APA gave thanks to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), a champion of mental health parity and psychology education and training, by presenting him with a presidential citation at a reception hosted by the Education Directorate and Public Policy Office on May 28 in Iowa City, Iowa.
Harkin, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, has supported numerous legislative initiatives important to psychology, such as the inclusion of psychology as primary care in the National Health Service Corps. He has also fought hard for increased research funding for the National Institutes of Health and mental health parity.
More than 50 Iowa psychology practitioners, educators and researchers attended the reception, held at the home of University of Iowa psychology professor Peter Nathan, PhD. They had the opportunity to educate Harkin about the ongoing needs of the profession and areas where more research funding is needed.
"Harkin met every person there, and we clearly put psychology and psychologists on his radar screen," says APA's Nina Levitt, PhD, director of education policy.
APA officials also took the opportunity to inform Harkin about the newly established Graduate Education Psychology Program, a $2 million program to support graduate study in areas of national need, such as the elderly, children and rural residents. APA is hoping to boost funding for the program next year and add a component in geropsychology.