State Leadership Conference 2014 Overview

For the past two years, our focus at State Leadership Conference has been on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and state implementation of health care reform. This year we feel it is important to continue this work but to shine a different light on the process. In addition to addressing the specifics of ACA, we want to focus on our practicing psychologists and have identified "Creating Roadmaps for Practice" as the theme for SLC 2014.

Each of the many roles for psychologists requires different skill sets and advocacy strategies to minimize obstacles and promote access to psychological services. The broad building blocks of legislative efforts, legal and regulatory battles, the public education campaign and marketplace initiatives have provided the roadmap for our overarching advocacy strategy for nearly two decades. At SLC 2014 we will work to refine these efforts to address the models of practice that will sustain and invigorate our profession over the next 20 years.

Opening Session

We are pleased to welcome David H. Barlow, PhD as our opening session keynote speaker. Barlow is founder and director emeritus of the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders and professor of psychology and psychiatry at Boston University. He has published more than 500 articles and chapters and more than 60 books and clinical manuals, mostly in the areas of anxiety and related emotional disorders, sexual problems and clinical research methodology. His work has often focused on the value and vitality of the scientist-practitioner model for professional psychology, and he is deeply committed to promoting the role of psychologists in the era of health care reform. He has mentored generations of psychologists who have assumed important roles in virtually every aspect of clinical psychology practice, including clinical research, supervision and traditional and innovative practice models. Barlow will bring his extensive background in training psychologists to the critical discussion of future models for the practice of psychology. He will join APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Katherine C. Nordal, PhD in what is certain to be an informative and thought-provoking start to the conference.

Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards

The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program is a public education initiative designed to engage the employer community, raise public awareness about the value psychology brings to the workplace and promote programs and policies that enhance employee well-being and organizational performance. The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Awards highlight one of the many areas in which the power of advocacy stems from psychology’s involvement in larger systems that are integral to the lives of most people. The keynote address at the ninth annual awards will be delivered by Teresa Amabile, PhD, a professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of “The Progress Principle.” Amabile will discuss how everyday life inside organizations can affect employee engagement and creative productivity. Master of ceremonies David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, assistant executive director for organizational excellence at APA, assures a program that is as entertaining as it is educational. The awards ceremony will be followed by a reception for attendees and award winners.

Conference Programming

This year’s SLC featured presentation will describe several alternative practice models that could be viable options for psychologists in private practice adapting to health care reform. An expert from a national law firm who specializes in practice models will provide legal and regulatory insight on this topic, and psychologists developing innovative practices will describe their own business models, the challenges of making them work and the issues that state leaders will face when promoting such innovation in their states.

Focus on the Political Landscape

The Sunday morning plenary session focuses on the political landscape and highlights why advocacy is important to psychology. On Sunday evening, the APA Practice Organization’s political action committee (APAPO-PAC) will hold the SLC reception and black tie fundraising dinner. The guest of honor will be Sen. Mike Enzi from Wyoming.

Association Management

Strong advocacy requires strong associations. Each year at SLC the Council of Executives of State, Provincial and Territorial Psychological Association (CESPPA) works with APAPO to bring cutting edge programming on association management issues to SPTA leadership. This year the CESPPA plenary session will feature William Pawlucy, CAE, MPA, MBNQA, the founder and president of Association Options, a global management consulting firm which helps nonprofit associations in strategic planning, board development, management assessments and searches and special long-term projects. Pawlucy will be the keynote speaker at the CESPPA plenary session which will focus on guiding principles for building effective volunteer and staff relationships within an organization. He will also run a breakout session following the plenary that will cover moving from strategic planning to action planning including board participation and accountability in carrying out the organization’s goals and objectives. CESPPA is also sponsoring a workshop in conjunction with APA Practice’s Public Relations staff on the value to SPTAs of building partnerships with organizations in the community.  

Dialogue Opportunities

The plenary session with the APA president and CEO is a must-attend session. This hour gives participants access to critical information about the direction of the field, and also provides an opportunity to ask these two national leaders specific questions. The Sunday and Monday morning briefings with Katherine C. Nordal, PhD provide SPTA presidents and presidents-elect dedicated time to interact with the APA/APAPO executive director for professional practice. Formal and informal networking opportunities are also scheduled throughout the conference.

SLC Banquet

The SLC banquet, a favorite of many SLC veterans, will again welcome and honor the Outstanding Leadership Award recipient. This event always offers a motivational send-off to congressional visits on Tuesday. 

Visits to Capitol Hill

Visits to Congress on Tuesday are an annual culmination of SLC programming and your trip to Washington, D.C. The time on the Hill is a vivid reminder that we must take active leadership roles in the advocacy efforts that will protect and strengthen the profession of psychology. The mandatory Hill issue briefing sessions on Sunday afternoon will prepare participants for this exciting experience. In addition to the issue briefings, participants will attend role plays, group planning meetings and a last minute Q&A session Monday evening, before heading to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning. This year, the APAPO Government Relations office will also be providing a Capitol Hill 101 issue briefing for first time SLC and Hill visit participants.  

We have designed SLC around a variety of program formats — large and small group sessions, workshops and networking sessions — to maximize the practical information you will take back home. For this reason, we encourage each delegation to send one representative to each of the concurrent sessions wherever possible, so that information can be pooled and shared afterward. 

As always, SLC will be a busy time, so if you would like time to sightsee, we recommend coming in early or staying on in Washington after the conference concludes. Please feel free to contact Dan Abrahamson or Susan Lazaroff at (800) 374-2723 or (202) 336-5864 with any questions.