By Adrienne A. Williams, Ph.D.
When I first became editor of The Health Psychologist, I was pretty nervous about finding contributors for the recurring column “Health Policy Corner” for every issue. At that time, I did not know very many people working on health policy as it relates to psychology, and it seemed that only a small number of psychologists were activity following and trying to change health policy. I have been surprised to find that we have entered a time when psychologists are increasingly interested, passionate, and active in health policy development and advocacy.
This was recently evidenced by member participation an SfHP teleconference on “Influencing Health Policy: How to Write Health Policy Briefs” as part of the SfHP teleconference series. Speakers Joanna Buscemi, PhD, Stephanie Fitzpatrick, PhD, and Kristen Riley, PhD led the teleconference, which provided information on how to write health policy briefs and participate in requests for public comment. If you missed it, you can access the slides and teleconference audio here. The Spring 2018 issue of the Graduate Student Newsletter (PDF, 814KB) also includes columns on Advocating for Health Policy Issues on Capitol Hill, the SfHP Health Policy Council, promoting advocacy, and being an advocate.
In this issue of The Health Psychologist, Ranak Trivedi, PhD contributes to Health Policy Corner with a piece about changing policies surrounding informal caregivers, a topic that affects so many of our patients and their health outcomes, regardless of health condition. In addition to governmental policies, this issue also includes a column by Kathleen Ashton, Ph.D., ABPP, FACHP on changing policies within APA/APAPO.
I am looking forward to learning more about changing policies and becoming more active in APA, state, and national policy discussions at this year’s APA Convention in San Francisco. As finding presentations and events at APA that are relevant to you can be overwhelming, please check out the SfHP Convention Programming here (PDF, 106KB) to see events that are specifically geared towards health psychologists. I look forward to seeing many of you there, and if we have never met, please feel free to introduce yourself.
As always, if you have comments, questions, or ideas for future columns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.