CTussey NAN President-Elect
Chriscelyn M. Tussey, Psy.D., ABPP

Candidate Statement:

To say I am humbled and enthusiastic to be nominated as a candidate for President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) would be an understatement. NAN has been an integral part of my career for over 11 years, and as President, I vow to help further NAN’s mission through communication, collaboration, and innovation. All voices need to be heard and represented, and we will partner as a team to reach the broader neuropsychology community, with the goal of enhancing our collective BRAIN:

Benefits of neuropsychology are recognized by consumers and payers alike
Representation of all, inclusivity, and equity
Neuropsychology as a household term

These BRAIN needs became clear during my fellowship, when I served as a student member of the Professional Affairs & Information Committee (PAIC). Afterwards, I joined the Women in Leadership (WIL) committee, and after three years, became the Chair of WIL, which is a highlight of my professional career. If you ever attended a WIL event when I was Chair, you may know that I took fundraising for our student scholarships seriously (I hear members are still fighting over the raffled brain jewelry). I promise I will bring that zeal (and more raffle prizes!) to this role.

While serving as the WIL chair, I was also on the Affiliations Task Force, which worked to operationalize how NAN would embark on establishing affiliations with other organizations. In 2019, I served as the Program Chair (and on the Program Committee from 2018-2020). This role taught me so much about how to listen, hear, and implement what NAN members want- and about the necessity of actively working with other committees and the BOD. I continue to apply these lessons through my service on the Leadership Ambassador Development (LEAD) Program Task Force.

I can unequivocally say that my involvement in NAN has been one of the most vital aspects of my professional and personal development, and I would love to pay it forward. There is much work to be done, and we have never been in a better position to do this work. If elected President, I commit to harnessing our invaluable resources- our membership and science- to best help those we serve and ensure that NAN continues to lead the way in neuropsychology. I welcome any questions and conversation about what we need in neuropsychology (chriscelynt@gmail.com), and look forward to partnering with you to enhance our BRAIN!

Dr. Tussey is a member of the following organizations:

  • American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN)
  • American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP)
  • American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP)
  • American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS; APA Division 41)
  • National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN)
  • New York State Association of Neuropsychology (NYSAN)
  • Psychologists in Independent Practice (APA Division 42)
  • Society of Clinical Neuropsychology (SCN; APA Division 40)
  • Society of Consulting Psychology (SCP; APA Division 13)

Candidate Positions on the Issues:

  1. How does your background qualify you for this office?

    I bring diverse experiences and insights to the role of President. For instance, I have been a director in an urban academic medical center, and I established and own a private practice. I teach at local universities and maintain a faculty appointment at a medical school. Throughout my career, I have served as a leader in local, state, and national organizations, both professional and community based.

    My organizational participation has highlighted that leadership roles require certain skills and abilities, such as effective communication, creativity, and flexibility. I have a track record of proven success in these areas. In fact, because of my communication abilities, I was an invited member of an AP-LS presidential task force whose exact mission was to improve communication in the organization. Through my program development experience in both healthcare settings and organizations, I have learned how to secure buy-in from stakeholders and serve as a liaison between multiple entities. My involvement in the LEAD program from its inception, for example, allows me to apply these skills and help develop new leaders, a mission with long term benefits for the field.

    Additionally, although my grit and willingness to roll up my sleeves and jump wholeheartedly into work does not qualify me for President per se, these qualities are relevant and are exemplified through my NAN Fellow status and the honor of being Program Chair, for instance. If elected, I will dive enthusiastically into our goals, applying my skills while simultaneously learning and working in partnership with you.

    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?

    There are several looming challenges to neuropsychology, which are interrelated, and must be addressed simultaneously. Neuropsychologists must:

    1) continue evolving to the post-pandemic world and healthcare landscape, and proactively plan for an uncertain future. Ongoing research and guidance in alternative practice models (e.g., telehealth) is essential.
    2) continue building partnerships with other disciplines and embracing technological advances, effectively striving to “build a new table,” rather than pulling up a seat at an already full table.
    3) continue to prove our relevance and value so that payers and consumers can fully understand the benefits of our services. Making neuropsychology a household term will be useful in this regard. Indeed, science has shown that neuropsychology is a critical component of healthcare, and we need to disseminate this news to the public through our actions. We can do this by producing digestible and practical reports for instance, and being flexible in our roles (we have much more to offer in addition to evaluation!). Outcome data from these efforts can influence reimbursement rates and support crucial legislative and policy changes.
    4) serve as catalysts for change, recognizing our individual and group roles in diversity and inclusion. Much must be done, for example, with norms development, provision of equitable training opportunities, and increasing representation of all in NAN leadership.

    As President, I will build upon NAN’s foundation in these areas. I promise to bring my tenacity and creativity to the workbench, and use proven communication and teamwork skills to build our new table.

    How would you promote professional practice?

    Neuropsychology is relevant in most aspects of daily life, and as President, I will actively work with our brain trust to capitalize on the many opportunities to promote professional practice. I aim to use communication and cross-pollination of committees and members to do this. These are effective and efficient methods to accomplish goals, and ensure continued learning and growth. For example, the Social Media, Culture and Diversity, WIL, DistanCE, and Trainee committees are well suited to share and exchange ideas about how best to disseminate our science in an innovative way that is accessible by all.

    I will encourage all committees to work closely with PAIC and LAAC, to stay abreast of relevant developments, and to determine the most effective responses. Indeed, the most successful advocacy efforts involve everyone, and innovative ideas will be explored to solicit engagement from each member. The NeuroNetwork provides a useful platform to this end already, and will be encouraged for sharing resources and knowledge. Professional practice will also be promoted through NAN’s ongoing collaboration with related organizations. As President I will seek out and foster additional partnerships to bolster advocacy efforts and practice.

    Individually, I promote both clinical and leadership development by providing trainings and talks. I am especially passionate about leadership growth given this is vital for the continuation of our field, yet is often not included in training. I will continue to promote professional practice by being a leader, mentor, and sponsor in the field, and encourage others to do the same.

    How do you plan to bridge science and practice?

    As a scientist practitioner, I respect NAN’s efforts to bridge both, and as President, I commit to continuing these endeavors. For example, NAN provides DistanCE offerings, a book series and ACN Journal, and position and educational papers. A goal of my Presidency will be to ensure members know about and can easily access these resources, and to increase feedback between membership and committees to assist with ongoing development and optimization of these assets.

    The Health Outcomes and Neuropsychology Efficacy Initiative (HONE In), marries science and practice, and has led to tangible benefits. HONE In provides curated research summaries that support neuropsychology’s effectiveness, and has been used in negotiations with administrators and third-party payers. As President I would like to develop similar initiatives using this format. For example, given the risk for neuropsychological sequalae after COVID-19, a project to cull and summarize the evolving literature would be pragmatic for patients, providers, and payers.

    As President, I will continue the work being done to enhance the research pipeline, encouraging all, starting with trainees, to submit to ACN, workshop proposals, or other venues that will help translate science into practice. I also wholly support the NAN Foundation and its engaging efforts to bridge science and practice for patients and caregivers.

    Finally, in our day-to-day work, we connect science and practice from our intakes to feedback sessions, in courtroom testimony, and in program development. As President, I will unite with you to continue evolving how we bring science into society, and society into science.