President’s Column

Alex Rothman, PhD
Alex Rothman, PhD

Alex Rothman, PhD

It’s convention time! By the time you read this newsletter, there will be fewer than 38 days until we gather in Denver, CO, to celebrate the 38th year of our organization. I hope you will find time to join us.

Thanks to the hard and thoughtful work of our members, led by 2016 Program Chair Shawna Ehlers and her co-Chair, Joanna Buscemi, we have an exceptional slate of programing and activities waiting for you. Starting at 8:00 am on Thursday, August 4th with a symposium on training and careers in health psychology until the end of our second poster session at 11:00 am on Sunday, August 7th, you can participate in (nearly) continuous Society-led programming.

The program offers an exceptional array of activities, including Invited Addresses by Monica Webb Hooper (“Health Psychology and the Fight Against Tobacco: Past, Present, and Future”) and Amy Gorin (“Moving beyond the Individual: Intervening in Obesogenic Environments to Promote Weight Management”), as well as a broad range of symposia on topics such as:   “Integrated Primary Care Models: State of the Art and Future Directions,” “Translate 38: Improving Cancer Health for 38 Years,” and “Fear, Uncertainty, and Catastrophizing in Chronic Conditions.”

There will also be special opportunities to learn about seeking board certification in clinical health psychology, and, for our graduate students, a chance to meet with training directors of health psychology internship programs. Many Society programs (and collaborative sessions with other divisions) will focus on developing leadership skills, as well as education, training, and skill-building for integrated care.

To mark our anniversary we will be holding a special symposium, “Celebrate 38: SfHP Presidential Panel – The Trajectory of Health Psychology.” We hope to have 15-20 past presidents of our Society together to reflect both on the evolution of health psychology over the past 38 years and on the future of health psychology as it unfolds over the next 38. There may also be a chance to demonstrate your knowledge about the Society and its history (can you name all of the presidents – in order?).

The convention is also a time for us to hand out awards and recognize the exceptional achievement of our colleagues. Please take the time to join us at the Society’s Membership Meeting on Saturday afternoon to congratulate these distinguished recipients of our Society’s awards:

  • Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology by a Senior Professional
    Timothy W. Smith, PhD, University of Utah
  • Outstanding Contributions to Health Psychology by an Early Career Professional
    Richard B. Slatcher, PhD, Wayne State University
    Janet Tomiyama, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology
    Lloyd Berg, PhD, ABPP, The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School Psychiatry Residency Program at the Seton Healthcare Family
  • Cynthia D. Belar Award for Outstanding Contributions to Education & Training in Health Psychology
    Christine Dunkel Schetter, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology
    Robert D. Kerns, PhD, Yale University

Following the Membership Meeting, please join us at The Crimson Room (1433 Larimer Street) for our Society for Health Psychology’s 38th Anniversary Celebration. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to socialize with old friends, make new friends, toast our award recipients, and celebrate both what our Society has accomplished over the past 38 years and its vibrant future.

Although much time and effort is focused on convention, there are several other important initiatives that are coming to the fore this summer. I am delighted to report that the Society’s new website is nearly ready to go live.   It will provide a wonderful platform for our Society’s activities and resources.    Many, many thanks for the tireless work of Austin Baldwin, Stephen Hardy, Jessica Barber, Ranak Trivedi, and Joshua Eyer.

The final version of the Society’s Long Range Plan (LRP) is also almost ready to be released as it is undergoing a final review and approval by the Society’s Executive Committee. Thanks again to the many of you who took the time to submit comments on the LRP earlier this Spring.

The summer is also the time for transitions as the leadership of the Society as well as many of our committees turn over following the APA convention. I will be handing over the Society’s steering wheel to my colleague, Dawn Wilson, and I have no doubt that the Society will benefit from her vision and leadership.    I also want to thank my colleagues who are concluding their terms this summer, including:

Kim Dixon, Past-President, Chair of Finance and Awards Committees
Robert Kerns, Member-at-Large
Charles Emery, Nominations & Elections Committee, Chair
Shawna Ehlers, 2016 APA Program Chair
Travis Lovejoy, Early Career Professionals Council, Chair
Zina Trost, International Relations Committee, Chair
Lisa Auster-Gussman, 2016 Student Council Chair
Anne Kazak, Editor, Health Psychology
Andrea Bradford, Editor, The Health Psychologist
Adrienne Williams, Anniversary Task Force, Chair
Justin Nash and Joshua Eyer, Long Range Planning Task Force, Co-Chairs 

The Society wouldn’t be where it is without all of your time and effort.

Those of you who pay close attention to the timing of Society announcements may be wondering why you have yet to hear about election results. Typically, at this time, we would be able to announce the results, but the closing of the election was delayed slightly due to an administrative issue at APA. We will be able to share with you the election outcomes in mid-July.

Finally, thank you for allowing me to have the privilege of leading this organization. It has been a pleasure working with you to advance the mission of our Society. I hope all of you remain engaged and committed members of this Society as we start our next 38 years.