It is my pleasure to recognize Dr. Kevin T. Larkin by presenting the 2015 Cynthia Belar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education and Training in Health Psychology.
Kevin received his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1986. That year he joined the faculty at West Virginia University (WVU), where he served 13 years as director of clinical training. Since 2013, he has served as department chair at WVU. Board certified in clinical health psychology, he has participated in every conference and activity related to defining education and training competencies in health psychology in the past ten years.
At one of those training conferences, it was decided that it was time to reinvigorate the then-dormant Council of Clinical Health Psychology Training Programs (CCHPTP). Kevin not only participated in the reinvigoration process, he also chaired CCHPTP from 2007 to 2013. Under Kevin’s leadership CCHPTP became an active in important participant in the Council of Chairs of Training Councils (CCTC), where he played a major role both in helping to define the future and the competencies involved in health service psychology, and in assessing and developing interventions to deal with the increasingly problematic internship match imbalance. The reintroduction of CCHPTP proved to be pivotal in improving relationships among the various general and specialty councils in CCTC, facilitating the collaboration among these groups in the development and comments on the new Standards of Accreditation, and working to ameliorate the internship match imbalance.
Keven was a leader in all of these activities, and was able to both represent the interests of health psychology while simultaneously seeing the bigger picture and remaining sensitive to issues engendered by those concerns as well. He led and/or participated in a number of initiatives in CCHPTP and within APA that put that organization and Division 38 together in a leadership role when it comes to primary integrated care, the possible impact of the Affordable Care Act on education and training, and the competencies that will be required in the future if psychologists are to play a role in these areas.
Kevin has published frequently on issues related to education and training, as well as on topics related to health psychology in general. He is so well recognized in the field, that when the book series “Specialty Competencies in Professional Psychology,” being published by Oxford University Press, wanted a book on competencies in clinical health psychology, Kevin was the obvious choice to author a book on this topic. This book will no doubt serve as a blueprint for education and training in the future.
Kevin has been on the forefront of issues related to education and training. He is a big thinker who is able to see how health psychology fits into the entire context of education and training, and he is able to translate those thoughts into action plans that move the field forward. For this, and for everything else he has done for the field, I congratulate Kevin T. Larkin on receiving the 2015 Cynthia Belar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education and Training in Health Psychology.
Elizabeth A. Klonoff, Ph.D., APBB
Past-president, APA Division 38