About the Association of VA Psychologist Leaders

The Association of VA Psychologist Leaders (AVAPL) is a non-profit organization with a voluntary membership of psychologists with various leadership roles within the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Our purpose is to address the professional needs and concerns of VA psychologists. Our primary goal is to help provide the highest quality of patient care to our nations veterans. We are likewise committed to excellence in training and the advancement of clinical care through both program development and research. To find out more about AVAPL, click on the links embedded in this page. Here, you'll be able to read the bylaws of our organization and find out more about the Executive Officers and the annual leadership conference.

As an organization, AVAPL is involved in a number of ongoing activities in support of our members and all VA psychologists. We publish a periodic newsletter and hold an annual meeting in conjunction with the American Psychological Association (APA) convention. For several years, we sponsored training for new psychologist leaders in the VA; and, recently, this training was been expanded to include other mental health disciplines. Along with the Practice Directorate of APA and Division 18 of APA, we have sponsored a national conference to address the challenges which psychologists face in the continued delivery of quality health care during a period of rapid and extensive reorganization. Annually, the Executive Committee of AVAPL convenes in Washington, DC, to meet with the decision-makers in DVA Headquarters as well as with officials of APA, Congressional representatives, and members of Veterans Service Organizations. During these meetings, we attempt to understand the new initiates which might effect our mission, to educate regarding the many accomplishments of VA psychologists, and to garner support for the issues of concern to our members and our patients.

Times have changed dramatically since AVAPL was founded in 1977. We began as the "chiefs" organization, or Association of VA Chief Psychologists. Today, there are fewer Service Chiefs in the VA; but despite their changing roles, psychologists continue to hold significant positions of leadership throughout the system. To reflect this reality, we changed our name to AVAPL; nevertheless, our mission remains the same: to provide support for VA psychologists as they work to advance the cause of the VA, and to champion the care of the veterans we serve.