The President’s Message

I am happy to wish each of you an amazing Spring and Summer, and look forward to seeing you at the APA Convention in Denver! I also want to highlight key activities and accomplishments for the Division!

SPPAC 2016:  Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference!  What a triumphant conference, bringing together over 700 colleagues and 308 students, and international friends from 6 different countries (Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and Ireland).  In addition to SIG meetings representing specialized services within pediatric psychology, there were pre-conference CE workshops, the opening keynote address by an MD colleague, diversity presentation, and an international keynote.  There were a number of poster sessions, mentoring luncheon, a Twitter Team (#SPPAC2016), and the first ever Internships and Fellowships on Parade held during the Conference. Special thanks to the Conference Chair Anna Maria Patino-Fernandez, Co-Chair, Chad Jensen, Student Representative Jackie Lennon Papadakis (who coordinated both student volunteers and student activities), and Administrative Officer, Karen Roberts, who provides daily coordination and management for the Society! Kudos as well to the entire planning committee and special thanks to Jennifer Schurman, Board Member at Large for Continuing Education, who worked tirelessly to guide the development and activation of our own CE system that will streamline the process for years to come!

Mark your calendars now for the next two conferences:

·      2017: March 30-April 1, Portland, OR

·      2018: April 5-7, Orlando, FL

Dissemination: As you know, I am hopeful to enhance and broaden our relationships with medical providers and organizations. The American Academy of Pediatrics has been supportive of our interest in updates from SPP about key research findings and their implications for medical practice.  Likewise, our keynote speaker, Lee Sanders, MD, MPH, recommended another group with overlapping research interests and connections are being developed with the medical APA or Academic Pediatric Association.  This connection provides endless opportunities to integrate membership, meetings, mentoring, and other related activities of interest. Compare our individual, yet aligned, missions:

     SPP Mission: The Society aims to promote the health and psychological well being of children, youth and their families through science and an evidence-based approach to practice, education, training, advocacy, and consultation.

     APA Mission:  Improving the health and well-being of all children and adolescents by promoting research, advancing a scholarly approach to education, developing innovations in healthcare delivery, advocating for an equitable child health agenda, and fostering leadership and career development of child health professionals.

The Academic Pediatric Association has wanted to bring more PhD’s into their organization, and are open to SPP members joining APA, posting on their listserv about opportunities to collaborate or SPP activities, and submitting proposals for presentations at the next annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies or PAS ( They see the value and potential for robust research collaborations, and will likely be interested in attending our 2017 Conference in Portland and invite us to their next annual meeting in 2017 in San Francisco.  The APA also hosts regional meetings, with most held in January through March each year in various locations.  They describe numerous opportunities to mentor, network, and share your expertise at regional and national levels.  The 10 regional meetings offer opportunities to present scholarly work and network with others in your region.  They also sponsor 40 Special Interest Groups! 

Check out the website at:

In light of the collaborative efforts within and between our SIGS, I checked further and  several have considered submitting proposals to medical societies similar in focus to their interests.  The GI SIG works closely with the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and are presenting two symposia during their next World Congress in October 2016.  In addition, the Craniofacial SIG is affiliated with the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association.  I am hopeful both of these groups will contribute a summary article to the SPP Progress Notes Newsletter, and that other individuals or SIGS will do the same over time in order to keep members apprised of opportunities to learn, present, and collaborate.

Watch for more information about the August APA Convention in Denver and we hope to see you there!  Likewise, check out the new and improved SPP website, lead by the ever-creative Bryan Karazsia, PhD:

Consider contributing to the SPP YouTube Channel, the Division newsletter (Laura Simons, PhD, Editor), and our Journals (JPP and CPPP, under the tremendous editorial leadership of Drs. Grayson Holmbeck and Jennifer Schroff Pendley respectively).