WASHINGTON, March 13, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nebraska State Senator John Stinner, Sr. received the 2018 State Legislator of the Year award from the American Psychological Association Practice Organization in recognition of his outstanding commitment to legislative action in support of psychologists’ efforts to provide behavioral health services to underserved constituents in Nebraska. Senator Stinner was presented with the award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on March 11th.
Senator Stinner’s legislative mission acknowledges the healthcare needs of constituents in underserved areas of western Nebraska. Working with psychologists in his district and the Nebraska Psychological Association (NPA), Senator Stinner promotes access to care through support for funding for education in healthcare professions, budgetary emphasis on providing insurance, and appropriate provider reimbursement.
“Senator Stinner recognizes the important role psychologists serve in the community and has shown perseverance and invaluable dedication in providing his constituents with the appropriate mental health resources. His legislative actions are instrumental addressing important mental health issues at the state level,” said Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, executive director for professional practice, APA Practice Organization.
Senator Stinner’s previous legislative action has led to the introduction of a Legislative Review (LR-238) that addresses funding for behavioral and mental health internship programs in western Nevada. In addition, his leadership facilitated additional fully-funded integrated care psychology internships placement for 2018-2019. In opposing the Governor’s veto to cut funding for behavioral health provider rates, Senator Stinner demonstrated his commitment to making sure that mental health providers can continue serving their most vulnerable constituents.
“Throughout my campaign and first four years in the legislature, whether its’s psychologists, teachers, judges, law enforcement, school superintendent, or probation officers one of their main concerns and challenges is related to behavioral and mental health issues. Part of my focus has been to address some of those needs,” said Senator Sinner. I believe the majority of mental and behavioral health issues are curable, but we need a coordinated and comprehensive approach starting with the health care provider.”
Looking ahead, Senator Stinner is working to maintain appropriate funding for the Federally Qualified HealthCare Center, recently established as an integrated healthcare clinic. Senator Stinner is also working on a draft bill in collaboration with school psychologists and administration through Nebraska Educational Service Unit 13. The bill supports current efforts to establish a parallel day treatment and day school program. Through the detailed work within the bill, it is evident he acknowledges youths’ significant mental health needs and support for psychologists to provide necessary care.
Senator Sinner was elected to the Nebraska Unicameral in 2014 from Nebraska District 48 representing 37,000 constituents. He also serves as Chair of the Appropriations Committee. As Chair of the Appropriations Committee, he works to preserve appropriate provider reimbursement rates in the face of many challenges.
“Senator Stinner represents an exemplary bipartisan champion for psychologists who are fighting for adequate behavioral health needs in a vastly underserved state dominated by fiscal conservative interests. He is readily accessible, he listens, and he takes concerted action on behalf of his constituents in a manner that has earned him esteem throughout the state and, unequivocally, from NPA,” said NPA President Anne Talbot, PsyD.
The APA Practice Organization’s State Legislator of the Year Award has been presented annually since 2003 to a state legislator who has prominently championed the goals of professional psychology.
The APA Practice Organization is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association, the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. The Practice Organization, a 501 c6 organization, promotes and supports practicing psychologists. www.apapracticecentral.org.
SOURCE American Psychological Association Practice Organization
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