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Membership Update July 2023

The IPA Membership Committee comprises a group of committed and creative members whose efforts center around three driving goals of recruitment, retention, and connection. This blog post serves to provide a summary of recent membership trends and much-appreciated efforts by the Membership Committee to maintain a trend of growth. Current committee members include:

Ashley Banta                      IPA Student Representative-Elect
Angelica Castro Bueno      Student Liaison from Diversity and Social Justice Committee
Alissa Doobay, PhD           Co-Chair
Eric Field                            IPA Student Representative
Suzanne Hull                     IPA Executive Director
Nicole Keedy, PhD            Co-Chair
Jenna Paternostro, PhD    Liaison to Early Career Psychologists Committee
David VanHorn, PhD         Newly Welcomed Committee Member

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Renew Your IPA Membership



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Letters from the Membership Committee

The following letter was sent to in-state and out-of-state licensees who have been licensed since September 1, 2021. We're publishing here to remind everyone of the great benefits included in your membership. Also, you can share this blog post with anyone you know who you think should consider membership in IPA! A huge thank you to the Membership Committee (co-chaired by Dr. Nicole Keedy and Dr. Alissa Doobay) with a special thank you to Dr. Jody Jones for constructing and updating our recruitment letters to keep IPA thriving. 

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Membership Update 2022

As Co-Chairs of the Membership Committee, we were recently forwarded correspondence by Dr. Bethe Lonning, IPA’s Director of Professional Affairs, that she received from Dr. Lawrence Perlman, Member at Large for APA’s Division 31 (Division for State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs). Dr. Perlman requested updated information regarding IPA’s membership numbers. In the message, Dr. Perlman stated that his research of state associations found Iowa to have notably high success for recruiting and retaining members with a budget of our size, which he labeled a “remarkable achievement.” He intended to highlight IPA’s accomplishments in a Division 31 presentation at APA’s annual convention.  Dr. Doobay provided the following totals for each membership type to Dr. Perlman, as of August 1, 2022: 

Full Member: 147
Academic:     9
Advocacy-Exempt:     9
Early Career Psychologist:   18
Student Member:   39
Lifetime/retired:   44
Out-of-State:   10
Associate:     6
Total IPA Members: 282

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IPA Service: Get a Great Return on Your Investment

The Membership Committee strives to increase member participation in activities that promote the IPA mission and Strategic Plan. A primary Membership Committee objective is to assist IPA’s standing committees in reaching their desired capacities. Over the past year, our Finance, Psychopharmacology, and Diversity and Social Justice committees have benefitted from the participation of some of the newest IPA members, including student members. This effort has been greatly appreciated. Meanwhile, the majority of IPA committees continue to seek members.

The success of IPA requires each of us to consider how we can best contribute to the association. Prior to serving initially as Co-Chair of the Membership Committee and now, additionally, as President-Elect of IPA, I recall declining repeated requests to increase participation in the association, explaining that my time was too limited. Upon reflection, however, I recognized that IPA only functions as an association due to the volunteerism of a number of dedicated members who ensure that we are able to successfully organize and advocate for the profession of psychology and the well-being of the Iowans we serve.

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The Value of IPA Membership

January is often a time of reflection, prioritization, and rededication to what brings the most value and meaning to our lives. We all have finite time, energy, and resources, and we know the importance of being intentional about how we expend those. Throughout the year, it is easy to get caught up in a multitude of tasks, engagements, and responsibilities, some of which may drain rather than replenish us. This January, I am recommitting to tasks, activities, organizations, and relationships that match my personal values and bring joy and meaning to my life, and I invite you to do the same. 

Being a member of IPA and serving in a leadership role in this organization are excellent ways to develop community, gain leadership and advocacy experience, serve others, and advance the psychological wellbeing of the people of Iowa. I will acknowledge that, although I have been a member of IPA for more than 15 years, it was not until I joined leadership that I really began developing relationships with other IPA members. By serving as co-chair of the Membership Committee, I have had the pleasure of getting to know so many of our fabulous members who are doing amazing work throughout the state. I am so grateful for that opportunity!

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What does IPA do for you?

The Iowa Psychological Association (IPA) has been working diligently on your behalf to promote and advocate for the science and practice of psychology in Iowa. In the past year we’ve made significant progress toward many of our key initiatives and we continue to work tirelessly for all licensed psychologists in our state. In this letter we will provide some updates regarding IPA’s recent advocacy work and victories, recognize IPA psychologist leaders, provide updates regarding strategic plan initiatives, and highlight upcoming continuing education opportunities.  

IPA’s advocacy efforts have been in overdrive the past 18 months. IPA’s Advocacy Team includes the State Advocacy Coordinator (Paul Ascheman, PhD), Federal Advocacy Coordinator (JoAnna Romero Cartaya, PhD), IPA Training Director (Matt Cooper, PsyD), and IPA Lobbyist (Amy Campbell). The newest member of the IPA Advocacy Team is Dr. Bethe Lonning, IPA’s Director of Professional Affairs (DPA). Dr. Lonning has done an excellent job in her unique role which includes advocating for the needs of psychologists regarding the professional practice of psychology and serving as a liaison between IPA and professional associations, governmental agencies, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), private insurance agencies, and other institutions. Dr. Lonning has been a trailblazer during her inaugural year as DPA. She has served as an invaluable resource for many Iowa psychologists regarding issues related to insurance reimbursement, CPT codes, payer credentialing, and Medicare and telehealth guidelines. IPA is also grateful for the support of the Iowa Psychological Foundation who provided a generous grant to help fund the DPA position and Dr. Lonning’s work.  

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Spotlight on Graduate Students

Since the restarting of the School Psychology graduate program at University of Iowa in Fall 2020, a portion of the first cohort got involved with IPA. Our first spotlight on graduate student members includes Vanessa Chahin, Eric Field, and Gennifer Humphreys, who are all entering their second year in the new program.

What made you want to join IPA?

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From the Membership Committee

I could not be more pleased as I review the membership trends that Dr. Alissa Doobay, Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, diligently updated this year to allow continued tracking of the committee’s outcomes. Two trends immediately captured my attention. First, we experienced the greatest one-year increase in the total number of members, primarily driven by the largest one-year increase in full members with advocacy since we began tracking in 2000. Second, we experienced an increase in student members that returned us to our 2019 number, after a significant drop in student membership from 2019 to 2020 that appeared to be associated with the unfortunate cancellation of the 2020 spring conference. Additionally, we celebrated robust retention across all membership categories this year.

The Membership Committee has implemented a number of tactics in line with the committee’s overarching Strategic Plan goals of Connection, Recruitment, and Retention that have assisted in promoting the notable increases in membership numbers. Additionally, a number of initiatives from IPA’s Executive Council and our fabulous committees have been instrumental in promoting connection, recruitment, and retention.

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Benefits of the IPA Student Mentorship Program

The IPA Membership Committee launched the Student Mentorship program in the Fall of 2020. The primary goal of this program is to increase student engagement in IPA early in their doctoral training by building relationships between current members and doctoral students in psychology training programs. An additional goal for this program is to promote professional endeavors of students and interns within the state of Iowa through their increased engagement. All student members of IPA are provided with the opportunity to be connected with a mentor. At present, IPA has 30 student members, and 35 IPA members have volunteered to serve as mentors.

Over the past month, mentors and mentees participating in this program were invited to share about their experiences, both to highlight the benefits, as well as to identify aspects of the program that may need some reworking. Thank you to those of you who responded!

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