Adrienne A. Williams, PhD
The time since the last issue of The Health Psychologist has been full of changes in leadership. Within the American Psychological Association (APA), Jessica Henderson Daniel, PhD was elected the 2017 APA president-elect, and will serve as APA president in 2018. APA also named Arthur C. Evans, Jr. PhD as its new CEO, and he will begin serving in this position on March 20, 2017. We look forward to seeing what changes they will bring to APA that will help shape the future of the organization and the field of psychology.
Additionally, of course, was the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Since the U.S. presidential election, the Society for Health Psychology (SfHP) listserv has been full of posts on topics related to potential changes that the new administration might bring. Many of these posts were about how new policies may impact clinical care, especially within specific patient populations, such as immigrants and transgendered patients. There were also many questions about potential changes in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and how those may impact patient populations.
To help further examine the current debates on health policy, I reached out to Dr. Daniel Bruns – who recently received an APA Presidential Citation from Dr. Susan McDaniel for his leadership in health policy and advocacy – to contribute to this issue’s Health Policy Corner. In “Healthcare Reform and the Avoidance of Moral Hazards,” Dr. Bruns explores different proposed health care models and the associated risks of each model using the economic framework of “moral hazards.”
The winter 2017 issue of the SfHP Graduate Student Newsletter also includes several articles on working with patient populations that may be impacted by current events and policy changes, and highlights some of the challenges faced by a health psychology graduate student with an undocumented immigration status.
As stated in my last editor’s column, I hope to add new content to The Health Psychologist that is both useful and interesting to our readers. In addition to keeping up with current events and policy, some people have indicated that they would like to learn more about professional use of ever-evolving technology. In this issue, graduate student Allyson S. Hughes, M.A. provides a primer for using social media in a professional manner. If there are other technology topics that you would be interested in learning about, please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would like to remind people to please join in the second annual #ThisIsHealthPsych social media challenge. On March 8 (3/8 for Division 38!), we challenge health psychologists to post something on social media that they did that day in the role of health psychologist, using the hashtag #ThisIsHealthPsych. This will help raise public awareness of the wide range of health psychologists’ skills and abilities. If you are reading this after March 8th, please post anyway!