Andrea Bradford, PhD
This issue marks the second anniversary of The Health Psychologist as a web-based publication! I would like to extend heartfelt appreciation and thanks to Barbara Keeton, Keith Cooke at APA Division Services, Alex Rothman, Jerry Suls, and our many recent contributors for their essential support to turn our updated newsletter concept into a reality and sustain its growth. I’m also delighted to share that readership for The Health Psychologist has been steadily increasing. Compared to our 2014 figures, the 2015 issues of The Health Psychologist received an approximately 44% increase in both page views and visitors!
It is through The Health Psychologist that I have aimed to highlight a range of strengths, perspectives, and experiences of our large and diverse membership. In fact, the most viewed newsletter pieces over the past year have been original member contributions. For instance, the report titled “Increasing Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Health Psychology ” by Jenny Nguyen and Sarah Mills was the single most viewed article in 2015, reaching 606 views. Notably, this article was first published in Summer 2014! What a great example of how the Internet enables content to “live on” well past the usual shelf life of a printed newsletter! Not far behind page views in 2015 were Rodger Kessler and colleagues’ research summary, “Measuring Behavioral Health Integration in Primary Care Setting ” and Daniel Vogel’s clinical perspective titled “Psychology in Acute Care – An Account from Personal Experience.” These highly-viewed contributions, which cut across topics, professional activities, and career stages, are a window into the vibrant heart of our Society for Health Psychology.
Despite our different job functions, practice settings, and training backgrounds, on some issues we are forced to put our heads together to make sense of essential problems facing our field and our profession. To that end, for this issue I reached out to Travis Lovejoy and Jared Skillings for help in assembling SfHP early career professional (ECP) perspectives on the aftermath and implications of last year’s independent review of APA’s activities by David Hoffman. Why focus on the perspectives of ECPs? The short answer is because, in addition to having achieved significant representation in SfHP, ECPs “own” the issues raised in Hoffman’s report by virtue of being in the position to inherit them. Therefore I highly recommend that you read Dr. Skillings’ article titled “Towards Ethical Leadership in Psychology ,” which summarizes the efforts of ECPs within APA to coordinate a meaningful response to the Hoffman report and deliver that response to the APA leadership. Three SfHP ECPs have kindly contributed their own reactions, highlighting the broad stakes of future efforts to make APA a more transparent, accountable, and responsive organization.
As SfHP members look outward at the larger structure and function of APA as a whole, we are also in the midst of exciting but uncertain evolution of our professional roles as health psychologists. In this issue, Richard Seime presents a compelling case to consider the merits of board certification for clinical health psychologists, particularly for those of us who work in integrated healthcare settings. I hope to see many of you in Denver this August at the APA Convention (with Dan Bruns having graciously introduced us to this beautiful part of the country ) to continue these conversations about the future of psychology, and health psychology in particular.
This August I will be passing the editorship of the newsletter into the very capable and competent hands of Adrienne Williams, who was recently selected to succeed me as editor of The Health Psychologist. Recently, Dr. Williams has been actively involved in organizing and promoting activities surrounding the 38th anniversary of Division 38. Coming off the heels of this retrospective work, she be very well positioned to take the newsletter in its next direction. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Williams to the newsletter team!
With warm wishes for the year ahead,