A History of Nurturing Support on Capitol Hill

Since its inception in 2005, the Education Advocacy Trust (EdAT) has created unique opportunities for the psychology education and training community to personally engage in political activities. By attending fundraising events on behalf of key members of Congress, psychologists are able to speak directly to congressional leaders who are working to increase federal investments in psychology workforce programs. EdAT staff have also been able to attend fundraisers to underscore the contributions of health service psychologists in Community Health Centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers and National Health Service Corps sites. EdAT enables psychologists to speak directly with members of Congress about legislation of interest to the broad discipline of psychology and of vital concern to the psychology education and training community. 

Below is a brief summary of current and past events.

2014

EdAT staff attended a fundraising breakfast for Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education. DeLauro has been a passionate advocate for the Graduate Psychology Education (GPE) Program and instrumental in ensuring the program grew to nearly $7 million in Fiscal Year 2014.

2013

Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education was honored at a dinner held at the same time as the Education Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. In December 2013, EdAT staff attended a fundraiser for Honda to thank him for his continued support for the inclusion of doctoral psychology education and training programs in the new Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Grant Program.

2012

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., was honored for her continued leadership as ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education on behalf psychology education and training in recognizing the importance of improving mental and behavioral health outcomes. Demonstrating her unbridled dedication, enthusiasm and ability to motivate, DeLauro encouraged the psychologist-constituents to educate members of Congress about the strong role psychologists play in integrated healthcare. She urged everyone to fight for funding for the GPE Program, which addresses the mental and behavioral health needs of the most vulnerable in our nation.

2011

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., was honored at a dinner held at the same time as the Education Leadership Conference, to thank her for her support for federal investments in psychology education and training and expanding the role of psychologists in Federally Qualified Health Centers. Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education, which provides funding for psychology education and training programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

2010

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chair of the House Appropriations Committee, was honored at a separate dinner sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Psychology (AAP), which was held in Orlando, Florida, during the same time as the 2010 Joint Conference of Training Councils in Psychology. Obey was recognized for his support of the GPE Program.

2009

Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, was honored at an Association for Advancement of Psychology (AAP) PLAN dinner at the same time as the 2009 Education Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Green was recognized for his leadership in securing bill language in the House Health Care Reform legislation for federal funding for psychology training as well as for introducing a bill, H.R. 2066, to explicitly authorize the GPE Program.

2008

In March 2008, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., was honored at an AAP PLAN dinner at the same time as the International Counseling Psychology Conference in Chicago. Murray is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee and the Veterans Affairs Committee. She is also chair of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the Military Construction-VA Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as the Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

Murray successfully offered an amendment to the Senate Military Construction VA Appropriations bill on the Senate floor to allow the transfer in FY 2008 of up to $5 million to HRSA for the GPE Program for a focus on returning military personnel with PTSD, TBI or post-deployment readjustment problems.

A special dinner honoring Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, was held by the AAP PLAN at the same time as the 2008 Education Leadership Conference. Ryan is a member of the powerful House Committee on Appropriations and served on the Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education. Ryan has been a strong supporter of the GPE Program.

2007

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., was honored at an AAP PLAN dinner at the same time as the 2007 Education Leadership Conference. As a senior and long-term member of the House Appropriations Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, Lowey has enormous influence on Capitol Hill. Lowey has been a longtime proponent for education and a champion of health care services for women, children and the elderly, and recently a strong advocate for mental health care for returning veterans. Lowey has also expressed strong support for the Graduate Psychology Education Program.

2006

The National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP) held a reception honoring Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif., member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The NCSPP reception provided an opportunity for NCSPP members and California constituents to speak directly to the congressman about the importance of the GPE Program. A dinner was held for Farr by the AAP PLAN at the same time as the NCSPP conference.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., was honored at an AAP PLAN dinner at the same time as the 2006 Education Leadership Conference for her support of the GPE Program and other legislative initiatives of interest to psychology. DeLauro stated that she is very proud to be strong supporter of GPE, emphasizing that the GPE funded Yale Child Study Program and other GPE Programs are providing critically needed services to underserved populations all across the country. DeLauro assured everyone that she would fight hard for the GPE Program and pointed out that Congress also needs to pass Mental Health Parity legislation.

2005

The NCSPP held a reception honoring Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., a member of the House Appropriations Labor-Health & Human Services-Education Subcommittee, during their January mid-winter meeting. Roybal-Allard, a strong supporter of mental and behavioral health services, as well as the education and training needs of psychologists, placed the GPE Program on her list of funding priorities for FY2005. A dinner was held for Roybal-Allard by the AAP PLAN at the same time as the NCSPP Conference.

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., member of the powerful House Appropriations Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, was honored at a reception held during APA’s annual Education Leadership Conference. Jackson has been a longtime champion of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Fellowship Program (which supports the APA Public Interest Directorate grant), as well as the Bureau of Health Professions GPE Program. Jackson spoke about his personal and professional experiences that have inspired his interest in public service and subsequent efforts to address the needs of underserved populations in the Chicago area and throughout the United States. A dinner was held for Jackson by the AAP PLAN at the same time as Education Leadership Conference.

2004

In addition to a full day of advocacy training to prepare members for their congressional visits, the NCSPP held a special reception in honor of Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee. Brown, a strong supporter of psychology, gave a very stirring speech and applauded NCSPP members for their involvement in advocacy and noted the important role that everyone can play in advocacy. (It should be noted that Brown was elected to the Senate in 2006.) A dinner was held for Brown the AAP PLAN at the same time as the NCSPP conference.