This year, the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (SPPAC) was held in Atlanta, GA, April 14-16. A record number of 741 conference attendees participated, including international colleagues from Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and Ireland. The continued growth of this conference is exciting and a testament to the incredible work being done by SPP members.
The conference schedule included nine outstanding workshops, 12 symposia, and four poster sessions, representing innovative research and applications to clinical practice. Our featured speakers exemplified our overarching focus on interdisciplinary collaborations, primary care, and evidence-based practices, while also highlighting work with diverse populations and intervention development.
SPP President Sharon Berry opened the conference by reminding us of the joys of our work and what it means to be a pediatric psychologist. She challenged us to inspire others and to disseminate our work.
Other highlights included the keynote address by Lee Sanders, who focused on the need to consider our patients’ level of health literacy and how to ensure our patients’ understanding of medical information. Gayle Brooks, our diversity keynote speaker, told of the many “diverse” faces who are affected by eating disorders. In her invited address, Nadine Kaslow emphasized the importance of the therapeutic alliance for evidence-based practices to be effective.
Deborah Christie reminded us that not only is the science of pediatric psychology intervention important to patient care, but also the art of collaborating with the patients we serve using storytelling and narratives.
During the conference, we honored the SPP award winners with moving talks commemorating their contributions to SPP. New this year was Internships and Postdoctoral Fellowships on Parade—a resounding success with over 30 programs represented.