SPPAC 2024: What’s Next? Defining the Path Forward for Pediatric Psychology

We are so excited to welcome you all to SPPAC 2024 April 25th-27th in New Orleans! We received a record number of submissions this year, allowing us to put together three days of high-quality scientific programming. You can access the Scientific Program here.

The conference will kick-off with a day of amazing workshops. If you haven’t registered for a workshop yet, you can do so here. All SIG, RIG, and Affinity Groups will continue to meet virtually before or after the conference. In addition to the scientific programming submitted by all of you, we have a line of incredibly talented plenary speakers.

  • Maysa Akbar is the Chief Diversity Officer and Chief of Psychology in the Public Interest for the APA. Dr. Akbar’s plenary talk is titled, Looking Ahead: EDI in Pediatric Psychology.
  • Ruben Parra-Cardona is a Professor and Associate Dean for Global Engagement at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at the University of Texas. Dr. Parra-Cardona’s plenary talk is titled, Promoting Social Justice Through Applied Science: Integrating Cultural Adaptation, Implementation Science, and CBPR in Parenting Prevention Research with Latinx Populations.
  • Jacqueline Mattis is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-Newark. Dr. Mattis’s plenary talk is titled, Hope the Hard Way: Navigating the Realities of Hope. Her talk will be a little different than years past where we will get to engage with her by asking all of the hard questions about maintaining hope during these times. Bring all of the tough existential hope questions that have plagued our practice over the past several years!

We will also be publishing accepted poster and paper abstracts in an upcoming supplemental issue of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology! We are appreciative of our JPP editor, Dr. Avani Modi, in helping to make this happen again this year!

Dr. Desiree’ Williford, Ariel Blakely, and other members of the Committee for Outreach and Service have worked incredibly hard to coordinate an onsite and offsite service project supporting Love Your Neighbor NOLA, which provides a range of services to local families including individualized, hands-on support, peer mentoring, trauma-informed care and resources, support accessing mental and behavioral healthcare, employment, daycare, educational, and other services. To maximize attendance in the service event, we have thoughtfully restructured the schedule, expanding the service event to two-hours with additional time for travel time before and after the event. There will also be opportunities to participate in an on-site service project!

There will also be some really fun activities starting and returning this year:

  • SIGS on parade Friday, April 26th!
  • Internships and Fellowships on Parade Saturday, April 27th!
  • Two exciting exercise classes with gift cards as a door prize!
  • A step competition hosted by our Obesity SIG!
  • Networking events for first-time, early career, mid-career, and later career attendees!
  • The continuance of the discount for first-time attendees who identify as underrepresented minorities.
  • New! A reduced rate for retired members!
  • We will be offering complementary headshots to all attendees during the conference, first come, first serve.

As we near the conference date, we want to give a tremendous thank you to our amazing scientific program committee, abstract reviewers, and Executive Director Incorporated (EDI) for their help in planning SPPAC 2024. It would not be possible without their dedication and hard work. We are all looking forward to seeing you in New Orleans in April! Early registration closes March 8th and hotel availability is limited!



Naadira C. Upshaw, PsyD, ABPP
2024 SPPAC Conference Chair
Psychologist, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine
Lauren Harrison, PhD
2024 SPPAC Conference Co-Chair
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine