APA collaborates with other organizations

APA collaborations result in a stronger voice for psychology.

The Office on Aging recently collaborated with the Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA) in the development of an Older Americans Month Toolkit (PDF, 1.49MB) to help journalists and other stakeholders understand the importance of a well-trained and supported eldercare workforce during Older Americans Month. The toolkit is a one-stop access point to the resources of EWA members, including APA. Links to APA resources and stories of how psychologists make a difference in the lives of older adults are included. Two stories from APA Family Caregiver’s Briefcase are highlighted in the EWA Toolkit — those of Julia Kasl Godley, PhD, and her work with family caregivers of hospice and palliative care patients and Yvette Tazeau, PhD, and her work with long term care facilities to address the psychological needs of residents and their caregivers. EWA holds its meetings at APA. Office director Deborah DiGilio, MPH, is on its Coordinating Council and representatives of the APA Government Relations Office are on the Public Policy Committee.

APA is a member of the American Geriatrics Society convened Partnership for Health in Aging that developed the Multidisciplinary Competencies in the Care of Older Adults at the Completion of the Entry-level Health Professional Degree (see resources). The partnership is a coalition of organizations representing healthcare professions caring for older adults. Deborah DiGilio, MPH, and Catherine Grus, PhD, deputy executive director, APA Education Directorate, will be participating in the June meeting of the partnership at which potential next projects will be discussed. The meeting will be held at APA.

APA is very involved in the leadership and multiple “stakeholder centers” of the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC). PCPCC is dedicated to advancing an effective and efficient health system built on a strong foundation of primary care and the patient-centered medical home. Deborah DiGilio is a member of the cabinet with the Patients, Families and Consumers Stakeholder Center. 

The office also initiated APA involvement in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. The goal of this national initiative is to improve dementia care and reduce the unnecessary use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. An initial conference call was convened with interested psychologists, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and APA in February. It was determined that psychology involvement in this effort will continue under the auspices of the APA Div. 12-II (Clinical Geropsychology)/Psychologists in Long Term Care, Inc. Public Policy Committee. Margaret Norris, PhD, and Kelly O’Shea Carney, PhD, will serve as organizers, with continued input and participation by those on the initial call.