Welcome to Div. 54’s newest special interest group, PG-SIG.
By Michele Herzer Maddux and Amanda Drews Deacy
The Pediatric Gastroenterology Special Interest Group (PG-SIG) is an officially recognized special interest group within the Society of Pediatric Psychology. Members of the PG-SIG meet annually in conjunction with the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (SPPAC).
As co-founders of the PG-SIG, Jennifer Schurman and Anthony Alioto set out with an overarching mission to foster multidisciplinary collaboration among professionals working in different disciplines to improve the lives of children and adolescents with gastroenterological (GI) conditions. Since its inception in January 2010, the goals of the PG-SIG have evolved to the following:
- To facilitate the study and discussion of psychosocial aspects of pediatric GI conditions.
- To develop collaborative relationships among practitioners who carry out psychological interventions with pediatric GI populations.
- To carry out high-quality research into the psychosocial aspects of pediatric Gl conditions.
- To further develop empirically supported treatment protocols specific to different pediatric GI conditions.
- To engage in professional dialogue about the role of the pediatric psychologist in sections/departments of gastroenterology.
Approximately 90 members strong, the PG-SIG maintains an active listserv for the exclusive use of its members. Members are also connected through a PG-SIG website that facilitates ongoing networking among members. The website includes information on clinical practice guidelines, assessment tools, training opportunities, classic literature, and current expert perspectives, all focused on pediatric gastroenterological conditions.
Trainees interested in pediatric gastroenterology as a subspecialty are especially encouraged to join the PG-SIG. As evidence of our dedication to training, two student representatives, Bonney Reed-Knight (Emory University) and Andrea Wojtowicz (Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science), are currently working with our member-at-large for research and member-at-large for clinical, respectively, to cultivate research collaboration among SIG members and identify interdisciplinary care models currently applied at institutions where SIG members reside. A member-at-large for education also sits on our PG-SIG board, and is tasked with disseminating announcements about clinical training positions, continuing education opportunities, as well as development and maintenance of training programs to SIG members.
PG-SIG also maintains an active newsletter (Digest) that goes out twice a year — once internally for SIG members to feature member activities including recent peer-reviewed SIG members’ published papers, clinical program highlights, and upcoming conferences/workshops relevant to pediatric gastroenterology; and once externally for the entire Div. 54 membership. Under the new leadership of co-chairs Michele Herzer Maddux and Amanda Drews Deacy, the PG-SIG will be initiating a “member highlight” as part of our Digestnewsletters in order to showcase a student/trainee as well as a professional SIG member in their respective roles in the area of pediatric GI psychology.