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DBT40 Honoree: Meghan Walls

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Position: Pediatric Psychologist & Legislative and Policy Advisor

Employer: Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Age: 37

The physical impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been evident over the past eight months, but pediatric psychologist Meghan Walls is highlighting how the crisis has affected people’s mental health too and pushing for better treatment for vulnerable populations.

Walls, who is part of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, provides outpatient therapy and behavioral and developmental wellness consultations. She also recently joined the hospital’s external affairs division as a legislative and policy advisor, analyzing and advocating for health care policies that benefit the children of Delaware and surrounding states.

As the Delaware Psychological Association’s advocacy chair, Walls has pushed for telehealth that reaches all families in need of mental health care by advocating for waivers that would allow telephone-only sessions, the use of Facetime and Google hangouts for sessions, and interstate practice.

Walls has also worked to integrate mental health into COVID-19 testing centers, starting in Sussex County, by providing resources to communities in need, including a list of Spanish-speaking telehealth providers and having mental health professionals available at walk-up community clinics.

At the state level, Walls has served as co-chair of Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long’s Behavioral Health Consortium and the state advocacy chair of the Delaware Psychological Association’s Executive Council. She also recently co-chaired a health and wellness workgroup for the School Reopening Taskforce with Gov. John Carney’s office and the Department of Education.

Walls served as the state legislative lead for the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and she initiated efforts to address violence in schools as a member of the Red Clay Consolidated School District Parent Advisory Council.

Caffeine is a must for Walls in the morning, as her husband can attest to. The couple have two daughters and two rescue dogs. One of the family’s traditions is taking an annual trip to New Hampshire to climb Mt. Washington.

Walls also won a silver medal for synchronized swimming in the Junior Olympics. 

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