Monitor on Psychology - October 2011 - (Page 74)
of Congress that these programs are fiscally prudent and vital to serving the needs of underserved populations.” APA’s Education Government Relations Office was instrumental in GPE’s creation and subsequent authorization in Congress. GPE supports trainees’ work with fellow health-care professionals on integrated teams in providing integrated services to older adults, children, those with chronic illnesses, and victims of abuse and trauma. The program, which extends grants to 20 accredited doctoral psychology training programs, universities and hospitals, is currently funded at $3 Making the case for psychology training: Dr. Rachel Casas, Dr. Cindy Miller-Perrin, million. Charisse Corsbie-Massay, Matt Connelly of Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) office, Dr. Donna Lane and Dr. Ken Lane after their meeting with Rep. Waxman’s office. MFP provides 25 psychology doctoral and postdoctoral fellows with a bilingual interviewer, he said. with financial support, mentorship and training in delivering As one of seven students who received a scholarship through services and conducting research with ethnic-minority the APA Public Interest Caucus to attend PsycAdvocate Day, populations. The program is funded at $3.7 million. Martinez said he appreciated the opportunity to participate But like many discretionary programs, funding for the in the workshop and corresponding visits with policymakers. GPE and MFP programs is under increased risk of budget cuts “I never thought about going to the Senate or contacting my due to the federal debt crisis. Just two days before the event, representative because I didn’t think they would listen, or care,” Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed into Martinez said. “But they did. I’m glad APA offers this unique law legislation aimed at temporarily resolving the debate over type of training.” raising the nation’s debt ceiling and calling for $917 billion in PsycAdvocate Day, which is similar to other advocacy cuts over the next 10 years. training APA offers, proved particularly productive for The coming cuts to federal discretionary spending — which psychology this year. In total, during a four-hour span on fund both the GPE program and the MFP — led many staffers Capitol Hill, PsycAdvocate participants from 25 states met with to express only cautious support for the programs’ futures, said 109 U.S. Senate and House of Representatives offices. PsycAdvocate Day participant Carola Suárez-Orozco, PhD, “These results speak for themselves,” said Gwendolyn P. a professor of applied psychology at New York University’s Keita, PhD, executive director of the Public Interest Directorate. Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human “Our association could not have asked for a better turnout and Development and co-director of immigration studies at New a more dedicated group of individuals to take our message York University. forward to Congress in order to protect these important “Our constituent meetings were helpful in putting GPE and programs. The training of our membership is an important MFP on the radar screen of the legislative staffers,” said Suárezcomponent in building a strong grassroots network that can Orozco. “Once they learned about these programs they were make a positive impact in shaping public policy as it relates to inclined to support them. Their hearts were in them … but they psychology.” made it clear that in this climate they were going to have to fight Cynthia D. Belar, PhD, executive director of APA’s Education for any kind of funding.” Directorate agreed. “The success of the workshop is truly William Martinez, a clinical child psychology doctoral indicative of the level of commitment our membership has to student from DePaul University in Chicago, used his visits ensuring that there are future opportunities for psychology with legislators to share his firsthand account of how the MFP trainees to make a difference in their communities,” she said. n is boosting his community and his own professional growth. Martinez, an MFP fellow, through the support the MFP For a slide show of photos from PsycAdvocate program affords him, is delivering bilingual assessments to Day, click here. Latino youth eligible for Medicaid in the Chicago area, some of whom are facing long wait times for assessments conducted
74 MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY • OCTOBER 2011
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