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Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

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Psychology Internship Training Program Receives New 7-Year Accreditation from APA

December 6, 2013

BAY PINES, FL – The Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) Psychology Internship Training Program was granted a new 7-year accreditation by the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Commission of Accreditation on November 26. The accreditation was granted based on the training program’s adherence to the Guidelines and Principles for Accreditation of Programs in Professional Psychology (G&P) * established by APA.

"Education is the foundation for developing the hearts and minds of new clinicians who dedicate themselves to providing the very best care to the men and women we serve across our healthcare system," said Suzanne M. Klinker, Director, Bay Pines VAHCS. "This is a wonderful achievement for our organization and a reflection of quality and commitment to training and educating the newest generation of health care providers."

The Bay Pines VAHCS Psychology Internship Training Program has been accredited by APA since 1981. The 12-month program is currently designed to accommodate seven pre-doctoral psychology interns. Interns selected for the program work full-time, receive compensation and other benefits. The goal of the program is to prepare the interns for competent entry into the complex roles of clinical or counseling psychologists.

During their time at the Bay Pines VAHCS, interns are expected to achieve foundational competencies in several core training areas and also complete clinical rotations in subspecialty areas within the healthcare system’s Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences Service.

"Over the years, this program has expanded and grown into an extremely competitive and nationally recognized training opportunity for future psychologists," said Dr. Zoe Proctor-Weber, Director of Pre-Doctoral Psychology Training, Bay Pines VAHCS and also a 2012 APA, Division 18 Early Career Achievement Award winner *. Last year, 355 individuals located across the country competed for the seven available intern slots, she said. "Our training program is unique and is tailored to accommodate each intern’s specific skill set, strengths and areas of further development," she said.

"When they leave, most find employment in some of the most complex public and private health care systems in the country." The Bay Pines VAHCS also offers a 12-month Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program that accommodates two full-time fellows. The postdoctoral program is also accredited by APA. To learn more about psychology training offered by the Bay Pines VAHCS, please visit

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System 
The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 3,500 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. Every year the organization treats approximately 103,000 patients while providing a full range of high quality medical, psychiatric, and extended care services in outpatient, inpatient, nursing home, and home care settings. 

* Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites. The link will open in a new window.