Arnett_circle150.jpg NAN President-Elect
Peter Arnett, Ph.D.

Candidate Statement:

It is an honor to be nominated for the presidency of NAN. I have been involved with NAN in many roles, so I have an understanding for issues that have been central to NAN that I think would serve me well as president. In addition to being a NAN Fellow, I have served as chair of the NAN Awards Committee and as a member of the Publications Committee. I also recently completed a term as editor of the NAN Bulletin, and am a past winner of NAN’s Nelson Butters Award. Thus, my roots and involvement in NAN are deep.

An important theme of research I have conducted at Penn State has involved the translation of research findings to clinical practice, a theme I would also develop as NAN president. I recently completed a term as the editor of the NAN Bulletin where this theme was central. One of the features that I developed was a “Clinical Take Home Points” section included in the “Professional Issues” part of the Bulletin. I did this to insure that readers would have something tangible to apply to their clinical practice. I also brought this clinical translational theme to my two edited books. One, published through the NAN Book Series on Evidence-Based Practices and entitled Secondary Influences on Neuropsychological Test Performance, accomplished this through the inclusion of case studies to show how the research themes covered could be applied in clinical practice. In my other forthcoming book entitled Neuropsychology of Sports-Related Concussion, case studies are again included, in addition to “Clinical Take-Home Points” sections. Beyond these contributions, my students and I have published 100+ peer-review papers that often have these same clinical translational themes. In addition to the clinically based research I have pursued, I have worked in private-practice for many years where I have developed a tangible appreciation for reimbursement issues that I think would serve me well in advocating for our field as president.

As a final point, NAN was the first neuropsychology conference I ever attended. This experience was central to inspiring me to dedicate my career to clinical neuropsychology, so I have a deep and abiding appreciation for the things that NAN has given our field. I am honored to be nominated for the NAN presidency, and would consider it a privilege to continue to promote NAN’s profile in clinical neuropsychology to ensure that our field stays strong and vibrant.

More info:

Dr. Arnett is a member of the following organizations:

  • International Neuropsychological Society (Member)
  • National Academy of Neuropsychology (Member-Fellow)

Candidate Positions on the Issues:

How does your background qualify you for this office?

My background qualifies me for the NAN presidency for several reasons.  The first concerns my training.  I completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Medical College of Wisconsin after receiving my Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  Second, during most of my career, I have conducted clinically based research on people with multiple sclerosis and sports-related concussion.  A theme of these lines of research I have pursued at Penn State has been on the translation of findings in my research lab to clinical neuropsychological practice. Third, I have seen many neurological and neuropsychiatric patients over the years in my private clinical practice.  Thus, in addition to conducting extensive clinically based neuropsychological research, I have done significant clinical work with a variety of populations. Through this work I have developed a tangible appreciation for insurance reimbursement issues in neuropsychology.

Related to my own clinical work, I have regularly supervised the neuropsychological assessment practicum at Penn State where I have overseen evaluations for thousands of patients through our clinic. Lastly, and as I describe in more detail in my “Candidate Statement,” I have been deeply involved in NAN for many years.  I am a NAN fellow, recently completed a term as editor of the NAN Bulletin, and am a past chair of the NAN Awards Committee and a past member of the Publications Committee. Thus, I have deep roots in NAN that I think would allow me to serve the interests of members well as president.

What do you see as the major challenges to neuropsychology in the next 5 years? How do you believe NAN, under your leadership, can be effective in meeting these challenges?

An ongoing challenge for our field has involved reimbursement issues with health insurance companies, and I think this will continue to present a major challenge to neuropsychology over the next 5 years. This is especially the case given the fluid current healthcare market.  It will be critical for us as neuropsychologists to continue to advocate aggressively to maintain and enhance insurance reimbursements.  The Professional Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC) of NAN has already been tremendously effective in advocating for these issues.  If elected president of NAN, I would plan to work closely with PAIC as well as the rest of the NAN leadership to stay abreast of these issues.  As president, I would support the PAIC chair and PAIC members in their continued advocacy efforts, and encourage continued input from NAN members about their experiences with insurance companies and reimbursement to insure that, as an organization, we can stay abreast of emerging issues in clinical practice and be proactive in addressing them.

Another continuing challenge for neuropsychology over the next 5 years will be trying to find better ways of bridging science and practice.  This has proved to be a difficult issue to address in a coherent and systematic way, and there continue to be very long lags between discoveries in the research lab and the application to clinical practice.  I elaborate more on ways in which this translation might be facilitated within NAN’s organizational structure in my response to the bridging of science and practice question that follows.

How would you promote professional practice?

NAN has grown as an organization in concert with the growth in the complexities of professional practice.  NAN has been at the forefront of advocating for professional practice through the development of the Professional Affairs and Information Committee (PAIC), which now stands as a beacon for clinical neuropsychologists nationally.  If elected president of NAN, I would continue to support professional practice by working closely with the chair and committee members of PAIC to insure that issues relating to professional practice remain central to our discussions as an organization.  It is critical that NAN continue to have as a core mission the promotion of professional practice by continuing to provide support for PAIC.  I have served in a number of leadership positions during my career - Director of Clinical Training at Penn State, Chair of the NAN Awards Committee, Program Co-Chair of an INS meeting, Editor of the NAN Bulletin, and Board Member of the INS, to name a few. As such, I have gained significant leadership skills that I could bring to bear in promoting professional practice within NAN’s current organizational structure.

How do you plan to bridge science and practice?

A central theme of my research has involved translating science to practice. As I elaborate on more in my “Candidate Statement,” both books I have edited have this translational theme embedded within their structure.  Additionally, many of the research articles that my students and I have published have this same theme.  I have also had the opportunity to apply these findings to my private clinical neuropsychological work.  Furthermore, I have worked with the students I have supervised in our doctoral program at Penn State in translating research findings to our clinical work.  Thus, I have much experience already in trying to bridge science and practice in my research and clinical work.

If elected president of NAN, I would advocate for continuing these themes on a larger scale by encouraging new works being developed from NAN’s Book Series on Evidence-Based Practices to include themes that bridge science and practice.  As I have already done as editor of the NAN Bulletin, I would encourage the current editor to continue with clinical translational themes.  I would furthermore try and brainstorm with the editor of ACN for ways in which clinical translational themes might be furthered through this flagship journal of NAN, possibly involving dedicating parts of some issues to clinical translational themes.  Finally, I would plan on raising these issues with the program chair for our annual meeting about the possibility of including a clinical translational theme as part of the conference, and also raise these issues with other members of NAN’s leadership.