It's not just APA members that have taken psychology's message to Capitol Hill. Over the last year, APA CEO Norman Anderson, PhD, has also reached out to members of Congress.
"APA is fortunate to have close allies on Capitol Hill, and I wanted to meet and thank them personally," says Anderson. "I also wanted to let the psychologist members of Congress know that APA is their home and that we welcome their views, participation and feedback concerning our federal advocacy efforts."
During the past year, Anderson thanked Rep. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio) for his support of legislation that would expand graduate training opportunities for psychologists. In addition, Anderson and Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) discussed the status of behavioral research at the National Institutes of Health, and Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) suggested to Anderson ways for APA to broaden its advocacy efforts among new members of Congress and others who might not communicate with psychologists. Furthermore, Anderson met with Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), a child psychologist elected in 2002, and suggested ways that APA might support the work of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus, which Murphy co-chairs. Anderson is also planning to meet with several other members of Congress, including leaders of the ethnic-minority caucuses.
"APA has a broad federal advocacy agenda," notes Anderson. "We often have APA members and staff on Capitol Hill encouraging support for mental health parity legislation, or advocating improved funding for psychological research or training, or calling attention to inequities in health and social services for underserved populations. Congress has a lot of issues to consider, and it's not always receptive to our messages. To be successful, APA needs to be visible and communicate effectively. I'm committed to do whatever I can to make those efforts successful, and in every talk I give, I encourage APA members to do the same."
--PUBLIC POLICY OFFICE STAFF