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Event details

KPA Winter 2021 Conference

  • February 19, 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Virtual Conference Hosted on GoToWebinar platform


Have you registered and are ready to join the conference?

Please read through all of the instructions in this email prior to the beginning of the conference (ideally at least the day before).

You will need to register with GoToWebinar in order to attend each of the sessions below. Please use your First name, Last name & email to register. Note that all times are Central and there are multiple links if you registered for all sessions:

After registering for each session, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar when it is time. That information is unique to your registration details and should not be shared.

Prior to the meeting, please download the app or software to familiarize yourself with how it works. Here is a tutorial video

Join the Kansas Psychological Association on February 19th for a virtual conference!

Conference Schedule:

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM:  Achieving Health Equity: Psychology's Role (1.5 CE Offered)

Presented by: Dr. Jennifer Kelly, PhD, ABPP

The US Centers for Disease Control defines health disparities as preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. Health disparities related to race are often the result of persistent unjust policies and discriminatory practices that increase the risk of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) populations for poor health. Heath disparities have been observed across virtually all indicators of poor health (e.g., morbid obesity, cardiovascular disease, decreased life expectancy). Environmental, social and behavioral factors— all areas of psychology’s expertise— contribute to health disparities in interacting ways. Psychology must position itself as a force for achieving health equity by finding ways to make concrete improvements in overall health of populations affected by disparities, and APA needs to support individual practitioners’ ability to do so in their own communities. This presentation will examine social determinants that contribute to health disparities, including, but not limited to, race, SES, gender and geographical location. The unique contribution that psychological science and practice can offer in achieving health equity will be discussed.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Participants will be able to describe three examples of how current health care practices contribute to health inequalities.
  • Participants will be able to identify three examples of how environmental and social factors systematically contribute to health inequalities.
  • Participants will be able to articulate at least two ways in which psychological science and practice can help to address health inequalities.

About the Speaker: 

Dr. Kelly currently serves as the 2021 President of the American Psychological Association. She is a licensed psychologist and is Board Certified in Clinical Health Psychology.She is the director of the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine inAtlanta, Georgia.As a Clinical Health Psychologist, Dr. Kelly addresses a variety of mental health concerns in her practice, with expertise in treating disorders that involve the relationship between physical and emotional conditions.

A native of Gulfport, Mississippi, Dr. Kelly earned her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University in 1987. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi.

In addition to her independent practice in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Kelly is actively involved in numerous professional organizations. In addition to serving as the President of the American Psychological Association, she most recently served as Co-Chair of the Advocacy Coordinating Committee of the American Psychological Association Services, Inc. She served on the Board of Directors as Recording Secretary for APA from 2013-2018.

Prior to that, she served on the Board as a member-at-large.Other leadership positions within APA include Council of Representatives six years, Past-Chair of the Board of Professional Affairs, member of the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), Past-Chair of the Committee of State Leaders, Past-President of the Division of State, Provincial, and Territorial Psychological Association Affairs (Division 31), Division 29 Member-at-large, and numerous task-forces.

A past president of the Georgia Psychological Association, Dr. Kelly has served as the Federal Advocacy Coordinator of the Association for 22 years.She was Treasurer of the GPA Political Action Committee 21 years.Other past positions held within GPA include Chair of Membership and Ethnic Minority Affairs Committees.

Dr. Kelly was recognized at the 2019 APA Services, Inc. Practice Leadership Conference for her Leadership in Advancing the Profession of Psychology through Federal Advocacy. Other Advocacy recognitions include the 2011 State Leadership Award, Karl F. Heiser Advocacy Award and Legislative Award of the Georgia Psychological Association in 2000, and the Federal Advocacy Award by the APA Practice Organization in 2004. She was the 2012 recipient of the APA Division of Health Psychology/American Psychological Foundation Timothy B. Jeffrey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology. In 2011 she was presented with the Diversity Award from the Committee of State Leaders of APA. She received the Outstanding Psychologist Award from Division 31 of APA in 2006.

Dr. Kelly served as a member-at-large of the American Board of Professional Psychology Foundation from 2014-2019. She is a graduate of the 2003 class of Leadership Atlanta.She is a member of Lions Club International. Dr. Kelly was an Associate Editor of Professional Psychology: Research and Practice from 2006-2011.

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM  Using Letter Writing as a Therapeutic Intervention for Transgender Clients (1.5 CE Offered)

Presented by: Dr. Kimberly Wallace-Young & Dr. Taryn Acosta Lentz

Drs. Taryn Acosta Lentz and Kimberly Wallace-Young specialize in sexual health and have the opportunity to support clients presenting with LGBTQIA concerns, reproductive trauma and sexual functioning issues. They enjoy both individual and couples counseling. They are currently employed by the University of Kansas Health System and are nestled within the OB/GYN Department.

Learning Objectives: 

1) Increase empathic understanding of the transgender surgery experience

2) Identify WPATH requirements for a letter of support

3) Develop a strategy for making the letter writing session emotionally corrective

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM  Implicit Bias and the Pursuit of Health Equity (1.5 CE Offered) 

Presented by:Dr. Talee Vang

Learning Objectives:

1 . Advance knowledge on implicit bias

2. Review Heatlh Disparities

3.Increase awareness of how implicit bias contributes to health disparities

4.Learn interventions for implicit bias

About the Speaker: 

Dr. Talee Vang is a licensed psychologist, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) consultant, and keynote speaker. She works as a health psychologist in a safety net hospital, as well as in primary care behavioral health. Dr. Vang provides trainings to large corporations and health systems with topics ranging from the impact of implicit bias on health disparities to coping with virtual fatigue and disarming microaggressions. She has consulted and provided trainings for corporations, Healthcare Systems, and has been a guest expert on public media networks such as Minnesota Public Radio. Assessing DEI programs for gaps, developing strategies, and measuring outcomes is a skill that Dr. Vang offers corporations. Her approach is rooted in psychological concepts, specifically on behavioral/cultural change, informed by history. Dr. Vang uses evidence based approaches to interventions and solutions and aims to advance social justice in all that she does.

2:45 PM - 4:00 PM   Student Panel :Thoughts on Promoting Diversity, Cultural Humility and Anti-Racism in Psychology Training (1.25 CE Offered)

Moderated by: Dr. Sarah Kirk

Sarah Kirk, Ph.D., ABPP Assistant Director of Clinical Training at the University of Kansas will moderate a panel of graduate students posing questions and points for discussion. The panel will also take questions from the audience.

The Panel will be comprised of graduate students in training in the state of Kansas.

Learning Objectives:

1. Describe current needs for student training in anti-racism approaches. 

2. Describe student reported concerns about diversity training curriculum (areas in need of improvement)

3. Describe steps trainers can take to promote diversity and anti-racism in psychology training voiced by students

About the Speaker(s): 

Kasturi Banerjee, MS

I am a third year Clinical Health Psychology student. My research focuses on understanding health disparities and health outcomes, and how they are shaped by health behaviors and literacy across cultures. The population I primarily focus on are South Asian adults across the life span. My clinical interests are in neuropsychology and rehabilitation.

My interest in diversity training centers on the concept of intersectionality and in increasing knowledge and awareness of working with individuals from varying backgrounds and being able to integrate this knowledge into practice in both my clinical and academic work.

Alexis Exum, M.P.S., M.A.

I am a fourth-year graduate student in Clinical Psychology and the president of the Graduate Psychology Department Diversity Committee. My research interests involve maladaptive eating behavior and addiction processes related to hyperpalatable food intake among racial/ethnic adolescents and young adults. I specifically focus on the culturally-relevant variables that may contribute to the development, maintenance, and treatment of maladaptive eating behavior among the population. My clinical interests are in the treatment of obesogenic behaviors, PTSD, and anxiety and mood-related disorders among racial/ethnic and sexual minority adolescents and young adults. My main interests in diversity training are in identifying, and working toward remedying, the ways in which both academic and clinical realms overlook the importance of culture when creating a healthy environment for minority faculty, staff, students, and patients. Throughout my career, I hope to continue to bring awareness to the important nuances of working with minority populations, through the initiation of culturally-adapted research and clinical treatment. Additionally, I hope to help bridge the gap between research and clinical work in terms of minority distrust of research and health professionals.

Sarah Kirk, Ph.D., ABPP is the Assistant Director of Clinical Training at the University of Kansas for their Ph.D. program. She is also the Director of the KU Psychological Clinic and Co-Director of the Clinical Health Graduate Certificate program. Dr. Kirk teaches several courses and provides supervision in the Clinical Psychology Program.

Victoria Perko, M.A.

I am a fifth-year graduate student in Clinical Psychology. My research interests involve the assessment and diagnosis of disordered eating behaviors in under-researched populations such as men, veterans, sexual minorities, and ethnic and racial minorities. My clinical interests are in the treatment of disordered eating and disorders that frequently co-occur with disordered eating such as mood and anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. My main interests in diversity training are identifying ways in which academic programs create barriers for individuals from historically marginalized backgrounds. Throughout my career, I hope to influence policies to work toward more inclusive training and academic environments.

Alli Smith, MA:  I am a third-year student in the Clinical Psychology program. My current research interests broadly include violence and victimization, sexuality, and sexual decision-making. My previous research has focused on strengths-based perspectives and resilience in rural Appalachia. As it pertains to diversity, I am interested in the ways that we can adapt evidence-based treatments and assessments to better serve our diverse clients. I am also interested in the ways that white therapists can actively engage in anti-racism work within the professional sphere. 

Pilar Thangwaritorn, B.S.

I’m a first-year clinical psychology student on the health track. My research interests include mechanisms for cognitive aging in relation to interventions that delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. The behavioral interventions I would like to study are brain games, diet, sleep, physical activity, etc. Within these studies, I am also interested in risk factors and outcome predicating biomarkers. Additionally, I’m interested in racial/ethnic and cultural neuropsychology as well as women’s health in regards to cognitive functioning. Briefly, my clinical interests are to develop interventions and assessments in the neurology unit of a research hospital. This will allow for an integrated behavioral health care approach and the opportunity to work on an interdisciplinary team. My main interests in diversity training are all about how to continuously bring awareness and educate others. In this process, I also hope to learn and acknowledge how diversity can be implemented in any environment. Being a part of the conversation is important and the key is to be transparent with one another. In order to do so, I want to be able to bring my perspective and listen to others’ experiences

Melissa Van Veldhuizen, B.S.

I am currently a 3rd year in KU’s Clinical Psychology PhD program. My advisor is Dr. Rick Ingram. I have always been passionate about the field of psychology, and my graduate work has taken many forms. My research at KU has focused on the examination of parental attachment and parental bonding as unique predictors of depressive symptoms, as well as attachment and bonding as it relates to depressive symptom frequency and severity. I am currently working on my thesis, which focuses on how parental bonding may affect the way individuals encode information relevant to themselves, and how this encoding of self-referent information may increase one’s risk for depressive symptoms. Clinically, I have varying interests and experiences, including depression, anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, trauma-related disorders, and personality pathology. Throughout my career, I strive to continue to hold myself and others accountable in continuing to learn and grow, understanding that conversations, education, and action to promote diversity are tasks that are never “complete” or come to an end. I also hope to be a part of identifying and removing barriers in academia that negatively impact those who are marginalized and implement policy that makes academia accessible for all.

Nicolette Zangari, M.A.

I am a fifth year Clinical Psychology doctoral candidate. My research interests are sexual minority identity, sexual consent and communication, and the intersection of sexuality and technology. Clinically, I am interested in PTSD, personality pathology, and in comorbidity in general. I particularly enjoy working with gender- and sexually-diverse individuals and blending my research interests with my clinical interests. Although my specific focus in terms of diversity training has been on the LGBTQ+ community, it is also important to recognize other intersectional aspects of identity that inform individual case presentation. 

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