1987 IPA Presidency

By Ann R. Ernst

IPA had grown. An executive director was wanted. A grant from APA to hire one was approved.

The executive director’s position began with Phil Laughlin PhD as IPA's first!

All did not run smoothly. The roles of president and exec were never delineated.

In addition, Dubuque and Knoxville had many miles between them. sometimes there was a similar distance in the ideas of these two strong-willed individuals.

At that time, another existing situation was the wide variety of functions psychologists were filling throughout the state. As president, I tried to visit various groups of psychologists in different locations to determine their concerns. It was an informative voyage. I gained knowledge of the important roles filled by dedicated staff at places such as Broadlawns in Des Moines and the VA Hospital in Knoxville. My later interest in crisis intervention was fueled by an emergency meeting with psychologists in Davenport after a sudden decision to discharge several of them from the Vera French Mental Health Center.

Some efforts were unproductive. Meetings were held with officers of the School Psychology Association. Although the sessions were amicable, not much was accomplished.

One notable success was bringing the annual meeting to Dubuque. A committee, headed by Barbara Woodward, PhD, arranged several novel events including a tour of the W.C. Brown textbook publishing company. The conference was titled “Addictions in the 80s.”

During the year, I was working full time as a pediatric psychologist in a multi-specialty medical clinic. The demanding duties as president left no doubt IPA needed an executive director too.