BajoStephanie_circle.jpg NAN Member-At-Large
Stephanie D. Bajo, Psy.D., ABPP-CN

Candidate Statement:

It is an honor to be nominated for NAN Member-At-Large. I am a clinical neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, where my time is focused on patient care, teaching, training, and research. I additionally serve as the Assistant Training Director of our post-doctoral neuropsychology fellowship program, am responsible for coordination of the practicum training program, and am involved in the education of medical students and residents.

I was fortunate enough to have mentors who not only provided excellent clinical training, but also instilled the value of serving the broader neuropsychology community at a local and national level. This support and encouragement led me to explore an initial opportunity for membership on the NAN Legislative Action and Advocacy Committee (LAAC) as a post-doctoral trainee. My work on the LAAC then spanned a 5-year period, during which I had the honor of serving as the LAAC co-chair over the 2017-2019 term. My service on the LAAC provided invaluable experience in how to initiate, support, and promote advocacy efforts. I believe this prior work has also established the necessary foundation to be an effective Member-At-Large on the NAN Board.

My clinical and professional experiences have shown me how much can be accomplished through collaboration with fellow neuropsychologists and other NAN members. I am committed to supporting the field of neuropsychology and hope to continue this work by serving the NAN membership through the Member-At-Large position. Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope to earn your support and vote for NAN Member-At-Large.

Dr. Bajo is a member of the following organizations:

• National Academy of Neuropsychology

Professional Member
• American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology
Active Membership
• American Board of Professional Psychology – Clinical Neuropsychology Specialty
Active certification
• American Psychological Association

Candidate Positions on the Issues:

How does your background qualify you for this office?

As a previous co-chair of the NAN Legislative Action and Advocacy Committee (LAAC), I understand the importance of working collaboratively with fellow neuropsychologists and other NAN members to advocate for the field of neuropsychology as a whole. My prior NAN committee work has provided the necessary foundation to effectively uphold the mission of NAN and support the needs of the NAN membership. In addition, my past and current clinical and teaching experiences include administrative and leadership responsibilities that will prepare me well for the NAN Member-At-Large role. Overall, I believe my background and long-term interest in serving the needs of the broader professional community will allow me to be an effective member on the NAN Board through the position of Member-At-Large.

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?

I foresee a number of continued challenges within our field, such as issues related to parity and how changes in patient care models may affect neuropsychological practice. I believe fostering efforts aimed at addressing these issues are highly important in order to ensure our ability to provide quality patient care over time. For instance, continuing the work toward psychologist/neuropsychologist inclusion in the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) physician definition will help to expand patient access to services. In addition, assessing and navigating the changing landscape of healthcare will be important to determine if, when, and how the field of neuropsychology may need to adapt to meet new demands. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic provides one example of how the increased need for telemedicine service changed the delivery of patient care across medical specialties. If elected to serve as NAN Member-At-Large, I promise to address continued challenges within the field by listening to feedback from the NAN membership, working collaboratively with NAN committee and board members, and by bringing my own ideas to the table.

How would you promote professional practice?

My mentors instilled the value and importance of serving the broader neuropsychology community, which I believe was critical in sparking my own interest in investing time into committee and organizational work. Therefore, I believe offering opportunities for trainees to bolster their professional development and increase their involvement in extra-clinical activities is highly important. NAN has already implemented a number such opportunities, such as fostering an entirely student-run committee, promoting mentorship programs, providing avenues for scholarship, and including trainee member positions on all NAN committees. I hope to continue promoting professional practice through initiating and/or supporting other efforts at the organizational level to increase the active participation of student members in order to assist in their professional developmental.

I also strongly believe in promoting professional practice through collaboration with other neuropsychology colleagues and with professionals in other specialty areas. Such cooperation between professionals within and outside of our field can promote mutual understanding of needs, opportunities for collaboration, coordination of advocacy efforts, and advancement of the field in general. My work on the NAN LAAC involved representation on the Inter Organizational Practice Committee (IOPC) and this role gave me first-hand experience with the many benefits of collaborating with other professional groups.

How do you plan to bridge science and practice?

I certainly believe science informs practice and I strive to stay up-to-date with current literature and continuing education to uphold the highest quality of patient care. My membership and involvement in professional organizations also foster science-based practice through yearly conferences, active discussion with colleagues on professional list-serves, and through other opportunities for learning and consultation. I also believe that clinical practice can spark scientific research through investigation of unanswered questions that may arise in our work with patients. Such experiences have led me to pursue a number of research projects and I hope to contribute meaningful information to the field through these efforts.