Committee on Rural Health (CRH) 2011 Report to the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice

The Committee on Rural Health has continued to promote issues of importance to rural communities and providers through various avenues and initiatives. The following are some of the highlights from this year:

2011 Convention Programming

  • CRH greatly appreciates CAPP donating an hour for the symposium, “Rural Health- Future Directions in Practice and Research,” for which there was standing room only. The presentation, which covered issues including integrated health care, telepsychology, RxP, and community based participatory research, included CRH members Drs. Kristi Van Sickle and Sid O’Bryant as presenters, and Dr. Paul Craig as discussant.

  • Five CRH Committee members presented a half-day continuing education workshop entitled, “Rural Mental Health Service Delivery – Challenges and Opportunities.” The workshop, chaired by Dr. James Werth, covered practice, education, research, ethical, and diversity issues commonly encountered by rural practitioners.

  • Dr. Darryl Salvador represented CRH as a participant of a symposium entitled “Successful Models of Integrated Care - Psychological Programs that Address Health Care Disparities.” The program was sponsored by CRH, BAPPI, CONA, CEMA, CLGBT, and CSES.

  • Dr. Diana Prescott represented CRH in a joint convention program with CDIP. The program was entitled “Promoting Health and Wellness Among Underserved Populations With Chronic Illnesses and Disability.”

Good Governance Project Feedback

  • The Committee responses to the Good Governance Group questions distributed prior to Fall Consolidated meetings. In addition, CRH decided to proactively implement some if its own suggestions. For example, in order to broaden the APA governance pool so that more member voices are heard, the Committee has stated on its 2013-15 Call for Nominations that “On all slates, preference will be given to people working in rural or frontier areas, early career psychologists, and those who have not previously served in APA governance.” CRH also suggested that governance groups plan meals with a different board/committee at each meeting, and are looking to do so at the Spring Consolidated 2011 Meetings.

Telepsychology

  • The Committee submitted information relevant to the use of telepsychology in rural areas to the APA/ASPPB/APAIT Telepsychology Task Force.

State Implementation of Health Care Reform

  • Dr. Van Sickle, CRH Chair, was appointed to serve on the State Implementation Advisory Group, which will begin meeting virtually in late November.

National Health Service Corp (NHSC)

  • The Committee as a whole consistently promotes NHSC in its convention programming and various other communications. Furthermore, Dr. Salvador is a member of NHSC’s National Advisory Council, a group of clinicians and health care administrators who are expert in the issues medically underserved communities face in meeting their health care needs that serves as a "frontline" source of information to the NHSC senior management.

Use of Electronic Media

  • At the invitation of the National Register of Health Services Providers in Psychology, Dr. Van Sickle narrated a short video on resources available to psychologists interested in serving rural populations.

  • As part of the CRH half-day convention workshop, Dr. Prescott prepared a video on “A Day in The Life of a Rural Psychologist.” 

  • PsychLINK – The Committee continues to add content related to rural practice and integrated care to the practice wiki.

2012 Planning

  • CRH has respectfully submitted a proposal to CAPP and BAPPI for 2012 APA Convention hours to develop a program in partnership with CDIP, CONA, and CEMA on “Assisting Members of Vulnerable / Underserved Populations Affected by Natural Disasters.”

  • Suicide prevention in rural areas has been identified as a possible future committee focus, and CRH has already been in contact with multiple other rural health and mental health groups to determine what other efforts have been or are being pursued in this area.

Other

  • CRH was pleased to see the emphasis on integrated care, one of the Committee’s longstanding priority areas, in the APA Strategic Initiatives.

  • CRH continues to collaborate in the collection of data on need for and access to mental health services among rural adults and elders.

  • The Committee wishes to express its deepest appreciation to Dr. Monica Kurylo, CRH’s CAPP liaison. Dr. Kurylo has been highly engaged with the Committee throughout the year via email, and her input during Fall Consolidated Meetings was invaluable. We are grateful to have such a committed and involved advocate for rural health issues and psychologists on CAPP.