Division 54 President

Melissa Santos (2023)


Melissa Santos, PhD is an Associate Professor Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.  She is the Division Head of Pediatric Psychology, Clinical Director of the Pediatric Obesity Center and the Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Departments of Pediatrics and Surgery at Connecticut Children’s.   In her role she leads multiple diversity and employee wellbeing activities including work to reduce institutional healthcare disparities.  Her research has been focused on how to improve care for youth with obesity by shifting from a one size fits all approach to tailoring interventions with a focus on youth with pediatric pain and transgender youth.  She leads Connecticut Children’s Community Research Advisory Board focused on incorporating the voices of patients and families in all aspects of research from study idea to dissemination.

Melissa received her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Texas Tech University and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia focusing on HIV.   Melissa was previously SPP’s Member at Large for Diversity and is honored to serve as the 2023 President.