Presidential Update December 2021

Dear IPA Members,

I hope you each are enjoying the last days of 2021 and hoping that 2022 is a safe and happy one for you, bringing you many blessings and much joy.

IPA President Valerie KeffalaIn preparing for my last Presidential Blog, I have spent some time thinking about the past year and looking forward to new adventures and initiatives in the new year. 

An historic event occurred for IPA this past year when we elected Dr. Nicole Holmberg as our 2022 President Elect, resulting in what will be the first all women Presidential Triad in the history of IPA! Looking forward, 2022 looks to be an amazing year with the continuation of many initiative started this past year, and many more new initiatives on board for next year!

In looking back, 2021 was a very busy year with lots of learning and growing within IPA. I estimate IPA held an average of 4.5 zoom meetings per week, including committee and leadership meetings, conferences and learning opportunities, legislative events, townhalls, and social hours. Over this past year, we have continued to adapt very well to the challenges COVID has presented. Using online platforms, we have increased our ability to interact with each other, presenting more opportunities for growth and involvement within IPA, increasing outreach to members and non-members across the state.  

We have had multiple opportunities for IPA sponsored trainings throughout the year on a wide variety of topics including trauma, pain, diversity, working with individuals from agricultural communities, CMS, psychopharmacology, ethics, and legal issues relating to practice. Next year we will add to our broad range of training opportunities by offering several trainings focusing on parenting and children. 

This was the inaugural year for our IPA Director of Professional Affairs (DPA) position. Dr. Bethe Lonning, our first DPA, has been a tremendous help to IPA members. Dr. Lonning, Dr. JoAnna Romero Cartaya, Dr. Paul Ascheman, Dr. Matt Cooper, and IPA lobbyist Amy Campbell,  comprise our Advocacy Team. They all have continued to help keep us informed of larger national and state issues that impact IPA, and continue to advocate for IPA at the state and national level. There have been many challenges and opportunities this past year they have helped IPA navigate. 

This was also the inaugural year for our first elected Diversity Liaison (DL). Dr. Joy Goins-Fernandez has done a fabulous job serving IPA in that role, first as our interim DL, and this year in her first year as our elected DL. She has brought increased awareness of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (DEISJ) issues as they impact IPA members and the people with whom we work. This past year training was offered on awareness of implicit bias to all members. As part of our inaugural initiative to hold yearly DEISJ this training was offered free to all members.  On January 14, 2022, training will be offered on clinical competencies in working with LGBTQ+ populations. All EC members are required to attend this training, which will be offered to them free of charge. All IPA members are strongly encouraged to attend this training. 

This year we finalized and began to implement our IPA’s Strategic Plan, under the excellent leadership of, Dr. Benjamin Tallman, the chair of the Strategic Plan committee and 2021 Past President. The Strategic Plan has helped IPA achieve more transparency and clarity for IPA leaders and members, guiding IPA as we work toward goals and initiatives that keep IPA growing healthy and strong. 

Speaking of growth, this year our member numbers increased by 41 members! We now have a total of 284 IPA members. Much of our success in increasing student membership this past year has been due to our new program sponsoring student members. Membership committee co-chairs Dr. Alissa Doobay and Dr. Nicole Keedy (our 2022 IPA President!) came up with the wonderful idea of having IPA members volunteer to cover the cost of a year-long membership for a student ($50), and our new mentoring program, matching current full members with student members. If you are interested in sponsoring or mentoring a student member please reach out to Dr. Doobay or Dr. Keedy.

Like you, I could continue to name the many successes IPA has experienced this past year! It has been such a full and amazing year!!

As the year comes to a close, I look back on my year as IPA President with gratitude. My path was made much easier by the support provided by so many of you. In particular, I simply can’t express how much the support of my fellow Presidential Triad members has meant to me.  

I am so thankful for Dr. Benjamin Tallman, our Past President. He provided much needed guidance in times of doubt. His many years of experience were invaluable to me as I tried to follow in his footsteps. His long history within the leadership of IPA is taking a hiatus next year, but all he has done over his past 10 years in leadership will have a positive impact on IPA for many years to come. 

I am also so thankful to Dr. Warren Phillips and Dr. Nicole Keedy, whose wisdom guided me as I attempted to navigate in my leadership roles over the past 2 years. Their perspectives and insights were always so helpful. 

I am grateful to Ms. Suzanne Hull, our ever constant and unshakeable Executive Director, who kindly and expertly helped me find my way through the many administrative duties entailed my Presidential role. 

Many thanks, as well, to the Executive Council members who helped provide guidance during our EC meetings, particularly in navigating Robert’s Rules!! This small group of committed leaders are the movers and shakers of IPA. Executive Council members vote on initiatives, pass IPA bylaws and procedure manual changes, and work hard to support and represent IPA members. Members of the Executive Council reach out in a variety of ways to connect with APA and with the 59 other State, Provincial, or Territorial Associations (SPTAs) of APA; both to represent IPA and to explore ways IPA can grow. The Executive Council is comprised of an amazing group of people serving IPA. I humbled to have been chosen to lead this group as our President over the past year. 

Last, but not least, I extend my gratitude to all of the members of IPA. Without you we could not exist. It is your dedication and commitment to psychology that makes this all possible. 

I look forward to continuing my role in leadership next year, as Past President. Dr. Tallman and Dr. Phillips have been amazing mentors to me as I have watched them lean into this role!

A hearty congratulations to Dr. Nicole Keedy, who will do an amazing job as IPA President, and a warm welcome to Dr. Nicole Holmberg, who is going to be a fabulous President Elect! I look forward to working together with them in the 2022 Presidential Triad, along with all of the other IPA leadership and members! 

A heartfelt wish to you all for a happy and healthy New Year! 


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