Presidential Update December 2022

headshot of Dr. Nicole KeedyThe end of 2022, and an incredibly rewarding year as IPA President, offers a sense of fulfillment, reflection, and great optimism regarding 2023. The Spring Presidential Update listed leaders and committee members in IPA who have continued to serve diligently throughout this year, to accomplish the Strategic Plan goals outlined in the Summer Update. Our leaders have dedicated time, thought, and energy into updating their Strategic Plan goals, objectives, and tactics for 2023, encompassing ambitious and meaningful aims for the approaching year. We are all fortunate to benefit from the time and talents of many IPA members whose passion and loyalty provide an astounding degree of accomplishment for a small state association. I have been honored, humbled, and gratified to serve IPA with this inspiring group of psychologists and professionals.


Highlights of 2022

For the December meeting of IPA’s Executive Council, each committee was asked to provide an annual review of their accomplishments in line with their 2022 Strategic Plan Worksheets. Reviewing these year-end reports provided a sense of overwhelming appreciation for the breadth of achievements across the association. While an exhaustive list of efforts would fill many pages, this summary offers a glimpse of IPA’s valuable activities over the course of this year. It has been a great pleasure to serve in the Presidential Triad with Dr. Nicole Holmberg and Dr. Valerie Keffala, offering an inside glimpse of the many efforts of IPA committees and Executive Council members.

Over the course of this year, the Program Planning Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Nicole Holmberg, Dr. Valerie Keffala, and myself collaborated with the IPA Executive Director, Ms. Suzanne Hull, to host two amazing conferences regarding Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions with Dr. Eli Lebowitz and Compassion-Focused Therapy with Dr. Russell Kolts. Returning to in-person conferences was exciting and uplifting after two years in which we were unable to comfortably gather. Additionally, IPA hosted nine virtual training events, contributing to a total of 36.5 CEUs available to members through IPA this year.

The Finance Committee, chaired by the IPA Treasurer, Dr. Sarah Fetter, has diligently worked to maintain the financial stability of the association. In addition to offering the opportunity for committees to obtain extra funding for special projects this year, IPA was able to completely restore the balance of its investment account. Additionally, the Finance Committee’s thoughtful oversight of the budget has allowed the Program Planning Committee to bring widely renowned speakers to Iowa.

The Disaster Response Committee, chaired by Dr. Ashley Freeman, has created key partnerships with local and national organizations regarding disaster training and resources. They disseminated information regarding available training in Psychological First Aid and resources for members to utilize and share after the tornado struck central Iowa on March 5 and following mass shootings in Uvalde, TX on May 24 and Cornerstone Church in Ames, IA on June 2. Additionally, this committee has developed a comprehensive Disaster Resources List available on the IPA website:

The Diversity and Social Justice Committee, under leadership of Dr. Joyce Goins Fernandez and Dr. Nicole Holmberg (who are seeking replacement (co)chairs for 2023), arranged three of the CE events focusing on disability as an area of diversity. They posted 15 Diversity Spotlights to the E-list and hosted 4 virtual book/video discussions to foster connection and reflection regarding issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Additionally, they addressed member questions with the launch of their “Ask the DSJ!” email service and they initiated the role of a liaison to the Advocacy Team to promote EDI consideration in IPA’s advocacy efforts.

The Membership Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Alissa Doobay and myself, demonstrated successful results with their Strategic Plan efforts, meeting their goal of a 2% increase in new full members from May 2021 to May 2022 as well as far surpassing the same goal for student members. Following the implementation of the student sponsorship and mentorship programs and active efforts to recruit students, IPA now has an astonishing total of 49 student members.  These students have been actively engaged in committees and leadership, providing foundational vitality to the organization.

The Psychopharmacology Committee, chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Lonning, has continued strong efforts to promote the ability for Iowa psychologists to serve the state as prescribing providers. With the active support of this committee, three Iowa psychologists attained the status of Conditional Prescribing Psychologist in 2022 (bringing the state's total to 4). This committee has also provided information to students, the New Jersey Psychological Association, and IPA members regarding Iowa’s legislative process and becoming a prescribing psychologist. They have provide multiple resources for the public and for IPA members on the website:

The Director of Professional Affairs (DPA), Dr. Elizabeth Lonning, has made outstanding strides in connecting with insurance companies and a group of APA DPAs to facilitate advocacy and communication to assist our members in navigating various professional concerns that have arisen this year. Members have expressed immense gratitude for the direct benefit to their practices of Dr. Lonning’s expert assistance.

The Advocacy Team has communicated regarding effective ways to provide science-based information to legislators regarding social justice priorities that may affect Iowans, such as health equity. Our Federal Advocacy Coordinator, Dr. JoAnna Romero Cartaya, has facilitated advocacy efforts to promote reimbursement of trainees via Medicare, continued telehealth reimbursement, and appropriation of educational grants for psychology trainees. Our State Advocacy Coordinator, Dr. Paul Aschemann (seeking a replacement for 2023) successfully facilitated advocacy for provisional licensure of psychology interns in Iowa and rejection of a bill that would have required psychologists to provide testing materials and data to attorneys.

Our APA Representative, Dr. Sally Oakes Edman, successfully assisted in seeking a replacement for 2023 to represent IPA within APA’s Council of Representatives, Dr. Paul Aschemann. Dr. Oakes Edman has served as a voting member of IPA’s Executive Council for 16 years and her role as the APA Representative has provided valuable communication between IPA members and the APA Council of Representatives.

In addition to the above efforts, the Public Education Committee, under leadership of Dr. Valerie Keffala and Dr. Warren Phillips, initiated a revival of this committee’s efforts with outreach and support to Ukrainian refugees. The WEB Committee, co-chaired by Dr. Katie Kopp and Ms. Suzanne Hull, increased accessibility of the IPA website. The Ethics Committee, chaired by Dr. Marla Shapiro (currently seeking a new chair) assisted in the updating of a job description for the Policies and Procedures (P&P) manual and offered suggestions regarding ethical and EDI considerations to the Program Planning Committee, with hopes of increasing participation on this committee in the upcoming year. The P&P Workgroup (consisting of Dr. Alissa Doobay, Dr. Nicole Holmberg, Dr. Valerie Keffala, and myself) communicated with multiple IPA leaders, sent countless emails, and met for two day-long retreats during which they revised and updated 14 job descriptions for the P&P Manual that were approved by Executive Council in 2022. The IPA training director, Dr. Matthew Cooper, has worked to promote ongoing training via six post-doctoral sites in Iowa and he continues conversations to increase both internship and post-doctoral training opportunities in the state. The IPA Diversity Liaison, Dr. Joyce Goins-Fernandez, continues to advocate for EDI considerations on Executive Council and she organized two informative and engaging CE trainings for IPA members in 2022. Additionally, our IPA Representatives Dr. Scott Young and Dr. Katie Kopp, as well as the IPA Student Representative, Eric Field, have actively engaged in Executive Council meetings to represent our broad membership with concerns and requests that help IPA leadership serve our members thoughtfully and effectively.

Anticipated Highlights of 2023

As we anticipate another year of IPA activities, it is important to thank each and every IPA member that supports the efforts of the association through social connection, offering valuable information, providing tireless time and energy toward IPA’s Strategic Plan, and, of course, paying membership dues to support IPA’s many efforts. I am excited to transition to the skilled leadership of our incoming IPA President, Dr. Nicole Holmberg and President Elect, Dr. Mark Poeppe. A few highlights to which we may look forward for 2023 include a number of exciting training events as well as an ambitious legislative agenda. Of note, the IPA Representatives have collaborated with Executive Council, the Presidential Triad, and the Executive Director to develop a procedure to increase awareness and engagement of IPA’s membership in the activities of Executive Council, with more information coming soon.

The Program Planning Committee, in collaboration with multiple committees and leaders, is excited for the following training events for which registration is open, in addition to multiple training ideas in the planning phase for 2023.

  • Webinar: “The Mind, Lives, and Motivations of Mass Attackers” presented by Dr. Peter Langman on 1/27/2023 from 1-4pm, hosted in collaboration with the Council of Executives of State and Provincial Psychological Associations.

  • “How Training Psychologists in Clinical Psychopharmacology Can Improve Patient Care Across Iowa” by Dr. Judi Steinman, hosted virtually on 3/22/2023 from 12 – 1:30pm.

  • IPA Spring Conference: Taking Care of Us, including “The Neuroscience of Mindfulness-Based Meditation: A Day of Practice and Science” by Dr. Fadel Ziedan on 4/28/23 from 9am – 5pm and Values, Burnout, and Finding Work-Life Integrity by Dr. Jenna LeJeune on 4/29/23 from 9am – 5:15 at Honey Creek Resort in Moravia, Iowa.

  • Online 2023 Trust Workshop: “Sequence X: Perplexing Problems in Psychological Practice: Decision Science, Ethics & Risk Management” by Dr. Daniel O. Taube on  6/9/23 from 8:30-12:00pm.

  • Multiple psychopharmacology topics offered via a collaborative training arrangement with New Mexico State University.

The Executive Council approved a 2023 Iowa State Advocacy Agenda including multiple issues relating to the practice of psychology:

  • Adjusting laws for prescribing psychologists to reduce barriers to obtaining prescription privileges

  • Doubling funding for psychology interns

  • Requiring self-insured plans to self-identify

  • Protecting use of the title “psychologist”

  • Advancing past improvements to the system, such as expanding telehealth, to facilitate efforts to provide much-needed psychological services to Iowans

Members are also encouraged to consider joining the Iowa Capitol Legislative Breakfast hosted by the Advocacy Team on March 21, with more information to follow.

Student members will soon engage in an updated process for electing a Student Division Representative-Elect, which intends to facilitate a smooth transition between successive Student Representatives participating on Executive Council. 

The Strategic Plan Committee, which will be co-chaired by Dr. Mark Poeppe and myself, is preparing to review annual reports and updated Strategic Plan Worksheets in the upcoming month. The committee has scheduled a day-long retreat in February to compile feedback and suggestions for each committee and to create a report that will be provided to membership at the Business Meeting scheduled to take place on April 1, 2023 from 8:15-9:00am via Zoom. We anticipate another highly productive and engaging year of efforts to serve and support our membership and the Iowans we all strive to serve. Thank you all for a fantastic year and cheers to a Happy New Year for IPA!


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