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