SPPAC 2023: March 30 - April 1, 2023

Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk

301 East North Water Street, Chicago, Illinois


Video message from Soumitri and Naadira! 

For information about conference programming, please contact:
2023 Conference Chair: Soumitri Sil: soumitri.sil@emory.edu
2023 Conference Co-Chair: Naadira Upshaw: nupshaw@emory.edu

SPPAC 2023 meeting theme is “Pediatric Psychologists as Social Justice Change Agents Across Science, Practice, Training, and Policy.”  Within the context of pediatric psychology, we define social justice as the fair and equitable distribution of culturally informed, evidence-based healthcare to all pediatric persons and their families.

The conference includes three days of programming: skill-building pre-conference workshops, invited plenary speakers, concurrent scientific symposia, professional development seminars, poster sessions, and several networking opportunities. Presentations on timely topics that are relevant to child health and psychological well-being, including healthcare policy/advocacy, implementation science, and stakeholder collaborations to improve care and outcomes. This conference will be innovative and relevant for pediatric psychologists at different stages of their careers and trainees who are engaged in research, clinical practice, education, and administration activities.



Invited Speakers

Harolyn M.E. Belcher, MD, MHS, is a Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), Director of the Office for Health Equity Inclusion and Diversity, and Senior Director of the Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  As CDO, she is responsible for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives for the over 2,600 employees at the Institute and extends her efforts to social justice and EDI efforts in Baltimore City and nationally.  She is a Professor of Pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Dr. Belcher is the Associate Director of the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment and Related Disabilities (LEND) Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. Dr. Belcher is the chair of the Maryland American Academy of Pediatrics, Inclusion-Diversity Anti-Racism and Equity (I-DARE) Committee and co-chairs the Baltimore City Social Determinants of Health Taskforce, Health and Human Services subcommittee. Dr. Belcher received 17 years of funding from the CDC Office of Minority Health and Health Equity to promote public health careers for undergraduate through graduate, medical, dental, pharmacy, and veterinary students.  She has served on the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) Board on Children, Youth, and Families and the NAS Forum on Child –Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health.  She received the Johns Hopkins Institutions Diversity Recognition Award, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Multicultural Council Leadership in Diversity Award, and Morgan State University ASCEND Program Exemplary Mentor Award.  Dr. Belcher is married and is the mother of two adult offspring and grandmother of three.


Daniel E. Dawes, J.D., is a widely respected healthcare and public health leader, health policy expert, educator, and researcher who serves as Senior Vice President of Global Health Equity and the Executive Director of the Institute of Global Health Equity at Meharry Medical College. Prior to this, he served as Executive Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute and a Professor of health law, policy, and management at Morehouse School of Medicine. He is the author of two groundbreaking health policy books, 150 Years of ObamaCare and The Political Determinants of Health, both published by Johns Hopkins University Press. Among his many achievements, he was an instrumental figure in developing and negotiating the Mental Health Parity Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, and the Affordable Care Act’s health equity-focused provisions, among other landmark federal policies, as well as the principal investigator for the nation’s first health equity tracker, co-founder of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN),  and a principal investigator of the HHS National COVID-19 Resiliency Network. Professor Dawes is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and an elected fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He serves as an advisor to The White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, an appointed member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee to the Director where he co-chairs the CDC’s health equity work, and the NIH’s National Advisory Council for Nursing Research.




David M. Huebner, PhD, MPH received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Arizona State University and his MPH in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He is currently a Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at George Washington University (GWU), and is Co-Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Core at the Washington, DC Center for AIDS Research.  Prior to joining the faculty at GWU, he was on the faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah and in the School of Medicine at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. His research examines how discrimination from families, schools, and communities impacts HIV risk and other health outcomes among sexual minority adolescents and young adults, and how preventive interventions can help mitigate those impacts. His current NIH funding focuses on designing and testing the efficacy of parent-focused interventions to improve sexual health among gay and bisexual adolescents. Dr. Huebner has a strong commitment to mentoring doctoral students and junior faculty, particularly those from underrepresented groups.  He is also invested in supporting community organizations’ efforts to engage in evidence-based practices – he has served on several local and regional HIV prevention community planning groups and was the Chair of the National Board of Directors for the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national nonprofit that seeks to improve K-12 school experience for sexual and gender minority youth.

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