From the President

Though my presidency began in January, it has been recent tradition to have the President first address members in the spring. This year, with the advent of the Blog, rather than the publication of The Iowa Psychologist (TIP), we are beginning a new tradition. In this inaugural Presidential blog, I first want to acknowledge all of the amazing individuals who have served as President who have come before me, and who continue to serve IPA with diligence and passion. I am honored to serve as IPA President this year, and am committed to following the well-established tradition of doing my best to serve you well.

This year has already been extremely active and full of other “firsts” for IPA:

  • Our first Director of Professional Affairs, Dr. Elizabeth Lonning
  • Our first Diversity Liaison, Dr. Joyce Goins-Fernandez
  • Implicit Bias Training for Providers, by Dr. Talee Vang, offered free to all IPA members
  • A collaborative effort between our Website and Membership committees resulting in offering IPA members 4 free CEs for online IPA sponsored training on an annual basis
  • Launched a program offering financial sponsorship and mentorship for graduate student members
  • Development of a CE tracker where IPA members can easily keep track of their accumulated CEs
  • Ability for all IPA Executive Council (EC) members to attend (due to an online conference format), without charge, a 5-day Practice Leadership Conference (PLC), where we were able to learn and share ideas with other State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Associations (SPTAs).

Ongoing efforts in IPA have included, but not limited to, preparation for and sessions with each of our Federal and State Legislative Representatives, resulting in additional opportunities to advocate for psychologists in Iowa; excellent training in Psychotherapy in Times of COVID from IPA member Dr. Carlos Canales; and continued innovative work by all of our committees, including podcasts from the Public Education Committee, online access to a number of trainings from our Website Committee, a variety of Diversity Spotlights by the Diversity and Social Justice Committee, and ongoing Facebook and Blog news.

It has been a busy three months, and the events keep coming!

Spring conference will be held over 4-half days in April (9-10, 23-24) during which IPA hosting the Praxis live online training Introduction to ACT in Trauma Work with Dr. Robyn Walser. This training will focus on skills training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy applied to client populations who have experienced trauma. This training is powerfully timely, given the variety of traumatic incidents affecting those with whom we work, including the traumatic events experienced in the past year related to racial unrest, political unrest, and the impact of COVID. In addition to having the opportunity to learn from one of the most respected leaders in the field, IPA will share the profits with Praxis from ALL those who attend this training, from anywhere across the world.

We will hold our annual IPA Awards ceremony on April 10, at noon, directly after the conference, to honor those Executive Council (EC) members who have rotated off of EC over the past year, and awards for service and excellence by those in the community and IPA members nominated by our peers.

On April 24th, at noon, directly after the close of our spring conference, we will hold the IPA annual business meeting.

On June 18th, we will hold the biennial Trust Risk Management Workshop Risk Management and Vulnerabilities: Yours, Mine, and Ours, during which 6 ethics CEs will be offered.

We have a number of trainings and conferences in the planning stage, including two conferences that will be given by IPA members: one conference on providing psychological support to rural populations, and a second conference on the relationship between Medicare, Medicaid, and private payer policy and how these impact reimbursement rates and telehealth.

In addition to trainings, we have been busy working on the updated and revising documents related to how IPA works as an organization. Under the guidance of Dr. Benjamin Tallman, we have implemented the 2021-2023 Strategic Plan, introducing a new model for committees, allowing this to be a living document. We have also begun revising and updating the Planning and Procedures Manual to make it accurately reflect how IPA runs. 

In looking back, even though we have experienced significant challenges over the past 12 months, both individually and as a community, we have come together to support each other during these difficult times. IPA continues to meet these challenges and is thriving. Membership is healthy and growing.  We are only just 3 months into 2021 and IPA is thriving. It has been a busy year so far, with so many opportunities to get involved. I am thankful to be serving in leadership during this time and, with you, look forward to continuing to help IPA remain healthy and strong.

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