hundreds of GPA colleagues spent countless hours responding to
action alerts from the APA Practice Organization, meeting with
legislators and calling legislative staff to help make it happen.
But as a good advocate, she knows her work isn’t over yet.
“Now, the task is to make sure it is successfully implemented,”
Spreading the wealth
These days, Kelly’s many talents are coming together
in a project close to her heart, the Diversity Leadership
Development Workshop. She launched the event in 2009 when
she kept noticing that ethnic-minority psychologists attending
APA’s State Leadership Conference weren’t becoming involved
as leaders in their state, provincial and territorial associations.
Held every two years, the program provides full stipends for
ethnic-minority psychologists to attend a daylong workshop
where they learn from experts about leadership skills, styles
and development. “These are colleagues who are highly
accomplished in their own careers, but becoming leaders in
their associations was intimidating to them,” she says. Many
also said they didn’t get enough support from their association
leaders to try for these positions, she adds.
Kelly deliberately chose the APA board room as the setting:
It is lined with portraits of past APA presidents, including
several women, three ethnic-minority men and immediate
Past-president Melba J. T. Vasquez, PhD, who is Latina. “It sends
the message, ‘You can be a part of this,’” Kelly says.
So far, the program has graduated 16 participants, and
the next round, to take place in 2013, will probably take 12
participants (details will appear on relevant APA listservs).
It’s telling that her leadership skills — the very skills the
workshop aims to instill — were what helped her lobby
successfully for funding, she says.
“I want other ethnic-minority psychologists, and for that
matter, any psychologists who might be afraid to pursue
leadership roles, to develop those same skills, “ she says. “The
more effective leaders we have, the more we can move the
psychology agenda forward, whether in our states, APA or
the world. Ultimately, that will benefit our profession and the
people who need our services.” n Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP) • An examination designed for use by psychology licensing authorities to implement laws permitting the prescribing of psychotropic medications by qualified psychologists • Secure and confidential banking of PEP scores for qualified graduates of post- doctoral psychopharmacology educational programs • Psychopharmacology training programs may use the PEP to fulfill exit requirements APA PRACTICE ORGANIZATION COLLEGE OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
that when Jennifer is transporting a legislator to an event,
she locks the doors of her car, drives fast and makes them say
they’ll back our legislation before she lets them out,” laughs
Among the many topics Kelly has championed, probably
the greatest success has been the passage of the federal Mental
Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act in 2008, which closes
several loopholes in 1996 parity legislation and requires
insurance companies to cover mental health services at the
same level as medical services. “It means that more people who
need care will be able to get it,” says Kelly, adding that she and
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Tori DeAngelis a writer in Syracuse, N. Y.
Phone: (202) 336-6100 • Fax: (202) 336-5797
OCTOBER 2012 • MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY