Alice Ann Holland, Ph.D., ABPP

Practice Location and type:
I'm an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), and I see clinical patients in my role with the Neuropsychology Service at Children’s Medical Center Dallas (CMCD). I also serve as Research Director for the CMCD Neuropsychology Service and serve on the Research Committee for the UTSW Clinical Psychology Graduate Program.

Please tell us about your professional practice:
At CMCD, I specialize in pediatric oncology and rare brain diseases. Most of my clinical caseload is oncology since rare brain diseases are, well, rare. My research focuses on the investigation of genetic and intrapersonal factors influencing neurocognitive outcomes in medically complex children, adolescents, and young adults, with a particular focus on both pediatric oncology and rare brain diseases. I'm also very involved in legislative advocacy to promote mental health services both in Texas and at a national level. I served as President of the Texas Psychological Association in 2019 and led efforts that eventually succeeded in making Texas the second state ever to establish clear standards for clinical practice in neuropsychology. I'm currently in my second year serving as Member-at-Large on the NAN Board. 

What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I've been riding horses for almost 30 years now, and although I don't have time to ride as regularly as I used to, I make it a priority to get in the saddle enough not to get too rusty. During grad school, I'd drive an hour each way to the barn after class and ride under the arena lights after dark at least once a week -- it kept me sane! I also love traveling and experiencing other cultures (which I've been missing terribly during COVID); reading (mostly fiction); baking (I finally attempted and conquered soufflés during quarantine); taking our dog on walks around the neighborhood (or just to a nearby patio); and long, lazy dinner parties with friends (pre-COVID, and hopefully again soon).

Why did you join NAN?
I've been involved with NAN since I was a graduate student, both working as a student volunteer at the Annual Conference and presenting at NAN Grand Rounds in 2011. (I am forever grateful to that audience for being so kind and collegial to a mere graduate student, which boosted my confidence in public speaking!) These days, I value NAN most of all for its incredible dedication to legislative advocacy, in which I was honored to play a role as Co-Chair of the Legislative Action & Advocacy Committee (LAAC) from 2016-2018. My involvement in NAN to date has left me so impressed by the vision and commitment of this organization. Through my role with the LAAC, I saw how hard NAN works to serve our profession, and I'm so appreciative of the opportunity to keep contributing to those efforts through the role of Member-at-Large.

Do you have any advice to offer or anything else you’d like to add?
I think learning how to say "no" to certain opportunities (for the sake of work-life balance and time management) is wonderful advice and something I'm still trying to master. However, I would caveat that advice with the following: Don't say "no" to opportunities just because you think you're not qualified or aren't sure you're the best fit. I never dreamed that I would become so involved in legislative advocacy for our profession, but I said "yes" to an opportunity that presented itself when I was a graduate student, and through that, I gained skills and knowledge -- and subsequent opportunities -- in legislative advocacy that I never would have sought out otherwise. It's been a privilege to be on the front lines fighting for our profession -- and for improvements in mental health services and access -- at the state and national level. So, don't box yourself in or rule yourself out of opportunities too quickly. You never know what you're capable of until you try...and especially when it comes to legislative advocacy, there is such a great need for more people to get involved. I'm happy to chat with anyone who might be interested in learning more!