Health Policy Council


Health Policy Council

Vision: Visibility and impact of behavioral sciences and evidenced-based behavioral interventions will be broad and well-integrated into national health care policy and practice.


The purpose of the Health Policy Council is to facilitate and promote any efforts by APA or external national organizations to broaden the visibility and impact of behavioral sciences and evidence-based behavioral interventions. The Council will serve the SfHP by coordinating requests from APA or external organizations to create, collaborate, or review statements, briefs, etc. related to health psychology advocacy and national policy.

The Health Policy Council is charged with addressing issues related to the advocacy of health psychology science and practice. The Health Policy Council:

  1. Coordinates its activities with the Science Directorate of APA, the Practice Directorate of APA and other APA task forces and Committees to provide meaningful input into advocacy issues for health psychology.
  2. Advises the Society’s Executive Committee on issues pertinent to the policy issues related to health psychology.
  3. Coordinates op-eds, policy brief (collaborations) and other publications on scientific and practice issues that facilitate communication and advocacy about evidenced-based science and practice of health psychology.
  4. Establishes and maintains liaison relationships with other Committees and outside professional organizations in working on issues affecting health psychology scientists and practitioners (e.g. Society of Behavioral Medicine, COSSA, International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Academy for Behavioral Medicine).
  5. Provides input on the integration of policy issues into Society publications and the APA convention program.
  6. Responsibilities of specific Health Policy Council members include the following:

Health Policy Council Chair: Maintain contact with and coordinate activities of the Health Policy Council members; prepare and submit two reports each year (prior to mid-winter and APA convention Board meetings) to the Executive Committee; if possible, attend the Board Meeting held at the APA Convention, as well as any meetings to which s/he is invited or appointed by the President. Maintain relationships with APA leaders on advocacy issues and health policy priorities.

Clinical Health Services Council Representative(s): Maintain contact with and coordinate activities between the Clinical Health Services Council and the Health Policy Council and report to the Society leadership about activities and needs. Engage in efforts to disseminate IPCC for the SfHP and in partnership with APA leaders. Maintain contacts with the Center for Health at APA.

Health Research Council Representative(s): Maintain contact with and coordinate activities between Health Research Council and Health Policy Council. Engage in op-eds and demonstration projects at the state and national level as needed.

Early Career Professional(s): Maintain contact with and coordinate activities with the ECP Council.

2017 Accomplishments

  • Members of the Health Policy Task Force have led the efforts in partnering with the National Cancer Institute to host two conferences to develop a consensus statement and recommendations for “Cost-Effectiveness” analyses of evidence-based interventions in the field of health psychology and behavioral medicine. The first conference will involve a smaller conference in September at Stanford with 10-15 experts to develop the detailed outlines for 4 white papers (methodology, prevention, collaborative care, dissemination); followed by a larger conference of 30-40 individuals in DC in November to finalize the drafts of the white papers and plan for dissemination that will open to leaders and members of SfHP as well as other partnering organizations.
  • Health Policy Task Force members including Ravi Prasad (and Pain IG members) have begun to develop relationships with national and regional healthcare coalitions and the leadership of APA including Geoff Mumford, Associate Executive Director of the APA Government Relations Office. The goal of these collaborations is to reduce opioid misuse and elevate the relevance and importance of evidence-based behavioral and psychosocial treatments for pain management (see also Outreach Task Force Report for complete list of advocacy and collaborative health policy activities).
  • Co-authored a statement with the Society of Behavioral Medicine on the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Proposal, which was published in Translational Behavioral Medicine. In addition, we co-signed and help develop two briefs that were also endorsed by APA on the issue of opioid misuse and pain management and increasing funding for OBSSR (see also attached comprehensive list of outreach accomplishments this year).
  • Began to establish relationships with APA Government Relations Office and Center for Psychology and Health leadership with Pat Kobor, Senior Scientist, at the Science Directorate of APA. Teresa Fecteau, who will be an on-going member of the new Health Policy Council, is working with Pat Kobor to develop a list and materials of experts in our field especially in the areas of diabetes, obesity, exercise and diet adherence.

*Read a recent Translational Behavioral Medicine publication here.

*Download the Final MDPP Comments SfHP and SBM 2016

*Society for Health Psychology Comments on USPSTF Draft Research Plan

2018 Accomplishments

  • Ravi Prasad represented SfHP on co-sponsored policy brief with SBM regarding the opioid crisis. SBM_OpioidCrisisStatement_June 2018
  • SfHP and SBM submitted a joint comment on USPSTF Recommendation Statement on Weight Loss to Prevent Obesity Related Morbidity and Mortality in Adults: Behavioral Interventions.
  • Submitted recommendations for NIH Priorities on HIV/AIDS research – added to broader APA statement and recommendation.
  • Membership Teleconference about how to write health policy briefs and respond to request for public comments as part of the SfHP teleconference series
  • Started a list of content experts to assist with writing health policy briefs and responding to request for public comments.
  • Cost-effectiveness white papers were submitted to Health Psychology on May 15 and are under review. These set of papers were presented at SBM and were presented at the APA Annual Convention.

2019 Accomplishments

  • Members of the council co-authored the following letter to HHS  in response to a draft report issued by the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, with APA CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD  HHS Pain Mgmt Task Force Comments (March 2019)


Kristen E. Riley, PhD
Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology

Stephen Lupe PsyD
Health Policy Council Vice Chair
The Cleveland Clinic

Kristina M. Pecora PsyD, MAPP
Health Policy Council APA Liaison
NVision You Holistic Psychotherapy, LLC

Maria Olex PsyD
Health Policy Council Topics Director
Henry Ford Health System, Psych-Oncology Services

James Terhune, M. Sc.
Health Policy Council Secretary
Doctoral Student at Rutgers University Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology

Molly Stern
Health Policy Council Secretary

Ranak Trivedi, PhD
Health Policy Council Member
Assistant Professor Stanford University Core Investigator, Center for Innovation to Implementation VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Juan Pena, M.S.
Health Policy Council Diversity Council Representative
Doctoral Student at University of New Mexico

Paul Korte, PhD
Health Policy Council Early Career Professional Council Representative
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans' Hospital

Joshua Eyer, PhD
Health Psych Connections Program, ECPC Member, Health Policy Council Secretary
University of Alabama, Capstone College of Nursing

Kaitlyn Vagnini
Health Policy Council Student Representative

Doug Tynan, PhD
Health Policy Council Division 54 Liaison

Dawn K. Wilson, PhD
Health Policy Council Advisor
University of South Carolina

Stephanie Fitzpatrick, PhD
Health Policy Council Advisor
Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Portland, Oregon

Barbara Keeton
SfHP APA Administrative Officer