Collaborating to Create a Healthier Community- Patricia L. Griffen, Ph.D.

2014 ArPA Presidential Theme
“Collaborating to Create a Healthier Community”
Patricia L. Griffen, Ph.D.

The New Year introduces an opportunity to reflect, revisit memories and envision the year ahead.  Each New Year presents opportunities to face different challenges, set new goals, and reach new accomplishments while continuing to grow and sustain our association.  The 2014 leadership team of the Arkansas Psychological Association is poised to continue the tradition of effective leadership as our association begins its 65th year.

Thank you for choosing me to lead our efforts as president of ArPA in 2014.

Psychology is continuing to evolve resulting in significant changes in the landscape compared to years past.  This change makes it all the more important that we work together to sustain the practice, strengthen and unify our professional voice, and effect change in the marketplace. It is crucial that we position ourselves strategically in the field of health care.

Arkansas leads national rankings for poor health, obesity and the widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots.”  These factors critically affect the general health of our community, including mental health.  However, a miniscule amount of the total health care budget is spent on mental health care.  Despite glaring evidence of mental health needs in our state, non-medical mental health providers are under reimbursed. In light of the health challenges in our state, it is crucial that we continue to increase our presence and voice about how mental health services are provided and funded.

That is why the theme for my leadership of our association this year is, “Collaborating to Create a Healthier Community.” We will center our efforts on three initiatives:


1.      Professional Wellness and Life Balance.  As we provide services to our community we must care for ourselves.  So, our Professional Development Committee is planning a cross-disciplinary forum that will examine models of caring for the professional.
2.     Integrating psychological services in health care through the Affordable Care Act.
   With the advent of the ACA, psychologists will have opportunities to collaborate within
    interdisciplinary settings to provide comprehensive, coordinated care.  The ACA is
    based on the philosophy of the patient-centered medical home which is a model to
    collaborate with other disciplines for quality service delivery.  This will require ArPA
    to become more involved in advocacy issues.


3.     Fostering inclusivity and diversity to strengthen and enhance the association. 
      The veneer of ArPA is becoming more reflective of our community. Greater access to
       care will afford opportunities for a more diverse clientele.  So we will continue
       exploring collaborative opportunities that help our professionals increase cultural
       competence and enhance the quality of care for all.   In doing so, we will be in step
       with the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the landmark legislation
       intended to end discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.


Leadership within ArPA is based on countless volunteer hours provided by dedicated and hardworking members.  The following members will lead ArPA in 2014.
            President – Patricia L. Griffen, Ph.D.
            President-Elect – Adam Benton, Ph.D.
            Vice-President – Khiela Holmes, Ph.D.
            Secretary  – Liv Miller, Ph.D.
            Treasurer – Tisha Deen, Ph.D.
            Directors-at-Large:   Jon Mourot, Ph.D.
                                             Dawn Doray, Psy.D.
                                             Betty Everett, Ph.D.
                                             Courtney Crutchfield, Ph.D.
            Executive Director – Anne Fuller


Standing Committee Chairs:Communications – Liv Miller, Ph.D.Director of Publications – Courtney Ghormley, Ph.D.Constitution/ Bylaws – Kheila Holmes, Ph.D.Diversity – Khiela Holmes, Ph.D.Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns – Jon Mourot, Ph.D.Ethics and Professional Practice – Phil Barling, Ph.D.Membership – Jon Mourot, Ph.D.Nominating -= Adam Benton, Ph.D.Professional Development – Betty Everett, Ph.D.Public Education  – Rebekah Evans, Ph.D.Fellow Status Review – Joyce Fowler, Ph.D.


Special Committee Chairs:
Disaster Response Network – Kevin Rowell, Ph.D.
Early Career Psychologist – Jason Lagory, Ph.D
Federal Advocacy – Paddy Waltz, Ph.D.
Fundraising – Joyce Fowler, Ph.D.
Legislative – Tisha Deen, Ph.D.
Policy and Procedures – Adam Benton, Ph.D.
Psychology in the Workplace – Joyce Fowler, Ph.D.
Rural Health – Lisa McNeir, Ph.D.
Scholarship – Joyce Fowler, Ph.D.
Student Division – Khiela Holmes, Ph.D.


2014 APA Representatives:
APA Council Representative – Chip Long, Ph.D.
APAGS Student Representative – To be Announced


Additional Leadership:
Historian and Legislative Watchdog – Robert Doyle, Ph.D.


Full board meetings are open to all members and I invite you to join us.  We will post meeting dates, times and locations at a later date. I hope you will join our meetings and share our efforts to improve mental health in Arkansas and share our work by your involvement with ArPA in 2014.