Candidate Statements for Division 42. Psychologists in Independent Practice

Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.

Candidate: Robin McLeod, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

Division42 must advocate for the vital role independent practice psychologists play in the healthcare system. Four issues dominate the landscape for independent practice, and Division42 must take definitive stands on all of them:

• Doctoral degrees must remain the only acceptable education credential for Psychologists.

• With exponential growth of masters-level providers, Division42 must definitively clarify the value of the doctoral degree.

• Clinical practice guidelines must incorporate all acceptable standards of evidence and not rely solely on randomized controlled trials. Guidelines excluding acceptable methodologies must include qualifications indicating that effective evidence-based treatment interventions were excluded.

• Division42 should only support APA membership transformation that includes increased funding for federal and state advocacy that supports independent practice.

As President-Elect, my service to Division42 would be based on my work as an independent psychologist for 20+ years, founding a successful group private practice, and developing a financially self-sustainable program in integrated behavioral health that is staffed by independent psychologists.

My service to Division42 includes: Chair: Continuing Education; Committee Member: Advocacy, Entrepreneurial TaskForce, Collaborative Conference, President-Elect Endorsement.

If elected, my focus will be grounded in experience serving my state association (President; Co-chair: Membership committee, Private Practice Division; Chair: Diversity Committee; Committee Member: Legislative, Outcome Measures TaskForce), Division35 (Liaison to CAPP), Division31 (Secretary, Advocacy Committee), Committee of State Leaders (Chair: Advocacy Mentoring Subcommittee), and member of the Minnesota Psychology Board.

By voting for me, you will be bringing to Division42 governance a psychologist devoted to keeping independent practice viable and vital in our rapidly changing healthcare arena.




Candidate: Judith E. Patterson, PhD

Office: President-elect

Candidate Statement:

Thank you for your nomination for President-elect of Division 42. I am in my second term on the 42 Board and believe I bring broad perspectives for service to our members. Your vote is much appreciated.

In my service to 42, I have represented issues of importance to us as practitioners. I am proud to be involved in forwarding the practice agenda. I am Fellow of 42, served on Council, as Fellows Chair and as member of Finance. Presently, I am Chair of Membership Committee and member of Advocacy Group.

I held positions at state and national levels, focusing on practice issues. I was president of NJPA, served as Chair of the Board of Professional Affairs and on CAPP and presently serving the Commission on Accreditation. I chaired the State Caucus and membership for the Women’s Caucus, was President of Association of VA Psychologist Leaders and was subject-matter expert on national qualification standards for psychology.

We are faced with erosion of practice by external forces. Decline in reimbursement and outside attempts to define practice requires vigilance. We at Membership will be surveying you to learn what you need the Division to provide to protect, enhance and preserve your practice. As President, I will lead 42 to meet your expectations in every way we can by offering services tailored to your needs and by advocating to protect the doctoral standard and practice variability.

Thank you for the continued opportunity to serve 42 and to enrich the Division’s responsiveness to YOU.




Candidate: Derek C. Phillips, PsyD

Office: Secretary

Candidate Statement:

Previous service to the Division includes serving on the Strategic Planning Committee, Student Representative to the Board of Directors, Co-Chair of the Student/ECP Committee, member of the Nominations and Elections Committee and Communications Work Group, and Co-Chair of the Listserv Moderation Team. Currently, I serve as Co-Chair of the Social Media Team.

Relevant experience in leadership: I am a member of the Division 55 BoD as their representative to the APA CoR. I am also a member of the APA Central Programming Group and Ad Hoc Committee on Film and Other Media. Previously, I was the inaugural student member of APAPO CAPP. Regarding SPTA involvement, I am the Associate Chair of the Illinois Psychological Association’s Social Responsibility Section and was the 2017 ECP Chair of the Florida Psychological Association and Liaison to their BoD.

In the current health care climate, there are many issues facing independent practitioners. Perhaps one of the most critical of these issues is stagnant or declining reimbursement rates for psychologists from third party payers. Another serious concern for independent psychologists is being excluded from the Medicare definition of “physician,” as well as infringement from other mental health disciplines into psychologists’ scope of practice.

Division 42 is uniquely poised to develop and implement pragmatic and effective solutions. First, Division 42 should continue to partner with other practice divisions and the APAPO to address reimbursement rates and parity issues. Communication from individual members of both divisions and SPTAs on the “front lines” is crucial for successful advocacy.




Candidate: Jared L. Skillings, PhD, ABPP

Office: Secretary

Candidate Statement:

Thank you for the opportunity to run for Secretary of Division 42. I would be a strong, independent voice for psychology practice. I formerly held an executive leadership role in a large group (240+ clinicians) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In this role I learned to effectively manage clinical, financial, and regulatory challenges for independent practice. Currently I am Chief of Psychology at the Spectrum Health Medical Group (a $5.7B enterprise with 25,000 employees); I also perform pre-surgical evaluations and psychotherapy. I am ABPP board-certified in 3 specialties – Clinical Psychology, CBT, and Clinical Health Psychology. As an expert about integrated care, I can provide guidance to the Board and division members about how to best prepare ourselves and our practices for the future.

Regarding leadership experiences, I have served as President/Chair of 4 distinct psychology governance boards within the first 12 years of my career. This includes my current role as President of the Michigan Psychological Association, two executive roles in the ABPP organization, as well as Former Chair of APA’s Board of Professional Affairs. Additionally in Division 42, I was pleased to serve as APA convention chairperson two years in a row (2017-2018), where we have emphasized business of practice, evidence-based care, multicultural practice, and ethics.

If I am elected Division 42 Secretary, I will contribute strong leadership and energy so that we can achieve real progress together. Thank you for your consideration and for your vote.




Candidate: Nancy A. McGarrah, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I am pleased to be a nominee for Member at Large for the Division 42. I joined APA after licensure in 1984. My “home” in APA is Division 42, and I become a Fellow in 2011. My career has been in private practice in Atlanta. I am completing two terms on the Council of Representatives. This experience has demonstrated how crucial divisions are to governance. I have served on the APA Ethics Committee and participated in APA Public Education initiatives.

In Division 42, I have been a mentor for several years. I have written for the Independent Practitioner and received the publication award. I chaired the “ETIPS” program for the division and participate actively on the list serve. I am currently on the membership committee.

I hope to bring my experience and ideas to the Board. This is a critical time for private practitioners. We are faced with more competition than ever. APA is struggling with the Master’s in Psychology issue and we can give important input to this discussion. There is also a proposal to restructure APA and APAPO to form one organization. Practice and advocacy interests must be protected during any reorganization.

A strong board of directors can lead the division in facing our ongoing challenges. We must remain a strong presence on the APA Council and hopefully regain lost seats. Continued efforts in mentoring students and emerging psychologists will lead to increased membership in the division.

Please consider me for the Member at Large position. Thank you.




Candidate: Eric A. Samuels, PsyD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I am honored to be nominated for Member-at-Large as an ECP on the Diversity Slate. I am recently-licensed and joined Division 42 a year ago. Within APA, I am Co-Chair of the Disability Taskforce for APA Division 44, a former APAGS Liaison to APA’s Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology, and a former member of the APAGS Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity. I am gay and a person with a disability. I’m also a former Chair of the California Psychological Association of Graduate Students and currently serve as the Local Advocacy Network Chair of the Alameda County Psychological Association. I started my private practice in the Bay Area in September 2017 and am participating in Division 42’s Mentorshoppe program. If elected, I would work to be a voice for other ECPs who are seeking to transition into private practice. Personally, I have found the process of opening a practice to be daunting and overwhelming. Graduate students receive no formal training on how to operate private practices, and ECPs often must rely upon advice that they receive ad hoc to make decisions about how to create and maintain their practice. If elected, I would work with the Student/ECP Committee to create more resources about how to create and maintain an independent practice. If elected, I would strive to have more Virtual Learning Hours, more resources on the Division 42 website, articles in the Independent Practitioner, and programming at APA conventions and Division 42 Fast Forward Conferences on this topic.




Candidate: Sara Smucker Barnwell, PhD, MA, MEd

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I am an independent practitioner licensed in Washington State, as well as a partner in a local group of independent practitioners. I serve as Clinical Faculty at the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and am a former president of the Washington State Psychological Foundation. I am a coauthor of the APA/ASPPB/The Trust Telepsychology Taskforce Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology. My research and publications focus on ethical, practical technology use in behavioral health.

During the Division 42 Fast Forward Conference, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel addressing themes related to telehealth. As is typical, I learned more than I imparted through my participation in the panel. Division 42 members asked questions that are critical to the future of independent practice: How can independent practitioners balance the ethical and legal considerations of technology use with patients’ desire to communicate efficiently? How can we integrate commonly used mobile technology while remaining thoughtful about remaining within my practice’s licensure jurisdiction? How does insurance reimburse outpatient care when technology is involved? These are critical questions relevant to most independent practitioners who use email and mobile phones.

Exciting new innovations emerge daily in healthcare. Division 42 possesses the opportunity to participate in thought leadership regarding how independent practitioners can ethically and thoughtfully harness these innovations. Clear, practical guidance will advance the state of independent practice and the care we deliver. I hope to offer my experience in and passion for these topics as we take these steps together.




Candidate: Krystal L. Stanley, PhD

Office: Member-at-Large

Candidate Statement:

I joined Division 42 in 2010 as a newly licensed psychologist who was starting a private practice. Three years ago, I joined the Division 42 S/ECP Committee and served a two-year term. One of our goals was to increase the visibility of Division 42 to graduate students and ECPs, and I hosted an event for S/ECPs in the DC Metro Area that included a panel of Division 42 members who currently owned or had previously owned a private practice.

I enjoyed serving on the Division 42 S/ECP committee and look forward to the opportunity to serve in another capacity as an At-Large Member. I’ve spent the entirety of my almost eight years as a licensed psychologist engaged in private practice. I started my practice part-time as a solo practitioner, but for the past 6 years I’ve been full-time as the owner of a group practice in the DC metro area that has four offices and 28 therapists.

One of the critical issues confronting independent practitioners is how to maintain aspects of the traditional models of private practice while also preparing for changes, such as the push towards integrated care. Individuals in independent practice are often strained to balance the business of practice while also remaining abreast of changes. I’d like to see the leadership of Division 42 create practical guides and/or trainings for practitioners to help them understand how to adjust to the changes and how to create the tools and strategies to adjust to these newer models.




Candidate: Lindsey Buckman, PsyD

Office: Council Representative

Candidate Statement:

I would be honored to serve as the Division 42 Diversity Council Representative. I am an independent practitioner in Phoenix, Arizona, where I serve a diverse population with specialties in LGBTQ concerns and multiple minority status issues. I currently serve as the Division 42 Diversity Member at Large, Co-Chair of the Social Media Team and a member of the Division 42 Advocacy Committee. In addition to my service to Division 42, I also serve as the Chair of the APAPO’s Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP), I am the President of Division 31, and serve as my SPTA’s Professional Practice Representative. My commitment to diversity is personal and professional. As a female, lesbian, and small business owner both the personal and professional are political. I am a strong advocate for my clients, students, and fellow professionals and strive for fairness, equality, and cultivating space for the rich perspectives that diverse issues and experiences bring to the table. I have experience in shaping public policy, as well as working with individuals with divergent viewpoints to meet a common goal.

Independent practitioners are facing a number of challenges in the current healthcare climate and we need strong advocates to lead us through this period of change and uncertainty. I am eager to assist Division 42 and APA in creating innovative practice resources that support independent practitioners and help them thrive in the marketplace, while enhancing and protecting our status as the highest trained mental health practitioners in the field.