Nominees for Member-at-Large : Diversity

Meet Anna Maria Patino-Fernandez and Mery Macaluso Taylor

The Division 54 slate of candidates for the 2012 election for division Member-at-Large: Diversity.

Anna Maria Patino-Fernandez, PhD

Anna Maria Patino-Fernandez is a pediatric psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty, Patino-Fernandez completed her internship training at Children’s Hospital Boston and postdoctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Patino-Fernandez is a clinician, researcher, and teacher. She heads up the Pediatric Medical Coping Clinic, where children with chronic illnesses are seen to facilitate adjustment and reduce distress. She is an active researcher conducting prevention and intervention research with children with diabetes and obesity and their families. As PI and co-investigator of university-and NIH-funded grants, Patino-Fernandez examines the health behaviors of minority children and their families, with the purpose of improving adherence to treatment, health behaviors, and physical health. She also supervises trainees at the Mailman Center during various stages of their doctoral training.

She has been a member of Division 54’s Diversity Committee since 2008 and served as Division 54’s Program Committee Chair in 2008 and 2011. She’s a member of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes and recently served on the conference planning committee.

Candidate Statement
I am honored and excited to receive this nomination for the Member at Large for Diversity position. Serving children and families from diverse ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds in clinical and research settings has been central to my career.

I am eager to serve as Member at Large for Diversity with the goals of training pediatric psychologists with a commitment to diversity and training pediatric psychologists from diverse backgrounds. I feel well qualified to assist in this capacity: I am a strong advocate for the training of culturally diverse and competent professionals at our training program through our Bilingual Consultation Group; I am dedicated to working with families from diverse backgrounds; and through the Diversity Committee and SIG, am involved in reviewing for poster and grant awards but more importantly participating in conversations to ensure we remain committed to understanding all kinds of diversity.

I look forward to working again with the SPP board and membership to carry-on the important work of the Diversity Committee in supporting the Division’s commitment to all aspects of diversity. I hope to continue to work with other committees to integrate our efforts of respecting, appreciating and promoting diversity in all its expressions. I appreciate your support and look forward to working with you as Member-at-Large for Diversity.

Mery Macaluso Taylor, PhD

Mery Macaluso Taylor is a pediatric psychologist at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in Southern California, where she co-leads the Inpatient Pediatric Psychology Consultation Team and heads the Department of Pediatric Psychology’s multicultural training. Her clinical/research interests include endocrine disorders, adherence, anorexia, cultural impact on perceptions of illness, and cultural and linguistic competency.

Taylor earned her PhD from the University of Kansas, completed her internship at the Children’s Hospital of Boston, and fulfilled her postdoctoral training at both Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and CHOC. In 2009, she was awarded an APA Minority Fellowship.

Taylor has been active in training students at the practicum, internship, and postdoctoral levels at CHOC, with an emphasis in C/L and endocrinology. She developed and co-leads an innovative seminar and supervision experience for psychology trainees who speak Spanish. The seminar’s development was based on her own experience as a bilingual therapist, as well as feedback from Spanish-speaking psychology trainees who were struggling to provide services in Spanish regardless of their language proficiency. She saw a need to develop a more formalized training experience to increase comfort and competency in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services.

Candidate Statement
I am honored to be nominated for Member at Large for Diversity. It is a position that encompasses my own personal mission of providing competent services to children and families of diverse backgrounds, as well as my professional goal to train others to do the same.

As a member of the Diversity Committee/SIG since 2008, I have been able to channel my passion for promoting these interests.

Over the past two years, as chair of the diversity poster awards and as a member of the grant awards subcommittee, I have had the privilege of reading and evaluating the wonderful research of our newest pediatric psychologists. It has been an honor to work with Celia Lescano and all of the Diversity Committee/SIG members these past few years. I am proud of our work in promoting diversity awareness in SPP initiatives and in becoming a SIG.

If elected, I will continue to promote the integration of diversity issues in all aspects of SPP’s endeavors. I also want to continue SPP’s commitment to diversity by developing an initiative for developing and promoting culturally appropriate interventions, as well as creating guidelines for training pediatric psychologists in other languages to address the growing needs of culturally and linguistically diverse populations.