Outstanding Advocacy Award

This award honors a psychologist whose advocacy efforts have impacted psychology and psychologists.

2023 Outstanding Advocacy Award Winner
Michelle McGuire, Psy.D. 
was recognized for their dedicated efforts. As co-chair of the Legislative Committee Dr. McGuire has stepped up and into advocating for psychology, mental health, and consumers of mental health services in Nevada. She brings her passion and commitment to this process – reviewing legislation and speaking to the issues in developing NPA’s responses. This is not surprising given her history of advocating for her clients with autism and their need for compassionate and comprehensive services, for the children in the foster care system that she evaluates and testifies on behalf of, and for the needs and rights of transgender and other LGBTQ youth and adults. In addition, she is creating opportunities for graduate level training with the students and interns she mentors, helping to increase the workforce of psychologists in our state. Those same students are introduced to the importance of advocacy during their training with Dr. McGuire – helping to ensure the legacy of psychologists as scientists, practitioners, and advocates in Nevada.

2022 Outstanding Advocacy Award Winner
Christina Patterson, Ph.D. was 
recognized for their energy and passion for advocacy to the Legislative Committee for the last two years. In addition to moving NPA toward a more active role in advocating for mental health issues in Nevada, Dr. Patterson has met with legislators, drafted letters and provided testimony when needed. Dr. Patterson lives what they believe with additional roles in advocacy for LGBTQ+ issues at state and national levels.

Dr. Patterson has also demonstrated exceptional advocacy efforts in attempts to improve the field of psychology for providers and the public. Nationally as President Elect of the Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity and Public Policy Committee Member, and locally as NPA's Legislative Committee Chair for the Southern Region and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee member of NPA, they have demonstrated their commitment to seeing a more equitable and inclusive world while promoting the importance of healing mental health spaces. 

2021 Outstanding Advocacy Award Winner
Noelle Lefforge, Ph.D. 
was recognized for her outstanding advocacy efforts. 
Since 2012, she has been an active member of NPA’s Legislative Committee. Depending on NPA’s needs, Dr. Lefforge served as Interim Chair, Subcommittee Chair, and Member. She has been extensively involved in advocacy at all levels, and the following is just a sample of her work. Dr. Lefforge has frequently provided legislative testimony, such as the following:

  • Advocating for insurance paneling for all licensed psychologists who want to be paneled.
  • Opposed law that would have added unnecessary requirements to require both parents consent for mental healthcare treatment
  • Advocating for a corporate practice bill, the first NPA initiated bill to become law, which permitted psychologists to be equal partners with other professionals

In addition to formal testimony, Dr. Lefforge has spearheaded other advocacy actions. Most recently, she drafted the letter to raise concerns that are limiting psychologists from non-APA accredited programs enrollment in PSYPACT. In addition, she has authored several letters used in court proceedings to protect patient confidentiality, distinguish patient process notes from progress notes, and oppose third party observation of psychological testing. Dr. Lefforge has contributed to many of NPA’s official statements, particularly those that bring attention to social inequities (e.g., statement on migrant children and families, statement following Capitol riots). She has frequently advocated in other settings for underserved communities, such as at Medicaid hearings and Board of Psychological Examiners’ workshops. She has also engaged in federal advocacy by participated in Capitol Hill visits three times to advocate for victims of sexual assault, psychologists’ inclusion in the physician definition, and expansion of telehealth.

Lastly, Dr. Lefforge also been teaching trainees about advocacy. She has also taught Diversity Issues in Professional Psychology for almost ten years. Dr. Lefforge encourages students to engage in not just awareness, but social action. Advocacy is integrated into all the work she does as a psychologist.

2020 Outstanding Advocacy Award Winner
L.E. Chapple-Love, Ph.D. was recognized for her dedication 
to advocating for marginalized populations through educating professionals and community members through the following research presentation and lecture series as listed below:        

  • Treating LGBTQ2 Populations in Health Care
  • Beyond Representation: How can Afro-futurisn foster creativity and empowerment in Black youth
  • LGBTQ+ Competent Care Series
  • Queer Representation: The Psychological Impact of Seeing Ourselves in Media
  • COVID-19: Supporting African American Communities
  • Inclusive Care for LGBTQ2S Populations
  • Amplify Equity: COVID-19s Impact on Nevada Diversity and Equity Populations
  • We All We Got: The Black Community and COVID-19
  • LGBTQ2S Populations and COVID-19

2019 Michelle Paul, Ph.D., William O'Donohue, Ph.D. and Anthony Papa, Ph.D.
2018 Adrianna Wechsler Zimring, Ph.D

2017 Shera Bradley, Ph.D
2016 Melanie Crawford, Ph.D
2015 Laura Drucker, Psy.D. and Lindsey Ricciardi, Ph.D
2014 Lisa Linning, Ph.D
2013 Louis Mortillaro, Ph.D
2012 Judy Phoenix, Ph.D and Gary Lenkeit, Ph.D
2011 Michelle Carro, Ph.D
2008 Michelle Carro, Ph.D
2006 Roberta Ferguson, Ph.D
2005 Jo Velasquez, Ph.D
2004 Michelle Carro, Ph.D
2003 Judy Phoenix, Ph.D.