WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was honored last night by the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO) for his advocacy work and legislative accomplishments on mental health issues. APAPO recognized Senator Whitehouse with the 2013 Outstanding Leadership Award, given annually to a member of Congress who has prominently championed the goals of professional psychology.
"Senator Whitehouse has been a national advocate for mental health and the profession of psychology," says APA Executive Director for Professional Practice Katherine C. Nordal, PhD. "APA is proud to present this award to a legislator who has supported the inclusion of psychologists in health information technology as well as championed mental health parity and health care reform."
Senator Whitehouse has been a longtime supporter of mental and behavioral health. Specifically, he has sponsored a bill to make psychologists eligible for health information technology adoption incentives. In addition, Senator Whitehouse supports averting the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate cuts and extending the restoration of Medicare reimbursement that was cut from outpatient mental health services in 2007. Senator Whitehouse has also been an advocate for the Wellstone/Domenici Parity Act, a supporter of health care reform, and an important voice in the discussion of mental health and primary care integration.
"I'm proud to fight alongside my colleagues, particularly my friend, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, for quality mental and behavioral health care services," U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse relayed to the APAPO. "I appreciate this award, and I will continue to work with the American Psychological Association to protect and expand access to mental health care."
The award was accepted on behalf of the Senator by his health legislative aide Jennifer DeAngelis.
Senator Whitehouse is serving his second term in the United States Senate representing Rhode Island. In the Senate, he is a member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; the Special Committee on Aging; and the Committee on the Budget, as well as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe; the United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control; the Committee on Environment and Public Works; and the Committee on the Judiciary.
The American Psychological Association Practice Organization is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students.
SOURCE American Psychological Association