Karin J.M. McCoy, Ph.D., ABPP
Karin McCoy is head of neuropsychology services and training director for the neuropsychology postdoctoral fellowship at South Texas Veterans Health Care System (aka, San Antonio VAMC). She attended graduate school at University of Florida, with neuropsychology as her major area of study. She completed her clinical internship at the Memphis VAMC, followed by a two-year neuropsychology fellowship at the San Antonio VAMC. She was on faculty in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, until she returned to the VA system in 2009; that same year, she successfully completed the ABPP/ABCN board certification process. She was awarded NAN’s Early Career Service Award in 2013.
Dr. McCoy has been an active member of NAN since graduate school, when she was a volunteer at the conference. As a professional member, she served on the Program Committee for several terms, as an abstract reviewer, poster judge, Poster Chair, and Program Chair. She was program chair for the 2012 Nashville conference, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, making use of her pre-graduate school experience as an event planner. For that conference, she worked with the trainee members of the Program Committee to develop the first slate of presentations in the student track at the Annual Meeting; these presentations provided student-relevant talks, free of charge for trainees, throughout the conference. After her term on the Program Committee, she joined the Legislative Action and Advocacy Committee (LAAC) and served for four years, until 2016. Since 2017, she has served on the NAN board as a Member-at-Large. As a candidate for MAL, she indicated, “I believe that the MALs should be prepared to represent a breadth of viewpoints to the board when considering decisions that affect the academy membership, and I believe that a MAL should expect to work on a variety of projects and liaison with a range of committees.” During her time as MAL, she has engaged in lively discussion on the board as well as serving as board liaison to three committees (Membership, Women In Leadership, and DistanCE) and participating in work groups for specific tasks. Dr. McCoy is enthusiastic about the opportunity to continue to serve the academy; she believes that the role of Treasurer is essential to maintain the fiscal health of the organization and promote the use of the academy’s fiscal resources for the benefit of the members and the profession.
Dr. McCoy is a member of the following organizations:
- National Academy of Neuropsychology, Member
- American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, Member
- International Neuropsychological Society, Member
- Association of VA Leaders of Psychology, Member
- Be Ready for ABPP in Neuropsychology (BRAIN), Member
- American Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology
Training Director of Member Program, Member
Candidate Positions on the Issues:
How does your background qualify you for this office?
It is a honor and pleasure to be a candidate for Treasurer. Currently, I am serving as Member-At-Large (2017-2019), which includes membership on the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee works closely with the Treasurer to review the budget and requests for funding to provide recommendations to the board. As a result, my familiarity with the annual budget, the review process, and current fiscal priorities will serve the academy well, with regard to continuity and efficiency. My experience with multiple NAN committees, including Program Committee, Legislative Action and Advocacy, Membership, Women in Leadership, and DistanCE, prior to, and while, serving on the board, has provided me insight into the vast array of NAN activities and revenue streams and how they fit into the strategic plan. This awareness will be of benefit, should I be elected Treasurer, since the Treasurer is responsible for ensuring the fiscal aspects of the strategic plan are sound.
I believe the Treasurer of a professional organization has a primary duty to be a good steward. For seven years I served as Treasurer for the Bexar County Psychological Association, my local psychological professional organization. The BCPA budget is tiny compared to that of NAN, but the principles of fiscal responsibility and stewardship are the same. I believe the Treasurer must provide accurate and reliable information about the organization’s current and predicted fiscal health to the board, to allow board members to make the best decisions possible about when and how to invest in new proposals and initiatives.
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?
As a clinical neuropsychologist practicing in Texas, I know one major challenge is ensuring that those engaged in clinical research, clinical practice, and training are confident in their ability to serve culturally diverse individuals. For years, we have been presented with CE courses, talks, and journal articles outlining the increasing cultural diversity of the population of North America; hopefully, there is a fairly universal understanding of the relevance of increased cultural competence for all members of our profession. Now, as a field, we need practical, real-world tools and resources. We need access to a network of experts, appropriate measures and norms, and benchmarks for ensuring adequate diversity-related training. It is a time-consuming, daunting task to educate oneself on diversity issues and competent multicultural practice without assistance or a structure. One of my trainees designed a project to review and critique the normative sets for neuropsychological assessment of Spanish-speakers; the time involved made it clear that we need a widespread, coordinated effort to educate ourselves, our colleagues, and our future colleagues. NAN, through its leadership and committees, could work collaboratively with other neuropsychological organizations to develop resources and a structure for increased multicultural competence. I believe my experience developing educational programming for the Annual Meeting combined with my clinical experience working in a culturally diverse community, will aid in provision of useful, practical insights for the academy. Recently, I have been involved in a new initiative, with the Culture and Diversity Committee, to provide new CE resources in this specific area.
How would you promote professional practice?
My experience with NAN, particularly on the Legislative Action and Advocacy Committee (LAAC) and the Board of Directors, has taught me that we each are responsible for contributing to the promotion of our field. I believe the board, committee chairs, and committee members are charged with developing creative, concrete, and practical ways to assist academy members in promoting the field and their own practice. For example, NAN's Social Media Committee works to increase the presence/awareness of neuropsychology and the layperson's understanding of how our products can be beneficial. Education, dissemination of evidence, and advocacy are key to ensuring that neuropsychology is seen as integral to comprehensive, integrated care; this, in turn promotes utilization of services and reimbursement. NAN, with its strong Professional Affairs and Information Committee, Social Media Committee, LAAC, and Clinical Grants Program, has numerous opportunities with which to increase the knowledge and understanding of neuropsychology in the medical community, lay public, and community of health care payors. I will encourage collaboration across NAN’s committees, as this will be a fiscally responsible way to make best use of NAN resources and strengths. I will assist in the development of concrete steps and timelines to carry out ideas which stem from the annual strategic plan discussions so that the membership sees results from NAN’s leadership. I believe that NAN has the resources to promote the gathering and dissemination of evidence of the value and utility of our profession to the academy members in a manner which will benefit their practice.
How do you plan to bridge science and practice?
NAN's robust education program, with a book series on evidence-based practice and courses both on-line and at the Annual Meeting, in conjunction with NAN's social media presence, provides a number of venues to integrate science and practice for academy members, future members, colleagues in other disciplines, and the lay public. The Annual Meeting is, frequently, a useful venue for academy members to have collaborative discussion of the intersection of science and practice; future meetings may benefit the academy membership through specific sessions on bridging science and practice or translating science into practice in specific thematic areas. Neuropsychologists are experts at communicating clinically-relevant research into useful, understandable findings and recommendations through clinical reports, feedback, and, in forensic settings, dispositions and testimony. In December 2017, this skill set was utilized for NAN’s Summit on Population Health Solutions for Assessing Cognitive Impairment in Geriatric Patients, where leaders in geriatric medicine, family medicine, assessment, health care funding, and neuropsychology discussed the challenges of assessing cognition in the growing older adult population (presentations and published proceedings are on nanonline.org under the Research & Publications tab), resulting in collaborative discussions and relationships focused on the integration of science and practice in this specific arena; possible future summit(s) can build off this highly successful beginning. This is only one example of the many ways NAN is actively engaged in science/practice-bridging projects; as Treasurer and board member, I would work to ensure appropriate stewardship of the fiscal resources in such endeavors for the betterment of the academy membership.