This year’s theme is “Health Psychology’s Contribution to Better Understanding and Addressing the Needs of the Underserved in Health Care.” We are all aware that disparities in health, and health care access, are major contributors to costs and burden for individuals, families, communities, and society. There is an opportunity for health psychology to have a greater role in better understanding and addressing the health needs of those who are most impacted by health disparities – those in the various underserved communities.
In science, practice, and training, health psychologists are immersed in working with diverse under-resourced individuals. This year’s theme focuses on the contributions that health psychologists can make to improving the health and well-being of socioculturally diverse individuals in varying under-resourced communities. The diversity of individuals, their social determinants of health, and co-morbid chronic medical and mental illness create challenges for psychologists. Integrated care settings, while providing new opportunities for psychologists to work with underserved individuals, create additional challenges for psychologists who are unaccustomed to the culture and operations of medical settings.
We encourage program submissions that enhance our understanding of, and help us better address, the complex health needs of individuals from diverse underserved communities. Submissions are invited that advance the evidence base in how we address the needs of the underserved in science, practice, and training. This includes strategies used for empirical approaches to working with complex patients in integrated care settings.
The deadline for submissions of symposia or posters will be December 1, 2017 through the APA website (www.apa.org). We strongly encourage SfHP Councils and Committees to submit symposia proposals that address this year’s theme or other health psychology topics. Also, symposia that offer continuing education (CE) credits are highly preferred. Travel awards of $500 will be given to the five top-rated posters. We look forward to your submissions, and to seeing you at next year’s meeting.