AVAPL Executive Committee

Jody Rubenstein, Ph.D., AVAPL President 

Jody Rubenstein, Ph.D.

Dr. Jody Rubenstein began work at the Dallas VA in 1980 and was trained there as an intern. He is the Psychology Training Director and a staff neuropsychologist. He is a member of AVAPL, APA, the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN), and the Dallas Psychological Association (DPA). He is also currently a Member-At-Large on the VA Psychology Training Council (VAPTC) and on the VA National Psychology Professional Standards Board.

John McQuaid, Ph.D., AVAPL President-Elect 

John McQuaid, Ph.D.

Dr. John McQuaid spent the first 14 years of his VA career at the San Diego VA, running a mood clinic and participating in research and teaching. He then moved into the position of Associate Chief of Psychology. With mentorship of exceptional colleagues, he developed an appreciation for the challenges and opportunities a leadership role provided, and the importance of bringing the voice and perspective of psychology to our facility. For the last four years, he has served as the Associate Chief of Mental Health at the San Francisco VA and has continued to value the opportunity that serving in leadership provides to improve systems and better serve veterans. 

Mary Levenson, Ph.D., President

Past President
Mary Levenson, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Morgan Levenson (The Ohio State University, 1982) is Assistant Chief of Mental Health & Behavioral Sciences and the Lead Psychologist at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (BP VAHCS). She currently serves on the National Psychology Professional Standards Board and was a trainer in the initial roll out of medical center Professional Standards Boards. Dr. Levenson currently supervises a staff of 36 doctoral psychologists, and maintains programmatic oversight for the Domiciliary, the Homeless Programs (GPD, HUD/VASH, Safe Haven) and Vocational Rehabilitation services. She chairs the facility Prevention and Management of Disruptive Behavior Committee, and is an immediate responder on the Crisis Intervention Team. Dr. Levenson has an avid interest in training and worked closely with the APA Accredited Psychology Internship Program at Bay Pines VAMC, serving as the Training Director (1988-1995 and 2008-2009). She also assisted with development of the post-doctoral program and just initiated the first Psychology Practicum Program at Bay Pines. Prior to her current role, Dr. Levenson was the Acting Associate Chief of Staff/Education for BP VAHCS. Committee assignments are numerous and varied reflecting most major areas of the medical center over the course of her career.

Dr. Levenson received the Diplomate and Fellow designation by the American Board of Professional Psychology in Clinical Health Psychology in 1997. She pursued advanced leadership training with successful completion of the VA Management Development Program (2002), Leadership VA (2003), HealthCare Leadership Institute (2004) and the Executive Career Field Development Program (2003a). She has also been a Fellow in the Association of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) since 2008. Dr. Levenson is actively involved and committed to the professional development of psychologists within her station, VISN and VA.



Steve Cavicchia, Ph.D., Secretary, AVAPL 

Stephen Cavicchia, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen Cavicchia started his VA career as an intern at the Coatesville VA Medical Center.  He came on staff shortly thereafter and became Assistant Chief in 1987 then Chief, Psychology Service in 1991.  With the changes in VHA in the 90's and the movement to patient care services, he was appointed the ACOS, Mental Health in 1997.  He was President of the Association of VA Chief Psychologists in 1996 (now AVAPL).  During his tenure the Association changed its name to AVAPL to reflect the broadening roles of psychologists in leadership positions as well as the decrease in traditional Psychology Services.  He served as Editor of the AVAPL Newsletter from 1997-2000.  In 1997 he worked with a community provider to establish a VA Homeless Grant and Per Diem program on the grounds of the Coatesville VAMC.  This was the first program which made use of the new sharing agreement legislation permitting utilization of vacant buildings on Federal property.   He worked with the same provider to establish the first funded Drop-In Center for Homeless under the VA Homeless Grant and Per Diem Program.  A VA CBOC was co-located on the grounds of the Drop-In Center.   Subsequently, he worked to establish  one of the largest residential programs for women veterans, a 30-bed program also funded under VA Homeless Grant and Per Diem called Walker House.  He was appointed the VISN 4 MH Clinical Lead from 2002-2004 and was Co-Chair of the Committee on Care of Veterans with SMI from 2003-2007.  Among its accomplishments, the Committee recommended that VHA commit to creating and implementing a Mental Health Strategic Plan which it did in July of 2004.  In 2007 he resumed his role as Chief, Psychology Service at the Coatesville VAMC.  

Mary Beth Shea, Ph.D., Treasurer 

Mary Beth Shea, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Beth Shea is the Local Recovery Coordinator (LRC) at the Orlando VA Medical Center (OVAMC). She also serves as the Program Manager for the Orlando Veterans’ Integration to Academic Leadership (VITAL) program and Chair of the facility IRB. Dr. Shea is a VISN-8 CPT Trainer and PE Supervisor, and serves on the facility Psychology Professional Standards Board. In her role as LRC, Dr. Shea is a consultant to all of the mental health programs and staff at the Orlando facility and its 6 affiliated OPCs/CBOCs, serving more than 100,000 Veterans.
Dr. Shea completed her Ph.D. in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of South Carolina in 1990. After completing a Geropsychology internship at the Bay Pines VAMC (1989-1990), she joined the staff at the WJB Dorn VAMC in Columbia, SC as a geriatric/medical psychologist (1990-1998). In 1998, she accepted a position as the MST Coordinator at the Columbia, SC Vet Center, where she remained until 2006. At that time, she moved to the Tampa VAMC, and later transferred to the Orlando facility (at the time, an OPC of Tampa), where she is now an active part of the mental health management team. In her tenure with VA, Dr. Shea has served on numerous and varied committees across hospital functions, including among others, the Women Veterans’ Advisory Committee, the Emergency Medical Response Team (now NEMRT), Hospice Consultation Committee, End Stage Renal Disease Committee, Cancer Committee, and Geriatrics Curriculum Committee. She also served as a trustee for the National Organization of VA Psychologists.