From the CEO

As the end of 2011 approaches, I'd like to reflect on some of the significant ways that APA has moved to make the association even better. This year, we've focused on several initiatives that promote and facilitate the great work psychologists do. Much of our work is guided by the association's strategic plan. In August, the Council of Representatives approved funding for seven key initiatives:

  • Increasing member engagement and value by assessing and restructuring our business models.
  • Conducting ongoing analysis of current and future demand for the psychology work force to meet national needs.
  • Continuing to develop treatment guidelines to promote the translation of psychological science into practice.
  • Expanding the public education campaign to include the entire discipline of psychology.
  • Promoting opportunities for graduate and professional development to advance psychology's role in health, including interdisciplinary training.
  • Increasing support for research, training, public education and interventions that reduce health disparities among underserved and marginalized populations.
  • Forging strategic alliances with health-care organizations to include psychologists in integrated health-care services.

APA has also made significant progress on its Good Governance Project, which involves a team of 15 APA members, staff and consultants who are taking a close look at APA's governance structure to ensure that we have the best system in place for the 21st century. The team has devoted much of this year to collecting data from members about APA's operations. It hopes to present proposals to APA's board and council by August.

In addition, APA President Melba J.T. Vasquez, PhD, has been working with APA on three initiatives that could have a significant impact on contemporary society. One is to better understand educational disparities and use psychology's expertise to reduce them. Another is shedding light on the psychological effects of immigration. The third initiative examines the cause and effects of discrimination, prejudice and bias.

On Capitol Hill, APA has been working to ensure that the new health-care reform law advances psychology practice and increases patient access to psychological and behavioral health services. APA and APAPO® have been focused on including psychologists in integrated health-care models; supporting outreach to state psychological associations working for health-care reform; expanding insurance coverage for mental and behavioral health services; and securing compensation for psychologists in Medicare, among many other priorities.

This year, for the first time, APA journal articles were published online first through APA's PsycARTICLES® database, allowing psychologists access to new research within as few as 30 days after an article is accepted for publication. APA journal articles are also now available through a mobile app. In September, APA released two new databases. PsycTESTS, which provides access to complete psychological tests and other assessments, and PsycTHERAPY, a database of streaming therapy demonstrations featuring clinicians working with participants. This fall, we launched digital versions of APA's magazines — the Monitor and gradPSYCH — giving members immediate access and expanded digital content.

APA's four directorates – Education, Science, Practice and Public Interest – have also made progress on key fronts. The Education Directorate quadrupled its online continuing-education courses this year. The Science Directorate worked steadfastly on having psychology accepted as a Psychology as a Core Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Discipline (STEM) science and on psychology and global climate change. The Practice Directorate was central to APA's efforts to implement health care reform and develop the profession's first treatment guidelines (see "Treatment guideline development now under way"). The Public Interest Directorate has focused on immigration and on the effect of discrimination, prejudice and bias.

The past year has been a busy one for APA, and we look forward to working with members in 2012 to forge ahead with efforts to make psychology stronger for generations to come.