The third VA Psychology Leadership Conference held in late April attracted 100 VA psychologists from throughout the country. APA's Practice Directorate and the Association of Veterans Affairs Psychologist Leaders (AVAPL) co-sponsored the annual event.
Building on the results of two earlier conferences, the Dallas meeting focused mainly on fostering psychologists' proactive involvement as leaders in the redesigned VA health-care system and on the profession's role in providing quality health services for veterans. APA President Pat DeLeon, PhD, JD, devoted his keynote address to the important partnership between VA psychology and the APA. The former Department of Veterans Affairs acting secretary Anthony Principi shared his vision of the future for the VA and the nation's veterans.
The two-day program addressed a variety of topics and issues. Presentations focused, for example, on psychologists' roles in integrating primary care and mental health services delivery within the VA system and in community-based treatment programs. The meeting also explored opportunities for new leadership roles for psychologists in the VA, organizational advocacy and psychology training issues.
Plans are already under way for the next APA-AVAPL conference next spring.