Dr. Tony Puente and Dr. Art Graesser Keynote Speakers at LPA Convention

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Dr. Antonio Puente, the 2017 President of the American Psychological Association, and Dr. Art Graesser, Professor in the Psychology Department and the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the U. of Memphis and Honorary Research Fellow at Oxford, will lead off keynote addresses for 2019 Annual Convention of the Louisiana Psychological Association, to be held in June 14 and 15 at the Sheraton Galleria in New Orleans–Metairie.

Dr. Puente will deliver the Janet and Lee Matthews Invited Address on the opening day, a sentimental event following the death of community leader Dr. Janet Matthews in late March.

Puente, who will speak on “Making a Difference: Psychology’s Identity & Contributions in the Coming Decades,” has been at the forefront of changes in the profession, and the first and only psychologist ever to serve on the CPT committee, a key working group that helps define how healthcare services are structured through the codes and definitions. He lectures around the country about the issues affecting psychologists now and in the future.

Dr. Graesser is an expert in cognitive science, discourse processing, artificial intelligence and learning, who will deliver the Century Members Invited Address on Saturday, “Collaborative Problem Solving, Communication, and Comprehension in the 21st Century.”

Graesser is the lead author for “Advancing the Science of Collaborative Problem Solving,” the recent issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, published by the Association for Psychological Science.

Dr. Puente has presented his insider knowledge and thoughtful views about the sweeping changes in healthcare, tracking the payment changes such as those impacting issues of chronic diseases, care transition groups, team and interdisciplinary care, and population management. He has pointed to a “tsunai of change” before it started and follows the shifts to comprehensive care, uniformity, and integrative care, and the focus on performance.

Puente has said that the current and future paradigms include boutique services, prevention, integrative & multidisciplinary, and performance based reimbursement and a shift from federal to state.

For 15 years, Puente was the APA representative to the CPT system and was the person responsible for the adding the words, “Qualified Healthcare Professional,” to healthcare terms. For reasons that were very complicated and that he doesn’t fully understand, he ended up on the select, 17person team, CPT Editorial Panel. He was the only psychologist in that group, the only psychologist that’s ever been on the panel, and only the third non-physician that has ever been on the panel.

Dr. Graesser, who will deliver the Saturday keynote, says that collaborative problem-solving is a 21st century skill that is critical to efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation in the modern world.

Collaborative problem-solving is needed, not for routine work, or even team work, but for that event when a group must solve a novel problem where little or no plan for success exists and where team members are interdependent, each with different resources and knowledge, he has explained.

“CPS is an essential skill in the home, the workforce, and the community,” he writes, “because many of the problems faced in the modern world require teams to integrate group achievements with team members’ idiosyncratic knowledge. CPS requires both cognitive and social skills.” He and others note that we are in a new age, an age where rapid growth in information and technology is creating complexity in social, political, and economic systems. Everything is affected–– education, healthcare, big industry, small business and even family and home life. Problems are larger and more complex, they span disciplines, people and geography. What was once simple is no longer simple or routine.

Psychological scientists have made a distinction between shallow knowledge––the kind of cognitive information useful for solving simple, routine problems––and deep knowledge.

“Deep knowledge,” writes Dr. Art Graesser, expert in both collaborative problemsolving and artificial intelligence, “is achieved to the extent that learners comprehend difficult technical material, construct mental models of systems, solve problems, justify claims with evidence and
logical arguments, identify inaccurate information, resolve contradictions, quantify ideas precisely, and build artifacts.”

Deep knowledge can be trained into each individual, says Graesser. But another, and sometimes more efficient approach is to train individuals “… to better participate in collaborative problem solving so that groups can collectively master and implement deep knowledge.”

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