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Presidential Update April 2024


Time is interesting. I checked my IPA profile recently, and it seems I joined IPA on 5/1/1991. That was 33 years ago. It does not seem that long ago that I was green to IPA. Other (more notable) events that year included the first US-Iraqi war (Desert Storm), the beating of Rodney King, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. While it seems those things are a long time ago, sadly they seem to have an ongoing echo today. And yet time passes, and it seems inconceivable that I am slipping into the old guard. Given that time seems to compress as we age (at least as long as we are “with it” enough to perceive time), so perhaps I can use that as my explanation for why my first blog post is appearing in April rather than in
February or March. Or not. 

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President’s December 2023 Update and Farewell

The year’s end is rapidly approaching, and what a year it’s been for IPA! You can read my updates from spring and summer here and here.

I think one of the most exciting things this year is that IPA created a Marketing Consultant Workgroup, headed by early career psychologist Dr. Jenna Paternostro. This workgroup’s task is to complete a rebranding and website redesign project! IPA wants to position itself as Iowa’s leader in mental and behavioral health. The Executive Council (EC) believes this project will attract new members and frame IPA and its members as the experts in psychological science to better serve the public. This is a stepwise project, and the first step of logo redesign is already underway. The workgroup is collaborating with SuperWink Studio, an Iowa-based design firm, to enhance IPA’s recognition among members and the public. We are on track and projected to launch the new logo in early spring. The second step in the process will be the website redesign, and we hope to have a contract for this work signed by the end of the year. The website redesign is intended to improve user experience, enhance IPA’s visibility and inclusivity, and increase accessibility of our public education resources. As a nerd for all things design, I could not be more excited about this project and how it will benefit IPA!

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Presidential Update Summer 2023

IPA’s mission is to promote the science and practice of psychology for the benefit of all Iowans. Our volunteer leaders and paid contractors have been working hard in 2023 to carry out that mission in alignment with our 2021-2024 Strategic Plan. I’d like to take a moment to highlight some of the important developments from the first part of the year and the people who have been generously donating their time and energy for all our benefit.

Education and Training

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President’s Update Spring 2023

Isn’t it strange how time can be perceived as crawling at a snail’s pace or flying by at lightspeed? Somehow, it is the end of March already and spring is right around the corner—I mean, I hope it is…but it’s the Midwest, so you never can tell…

Another strange thing: I’m writing my first President’s Update in my fourth year as a licensed psychologist. When I joined IPA in 2019, I had just moved to Iowa after completing my postdoc at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. I was new to Iowa, new to independent licensure, and new to group practice. Just a few months later, the pandemic started and, well, that was more newness. When I joined IPA, I imagined I would run for President Elect maybe eight or 10 years down the line—you know, after I was comfy and firmly established in my career, had acquired a decent amount of IPA institutional knowledge, and was more familiar with Iowa. But in the summer of 2021, I was asked about my interest in running for IPA President Elect. The call to run came early. Really early.

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Presidential Update December 2022

The end of 2022, and an incredibly rewarding year as IPA President, offers a sense of fulfillment, reflection, and great optimism regarding 2023. The Spring Presidential Update listed leaders and committee members in IPA who have continued to serve diligently throughout this year, to accomplish the Strategic Plan goals outlined in the Summer Update. Our leaders have dedicated time, thought, and energy into updating their Strategic Plan goals, objectives, and tactics for 2023, encompassing ambitious and meaningful aims for the approaching year. We are all fortunate to benefit from the time and talents of many IPA members whose passion and loyalty provide an astounding degree of accomplishment for a small state association. I have been honored, humbled, and gratified to serve IPA with this inspiring group of psychologists and professionals.


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Presidential Update Fall 2022

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Presidential Update July 2022

The Iowa Psychological Association has been working hard to serve its members, the field of psychology, and Iowans who benefit from our services. As we pass the midpoint of another productive year, this update serves to highlight a number of recent efforts that have successfully targeted IPA’s Strategic Plan Themes:

  1. Education and Training
  2. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  3. Building Connections and Community
  4. Advocacy
  5. Financial Stability

You are encouraged to read the full Strategic Plan, which is available on our website:

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Presidential Update Spring 2022

As I reflect on the first three months of my Presidential year for IPA, I could not be more impressed by the energy and growth I have observed among our members and leaders. This association’s Executive Council Members, Committee Chairs and Co-Chairs, Committee Members, and Liaisons commit countless hours of volunteered time to IPA in addition to their active work and home lives. Additionally, IPA is fortunate to have devoted individuals serving in contracted positions (i.e., Executive Director, Director of Professional Affairs, Lobbyist, Training Director, Bookkeeper) who consistently exceed expectations in fulfilling their responsibilities to serve IPA members and to support the Executive Council. I appreciate this opportunity to highlight only a few of the many initiatives and accomplishments of these outstanding psychologists and professionals.

IPA’s Executive Council (EC) consists of 12 members who conduct the foundational business of the association through six Council meetings per year and numerous additional communications. I have been honored and grateful to serve with this group of thoughtful and committed psychologists whose overarching goal is to promote the needs and desires of membership and, ultimately, the individuals we serve. Each EC member dedicates seemingly tireless energy to their efforts to ensure IPA is serving its membership as effectively as possible. This amazing group of individuals deserves a wealth of gratitude for their volunteered time and leadership.

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Presidential Update December 2021

Dear IPA Members,

I hope you each are enjoying the last days of 2021 and hoping that 2022 is a safe and happy one for you, bringing you many blessings and much joy.

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What does IPA do for you?

The Iowa Psychological Association (IPA) has been working diligently on your behalf to promote and advocate for the science and practice of psychology in Iowa. In the past year we’ve made significant progress toward many of our key initiatives and we continue to work tirelessly for all licensed psychologists in our state. In this letter we will provide some updates regarding IPA’s recent advocacy work and victories, recognize IPA psychologist leaders, provide updates regarding strategic plan initiatives, and highlight upcoming continuing education opportunities.  

IPA’s advocacy efforts have been in overdrive the past 18 months. IPA’s Advocacy Team includes the State Advocacy Coordinator (Paul Ascheman, PhD), Federal Advocacy Coordinator (JoAnna Romero Cartaya, PhD), IPA Training Director (Matt Cooper, PsyD), and IPA Lobbyist (Amy Campbell). The newest member of the IPA Advocacy Team is Dr. Bethe Lonning, IPA’s Director of Professional Affairs (DPA). Dr. Lonning has done an excellent job in her unique role which includes advocating for the needs of psychologists regarding the professional practice of psychology and serving as a liaison between IPA and professional associations, governmental agencies, Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), private insurance agencies, and other institutions. Dr. Lonning has been a trailblazer during her inaugural year as DPA. She has served as an invaluable resource for many Iowa psychologists regarding issues related to insurance reimbursement, CPT codes, payer credentialing, and Medicare and telehealth guidelines. IPA is also grateful for the support of the Iowa Psychological Foundation who provided a generous grant to help fund the DPA position and Dr. Lonning’s work.  

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Presidential Update September 2021

What a glorious beginning to another fall season in Iowa! As a transplant to Iowa from California, I never tire of leaves changing, the weather turning colder, a new school year underway, and the football games, homecoming parades, and community events that are come to life in the college community where I live.

Fall is the time of national and state elections that determine much of what will come in the years ahead. The same is true for IPA! I am excited at the beginning of this fall season to have our IPA elections completed and look forward to some new faces on the IPA Executive Council. 

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