These initiatives, detailed further in the article on page 34, are:

  • Opening Doors Summit: Facilitating Transitions from Doctoral Education to First Job. Supporting APA's vision to be the premier innovator in education, a summit will be held with individuals representing the breadth of constituencies associated with doctoral education to the first job to collaboratively secure data, identify barriers that slow students from moving through the doctoral pipeline to entering the profession, formulate creative solutions to address key transitions, and craft recommendations for improving pipeline transitions.
  • Translating Psychological Science for the Public. Psychologists produce a wealth of scientific findings that merit public dissemination through existing and novel communication technologies. In keeping with APA's strategic goal of increasing the recognition of psychology as a science, this advisory task force will oversee the creation and dissemination of new materials that translate psychological science for the public.
  • Patient-Centered Medical Homes: How Psychologists Enhance Outcomes and Reduce Costs. The Affordable Care Act promotes patient-centered medical homes to provide comprehensive coordinated care. Related to APA's strategic goal of expanding psychology's role in health, a task force will evaluate existing data and communicate the extent to which psychologists in patient-centered medical homes are "value added" vis-à-vis enhancing patient and family health outcomes, satisfaction with care, cost-effectiveness, quality of life, social justice and job satisfaction for health professionals, as well as developing and evaluating programs.

To make progress as a team, we need to have open and honest communication, share ideas, learn from one another and embark on visionary endeavors. I welcome your involvement and would love to hear from you using my email address.

Here's to a bright and collaborative year together,