Public Policy Update
With the APA Convention being held this year in Washington, D.C., APA's Public Policy Office (PPO) is urging members to avail themselves of many exciting opportunities to learn more about the public policy process.
The varied convention offerings range from symposia on public policy issues to invited addresses by federal officials to federal advocacy training, a rally on the U.S. Capitol steps, and visits to members of Congress. A sampling of these opportunities is provided below. (Please refer to the convention program, available after July 1, for more specific information about these sessions and others that might be of interest.)
Gain direct experience in the congressional process
To kick off the convention, the National Psychology Graduate Student Rally will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, on the west steps of the Capitol. The rally and follow-up congressional visits by participants are intended to draw public attention to the invaluable contributions that psychology graduate training provides to the public welfare. In conjunction with the rally, an advocacy training workshop will be held the previous afternoon.
The advocacy training workshop is scheduled from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel (Constitution Ballroom B), and is being chaired by Nina Levitt, EdD, PPO's director for education policy. The training will be conducted primarily by PPO staff and will prepare psychology students, faculty and other individuals who wish to make visits to their members of Congress following the rally. The workshop will include a brief overview of the federal legislative process, as well as tips on making a successful congressional visit.
Workshop attendees will receive policy updates on key psychological issues in education, science and the public interest. Rick Weinberg, PhD, of the Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, will focus on the link between graduate study and public policy by highlighting the value of research to policy development and advocacy. Combined with the rally, the workshop will provide a valuable experience for psychologists to become effective advocates for their science and profession.
Invited presentations by federal officials
U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD: "Responding to mental health in a diverse healthcare environment: the Surgeon General's prescription," Tuesday, Aug. 8, 11 a.m.
Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, "Medical and societal consequences of the Human Genome Project," Saturday, Aug. 5, 11 a.m.
Steven E. Hyman, MD, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "What we can do about youth violence: a research perspective," Friday, Aug. 4, 2 p.m.
Alan Leshner, PhD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, "Vulnerability to drug abuse and addiction: a quintessential biobehavioral issue," Sunday, Aug. 6, 5 p.m.
PPO presentations and public policy-related programs
Patricia Kobor, PPO's director of science policy, will speak in the session, "Survival of the fittest: your role in animal research advocacy," Aug. 6, 3 p.m.
Geoff Mumford, PhD, PPO senior legislative and federal affairs officer, will present "Promoting science-based policies to reduce medical error and preventing mistakes inside the Beltway," Aug. 6, 11 a.m.
Daniel Dodgen, PhD, PPO senior legislative and federal affairs officer, will participate in several sessions, including "Becoming a policy advocate for children, youth, families and communities," Aug. 4, 1 p.m.; "Preventing intimate violence: crafting interdisciplinary collaborations and strategies for action," Aug. 4, 9 a.m.; "Evaluating school-based violence prevention programs," Aug. 7, 10 a.m.; "Employment and disability policy: the role of the psychologist," Aug. 6, 9 a.m.; "Lessons to be learned from the congressional censure of science," Aug. 6, 3 p.m.
The Board of Scientific Affairs is sponsoring a conversation hour, "Psychology goes public: disseminating science and influencing public policy," featuring among the speakers David M. Stonner, PhD, of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation.
APA celebrates 25th anniversary of Congressional Fellowship Program
APA's Board of Directors is sponsoring a special symposium entitled "Psychologists, policy and politics inside the Beltway: APA Congressional Fellows' perspectives." Co-chaired by Ellen Garrison, PhD, PPO's director of public interest policy and Dan Dodgen, PhD, the symposium will be held at noon on Saturday, Aug. 5 and will feature presentations by the four 19992000 APA Congressional Fellows.
See you in Washington!
--APA'S PUBLIC POLICY OFFICE