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2022 Board of Directors Election
Professional Practice Resources
Candidate for NAN Member-at-Large
Anthony P. De Marco, Psy.D., ABPP-CN
It is an honor to be nominated as a candidate for Member-at-Large within NAN. Along with clinical practice, my passions and interests have included training and organizational service. Not only do I get enjoyment and a continued education from these services, but they allow me to give back to the field that has given me so much, professionally and personally. Since joining NAN, I have attempted to serve the organization in some capacity, as a student volunteer, student committee member, membership committee member, and membership committee chair. In these capacities, I gained exposure to and familiarity with the operations of a large organization and had the pleasure to work with colleagues and the amazing individuals in the NAN office, which hopefully had a positive impact on the membership. As such, I would like to continue serving NAN and its membership at the next level, on the BOD in the position of Member-at-Large. Through my experience with NAN, it is clear why so many of our colleagues choose to call NAN “home.” The benefits of membership are plentiful, and the camaraderie is second to none. Clinically, I have had the opportunity to practice neuropsychology in various settings, which has provided me with a unique understanding of the joys and challenges associated with each. These are experiences that I believe make me well-suited to represent the membership of NAN as Member-at-Large. As during my time as chair of the membership committee, and I ready to make myself available to the members of NAN so that everyone feels that their voice is heard. It is the input and engagement of the members that make a successful organization, which explains NAN’s successful history to date. It would be an honor to continue serving you and NAN. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Dr. De Marco is a member of the following organizations:
American Psychological Association
Society of Clinical Neuropsychology
American Board of Profession Psychology
American Board of Clinical Psychology
The American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology
National Academy of Neuropsychology
Candidate Positions on the Issues:
How does your background qualify you for this office?
Since joining NAN as a student, I have sought to be involved in this wonderful organization. Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved at the committee level and have since remained involved. Throughout my committee work, I sought to enhance membership experience. As a student member of the program committee, I assisted in the development of the Student Track offered at the annual conferences. I also served on the Membership Committee, including serving as Chair, during which we focused on membership retention, enhancing membership experience, and increasing engagement. This position afforded me the opportunity to interact with members directly and gain an understanding of why they chose to call NAN “home.” Some of these discussions lead to the revamping of the membership categories, which I believe to be more transparent and inclusive, essential attributes of any organization. We also created the Member Spotlight in the monthly Newsflash to highlight our members, professionally and personally. In addition to my committee work in NAN, I have had the opportunity to practice neuropsychology in various settings, including an academic medical center, large health system, and in a multidisciplinary group practice. All of these positions have required leadership responsibilities, with a focus on program development. These are experiences that will serve me well were I to be elected Member-At-Large. Given my experience, I am intimately aware of the nuanced challenges experienced by practitioners operating in different systems, and therefore, can effectively advocate for and represent the general membership in a meaningful manner.
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?
Some of the major challenges I foresee in the next five years are those that our field has been experiencing for quite some time. One of the most pressing issues that has been raised on the public stage is the presence and impact of systematic biases in our procedures and methods that may impact clinical decisions. Addressing this issue is a huge undertaking that will not only require input of the BOD and NAN membership, but also inter-organizational collaboration. Results from a recent inter-organizational survey (Klipfel et al., 2022) demonstrated that in the practice of neuropsychology, ethnic/racial diversity has increased, albeit slowly, especially among early career professionals, and is projected to continue increasing. As diversity increases in our field and the patients that we serve, our methods and procedures have to be updated to reduce bias and inequity in our practice. If elected, I will fully support the funding of research to expand the development of updated tests and normative data, and the collaboration with other organizations and test developers to achieve this goal. Another challenge that I see to practice are low reimbursements from insurance companies and limited access to services, which impact our ability to serve our patients. The PAIC has done tremendous work to address these issues and I will continue to support the committee’s objectives, while supporting patient-outcome research demonstrating the effectiveness and relevance of neuropsychological services, so that we can be confident when advocating for ourselves and the field we have devoted ourselves to.
How would you promote professional practice?
As I mentioned, having practiced in various settings has exposed me to the similarities in the “business” of each setting, as well as the differences. While our clinical training provides us with the knowledge and skill set to be effective clinicians, I believe that when it comes to the “business of neuropsychology,” most practitioners go through a bit of trial-and-error learning. As an organization, NAN is in the perfect position to expose trainees and ECPs, or even mid-career professionals considering a change in position, to the business of neuropsychology across different settings in a more formalized manner, either as continuing education opportunity or through the annual conference. This will be a rather unique offering that will serve the membership quite well by promoting practice, as there are few formalized opportunities to learn the business of our field. Along with the practicalities, such as negotiating contracts, job talks, contacting insurance panels, and submitting pre-authorizations/claims, other setting-specific nuances could be addressed in such trainings. Like many of you, I find myself frequently explaining what a neuropsychologist is and how we are different from other mental health practitioners, even to other professionals. While we have our regular referral sources, educating the communities in which we practice is not only a form of outreach, but it may also lead to other roles and sources of revenue. If elected, I will continue to support NAN’s investment in outreach initiatives and practice resources that are readily available to NAN members through the website and NeuroNetwork Online Community.
How do you plan to bridge science and practice?
Bridging the science-practice gap is one of many areas in which the field of neuropsychology and NAN as an organization have excelled. I believe that NAN effectively addresses this issue by 1) facilitating an open dialogue between researchers and practitioners and 2) responding promptly to clinical needs by promoting and supporting research initiatives to keep the clinical practice of neuropsychology relevant and empirically supported. There have been several recent examples of NAN’s effectiveness in doing so, such as promptly providing its membership with resources regarding teleneuropsychological services during the pandemic. Additionally, NAN partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association in awarding $800,000 to researchers examining the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on cognition, behavior, and functioning (NeuroCOVID) among diverse populations. In 2017, NAN convened a
Summit on Population Health Solutions for Assessing Cognitive Impairment in Geriatric Patients
advocating for the role of neuropsychology in providing optimal care to our older adult population. As Colvin and colleagues (2022) eloquently illustrated (https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acac015), there is a need for empirical evidence supporting neuropsychology’s role in positive patient outcomes, aligning with NAN’s Health Outcomes and Neuropsychology Efficacy Initiative (HONE-In). We and our colleagues are aware of the positive impact that we have on our patients and the contributions that we make to patient care on a daily basis; however, developing empirical support demonstrating our impact is essential to remain relevant and effective, as well as to advocate for our practice. If elected, I will continue to advocate for and support NAN’s promotion of clinically-relevant research that provides the foundation for our practice.
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