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Regent Doctoral Student Jordan Luck Advocates with Virginia Delegate Amanda Batten for Changes to Interstate Counseling Compact Protocol through HB 537

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (February 16, 2022) – After learning about the limitations imposed by an interstate counseling compact during his August 2021 doctoral residency, Jordan Luck, a student in Regent University’s Counselor Education & Supervision program, took action. He emailed Delegate Amanda Batten, a representative of Virginia’s 96th District, to advocate for better telemedicine behavioral health protocol and more cohesive continuity of mental health client care. Luck’s initiative was instrumental in the creation of House Bill 537, which was passed by the House chamber on February 9, 2022.

“I was inspired by what I learned from Dr. Jacqueline Smith (Associate Professor and Counseling Department Chair at Regent) regarding the state of the counseling field,” Luck explained.

During that residency, as with every residency she leads, Smith gave her doctoral students what she calls her “state of the union address,” challenging them to think about what they can do to remove or minimize institutional policies and state legislation and regulations that hinder counselors’ ability to provide mental health care to clients, students, families, and communities.  “I point out that things like mental health parity, the Medicare mental health coverage gap, lack of licensure portability, inadequate funding for school counselors, lack of consumer awareness of counseling, and other barriers are not going to go away unless counselors do something about them,” she said.

From that discussion, Luck was compelled to email his local delegate, Batten, to learn whether she was aware of such details. His email led to an hour-long phone conversation with Batten just one week later. “She was open to learning about each mental health topic and eagerly invited additional dialogue,” he said.

Based on their discussion, Batten introduced HB 537 Telemedicine: out of state providers, behavioral health services. In late January 2022, Luck was invited to speak to the Health, Welfare, and Institutions subcommittee #1 in response to the bill. The HB 537 summary states the following:

“The bill allows certain practitioners of professions regulated by the Boards of Medicine, Counseling, Psychology, and Social Work who provide behavioral health services and who are licensed in another state, the District of Columbia, or a United States territory or possession and in good standing with such regulatory agency to engage in the practice of that profession in the Commonwealth with a patient located in the Commonwealth when (i) such practice is for the purpose of providing continuity of care through the use of telemedicine services and (ii) the practitioner has previously established a practitioner-patient relationship with the patient. The bill provides that a practitioner who provides behavioral health services to a patient located in the Commonwealth through the use of telemedicine services may provide such services for a period of no more than one year from the date on which the practitioner began providing such services to such patient.

On February 1, 2022, the bill was reported out of the subcommittee unanimously and went to the full committee for a vote on February 9, 2022, which resulted in the bill’s passage.

“I am hopeful that my interaction will show that advocacy in the counseling profession is not as complicated as many of us make it out to be,” said Luck. “I simply reached out to my delegate and had an open conversation about the state of my profession.”

“It will only be through advocacy efforts, like the work Jordan is doing in telemedicine, that the public, including lawmakers, will understand the counseling profession and the role we play in the wellness and mental health care of our society,” Smith said. “One of my goals is to pass the baton and create the next generation of leaders in the field. The Counseling faculty are so proud of Jordan! I guess you can say he has grabbed the baton.”

Luck, LPC, LMFT, CSAC, is a licensed professional counselor in Williamsburg, VA, specializing in marriage and family therapy, as well as men’s issues and substance abuse. He is seeking his CES degree because of his desire to train clinicians seeking to heal and help individuals in need. “I can only help so many clients per week by myself,” he said.

He shared that he chose Regent for its unique mix of spirituality and expertise in counseling and counselor education. Structured for working professionals, the Ph.D. program is delivered online with residency requirements that provide for students to continue working and supporting their family responsibilities while attending classes. 

 “The mission of Christian Leadership to Change the World, to me, means that I can be a prolific scientist and researcher while also chasing God,” Luck said. “Those two concepts do not have to be mutually exclusive, and I hope to show that in my life.”

The Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education & Supervision, offered within Regent’s School of Psychology & Counseling, prepares counselors to become educators, researchers, supervisors, and leaders in their profession. To learn how you can make an immediate impact in counseling or psychology through personalized curriculum, experiential learning opportunities, and a distinguished professional network, explore regent.edu/spc.

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About Regent University

Founded in 1978, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University is ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (Study.com, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for 10 years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2022).

About the School of Psychology & Counseling

The School of Psychology & Counseling is one of a handful of Christian institutions offering programs accredited by both the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Additionally, the school’s Psy.D. match rate is 20% higher than the national average. Known for delivering award-winning programs, students are taught by acclaimed faculty who integrate the science of human behavior with faith-based principles. The school offers both online and on campus degrees including M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A. in School Counseling, M.A. in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling, M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, M.A. in Human Services, M.S. in Psychology, Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology, Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision, and Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies.