Congresswoman Pelosi receives SLC Outstanding Leadership Award

House Democratic Leader honored for her advocacy

by Communications Staff

March 31, 2011—On the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was honored at the 2011 State Leadership Conference (SLC) in Washington, D.C., with the APA Outstanding Leadership Award. A long-time advocate for mental health and addiction parity, Pelosi received the award for her support of and commitment to psychology.

From left, APA President Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD; APA Executive Director for Professional Practice, Katherine C. Nordal, PhD; House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiAPA Executive Director for Professional Practice, Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, introduced the award winner, telling the audience that Pelosi had “made clear [to Congress] that discrimination against people with mental disorders was a civil rights issue and that parity legislation must pass.”

Calling the Affordable Care Act  “our signature accomplishment,” Pelosi told the audience that advocacy by the APA Practice Organization and grassroots psychologists “was essential to ensure: expanded protections of mental health parity for a much larger group of Americans; the inclusion of mental health and substance abuse services as essential benefits in the health insurance exchanges; and a focus on improvements in quality of care, including the coordination of care that helps ensure health needs, including mental health needs, don’t fall through the cracks.”

Pelosi urged psychology leaders to stand strong in defense of the Affordable Care Act, and to advocate for the protection of Medicare reimbursement and payments.

She concluded her remarks with recognition of psychologists for their work, saying, “It is you who provide the quality, and compassionate, mental health care – person-to-person, bringing people to health… thank you for creating a healthier America!”

Read the full transcript of  Rep. Pelosi’s address.

See the complete list of 2011 SLC award winners