Laura Simons

Happy (almost) New Year to all members of the Society of Pediatric Psychology!

This is a busy time of year for each of us as we work to wrap up lingering items on our to do lists and prepare to turn the page to 2023. As I close out my presidential year I wanted to circle back on my agenda.

Successful launch of the Strategic Plan

The SPP Strategic Plan represents an attempt to put our society values into action-oriented goals and priorities. Starting with my presidential address at SPPAC 2022 in Phoenix, continuing at APA in Minneapolis, and woven into board meetings and discussions throughout this year, the SPP Board used the strategic plan as our guiding light when making decisions that impact our Society. At the start of the year, I discussed aligning our financials with these stated values. This has been an intentional practice that will continue into 2023 and beyond as we invest in our infrastructure, operations, and grant/award programs and also devise revenue generating strategies that will ultimately lead to a balanced budget. It is incredibly important to us that members see the value in recommitting each year to be a part of the Society of Pediatric Psychology community. If we want to be change makers, we need the engagement and participation of our membership to make that happen. One important consequence of our Strategic Plan is the elevation of the historically neglected domain of advocacy to a place of priority as one of our pillars. I have no doubt that our incoming president, Melissa Santos will lead great work in this domain in the coming year.

Continuing efforts on behalf of Social Justice

This year we created and disseminated several statements supporting gender affirming care, in response to the war in Ukraine, as well as several messages on the listserv to ensure that our membership is equipped with the resources they need and have advocacy channels at their fingertips. Much of this work has been pushed forward by the amazing Christina Low Kapalu, Member at Large for Diversity, and her phenomenal committee. Thank you, Christina, for your tireless efforts! To ensure there is continuous dialogue on these critical matters, there are plans for Progress Notes to frequently feature stories in the realm of advocacy. Be sure to check it out.

Enhance bidirectional communication between the SPP Board and our members

The last key initiative was increasing bidirectional communication between the board and our members. To support this, I “co-starred” in several youtube videos, held listening sessions with our members, and have tried to give voice to those who are too often silenced. This work will continue under the leadership of Melissa Santos. As a preview, she is planning to hold the FIRST Town Hall during the Midwinter Board Meeting in January. I hope that you will join and bring your vision of how we build a better SPP.

In the spirit of bidirectional communication, I wanted to also let you know that we are transitioning to a new association management company, Executive Director Incorporated (EDI). I encourage you to check them out and if you are a member of SBM you may already know them! Though the work of an association management company is often hidden in the background, we hope this will provide new ways to support our members and Strategic Plan. We will provide more information regarding the EDI team supporting SPP in the new year. Regardless, you can always reach the central office at

I want to take a moment to thank you for helping make this a great year. It is my honor to serve you, my friends, and fellow members of SPP, and if there is anything I can do to support you, please reach out.

Thank you.

Laura Simons, PhD, 2022 SPP President