From the CEO

You may be unfamiliar with the unbelievable number of activities APA is involved in on behalf of psychology and the public. Periodically, I use this column to give you just a cross-section of the myriad of activities happening within APA. Here are a few:
  • We re-launched PsycCareers, APA's Online Career Center, with new features and functionality for job seekers and employers, including expanded career-development resources.

  • We co-sponsored a conference on "The Science of Team Science," organized by the National Cancer Institute and focusing on the conduct of transdisciplinary science.

  • We mobilized support for the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which was signed into law in November.

  • We hosted the Advanced Statistical Training in Psychology Program, targeting undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented groups in psychology, and providing hands-on training in psychological statistics and research methods.

  • We co-sponsored a poster presentation at the annual Coalition for National Science Funding Capitol Hill exhibit, to educate members of Congress and their staff about the contributions of National Science Foundation-funded research.

  • We sponsored the weeklong Summer Science Institute to provide talented undergraduate students with intensive exposure to the science of psychology.

  • We sponsored the second Science Leadership Conference on "Supporting and Advancing the Careers of Scientists."

  • We helped stop a 5 percent Medicare payment cut for 2007, part of a total 14 percent reduction for mental health services. Our advocacy efforts now focus on reversing the remaining 9 percent cut.

  • We are working with grassroots psychologists and key leaders in Congress to advance a full mental health insurance parity law early in the 2007 legislative session.

  • We played a lead role in negotiating the second settlement in an ongoing managed care class action lawsuit that involves psychologists. The two settlements to date total $15 million.

  • We are launching a new Spanish-language Web site for consumers that mirrors the APA Help Center.

  • We developed an intensive business-of-practice continuing-education program that was piloted in Kentucky last year. The California Psychological Association is next to offer the program, and we are exploring possibilities for working with additional state psychological associations.

Through our media-training program, we prepared members, governance officials and senior staff to serve as spokespersons for the association and the discipline.

  • Our news release program earned story placements in national publications, including The New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today.

  • We hosted the fifth Education Leadership Conference on "Promoting Excellence: Using Assessment to Enhance Teaching and Learning."

  • We hosted the Coalition of Psychology in Schools and Education and completed a needs assessment of K-12 teachers regarding what from the discipline of psychology would be useful in their professional development.

  • We hosted the inaugural Accreditation Assembly attended by over 150 participants with interests in accreditation of professional psychology education and training programs.

  • We offered 52 continuing-education (CE) workshops, 172 CE sessions and 3 preconvention workshops at APA's Annual Convention.

  • We managed the APA accreditation process of 889 programs in professional psychology, including 372 doctoral programs, 471 internship programs and 46 postdoctoral residency programs.

  • We supported the online course "Preparing to Teach a Psychology Course" offered by the University of New Hampshire as part of our Preparing Future Faculty program.

  • We continued to build APA's Online Psychology Laboratory (OPL) through funding by the National Science Foundation. OPL consists of interactive, Web-deliverable psychology experiments and demonstrations, a cumulative data archive and pedagogical materials for the psychology teaching community.

  • Our Adults and Children (ACT) Against Violence eight-week program for families, "Parents Raising Safe Kids," is implemented in 32 communities, including Latino communities, in 17 states.

  • We established a Task Force on Resiliency and Strengths in Black Children and Adolescents to identify factors that contribute to the healthy development of black children and adolescents in three contexts: families, schools and peer groups.

  • We established a Task Force on Evidence-based Practice with Children and Adolescents to review the literature and prepare a report on the current state of knowledge concerning evidence-based psychological practice with children and adolescents.

  • We oversee and provide functional support to the online Disability Mentoring Program.

  • We administered a $1.6 million the National Institute for General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) grant that involves 14 departments of psychology in a variety of activities related to preparing undergraduate ethnic-minority students for research careers in biomedical areas of psychology.

  • We continued to encourage early career faculty at minority-serving institutions to engage in health disparities research by providing small Promoting Psychological Research and Training on Health Disparities Issues at Ethnic-Minority Serving Institutions (ProDIGs) grants.

  • We developed and Web-published The Directory of Selected Scholarship, Fellowship, and Other Financial Aid Opportunities for Women and Ethic Minorities in Psychology and Related Fields-attracting roughly 100,000 hits per year on the Web site.

  • Our Minority Fellowship Program supported approximately 100 fellows across the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience last year.

  • We continue to be an active participant in the policy-making and judicial decision-making process through the filing of amicus curiae briefs in strategic legal cases.

  • We took the lead, as four major associations (APA, American Psychiatric Association, American Bar Association, National Alliance on Mental Illness) adopted policies on mental disability and the death penalty.

  • With the American Bar Association we have established an interdisciplinary steering committee with specialty working groups of psychologists and attorneys to address important issues pertaining to children, families, divorce, and.

  • In the six months since its release in July 2006, sales of the APA Dictionary of Psychology have surpassed that of any APA title, with the exception of the APA Publications Manual.

  • Through a new article-based workflow system, we have reduced the production timeline for APA journals from six months to eight weeks.

  • PsycARTICLES, in 2006, digitized all APA journals back to their very first issue. Now, PsycARTICLES, like PsycINFO, covers the entire period of time that psychology has existed as a separate discipline.

  • APA is an accredited nongovernmental organization (NGO) at the United Nations. A team of APA psychologists work at the New York U.N. headquarters to bring a perspective informed by psychological science and practice to U.N. deliberations, documents and programs.

Developed FAQs for psychologists wishing to learn, do research or practice across national borders.

  • We gave 40 ethics talks and workshops around the country; 18 of these were continuing-education programs for state psychological associations in 15 states.

  • We created a Web-based capacity for the Ethics Committee to offer ethics consultations on complex ethical dilemmas.

  • We launched regular Web exclusives on the gradPSYCH Web site, to give students timely news and information affecting their academic schedules and careers between quarterly gradPSYCH magazine issues.

Editor's note

DRN leads critical disaster-response efforts within United States

In his February column, APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD, wrote about recent efforts within the APA and psychology to help U.S. psychologists gain the skills and expertise necessary to successfully respond to large-scale disasters that take place internationally. Because this column focused on the skills psychologists need to respond to disasters outside of the United States, it did not mention the contributions that APA members make domestically through the APA Disaster Response Network (DRN).

Offering emotional support to victims of disasters within the United States is a priority for the association. Through the APA program, operated primarily in partnership with the American Red Cross, a national network of psychologists with specific training in disaster response stand ready to offer their assistance to relief workers, victims and victims' families whereever disasters occur. DRN members have lent assistance at every major disaster that has occurred over the last decade, including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Over 2,500 APA members are currently active in the DRN program.

Additionally, an APA Task Force on Multicultural Training has looked at the effects of natural disasters, particularly the aftermath of Katrina, through the prism of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. A primary report of the task force raised concerns about the ability of the nation's mental health services infrastructure to respond with culturally appropriate services. This is especially true when disasters strike communities where there are pre-existing problems of poverty and lack of resources and community services, the task force found. The DRN is working with the task force and its recommendations to ensure the availability of culturally appropriate services in the future.

Editor’s note

DRN leads critical disaster-response efforts within United States

In his February column, APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD, wrote about recent efforts within the APA and psychology to help U.S. psychologists gain the skills and expertise necessary to successfully respond to large-scale disasters that take place internationally. Because this column focused on the skills psychologists need to respond to disasters outside of the United States, it did not mention the contributions that APA members make domestically through the APA Disaster Response Network (DRN).

Offering emotional support to victims of disasters within the United States is a priority for the association. Through the APA program, operated primarily in partnership with the American Red Cross, a national network of psychologists with specific training in disaster response stand ready to offer their assistance to relief workers, victims and victims’ families whereever disasters occur. DRN members have lent assistance at every major disaster that has occurred over the last decade, including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Over 2,500 APA members are currently active in the DRN program.

Additionally, an APA Task Force on Multicultural Training has looked at the effects of natural disasters, particularly the aftermath of Katrina, through the prism of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. A primary report of the task force raised concerns about the ability of the nation’s mental health services infrastructure to respond with culturally appropriate services. This is especially true when disasters strike communities where there are pre-existing problems of poverty and lack of resources and community services, the task force found. The DRN is working with the task force and its recommendations to ensure the availability of culturally appropriate services in the future.