2011 Award Recipients


2011 Award Recipients

Excellence in Health Psychology Research Award

Robert Gatchel, Ph.D., ABPP

University of Texas at Arlington

By David S. Krantz, Ph.D.,

Robert J. Gatchel, Ph.D., ABPP is awarded the 2011 Excellence in Health Psychology Research Award for his cutting edge contributions to health psychology research, practice, and education. He has made seminal research contributions to understanding the etiology, assessment, treatment and prevention of chronic stress and pain behavior, and to clinical health psychology more broadly. Along with Dr. Tom Mayer, he introduced the interdisciplinary functional restoration approach to treating chronic pain and disability. This approach has been shown to be therapeutically effective in numerous independent clinical studies, and is now widely used, both nationally and internationally, for chronic pain management. His evidence-based clinical research has been continuously funded for the past 35 years, and he has received Research Scientist Development Awards as well as a prestigious Senior Scientist Award from NIH. He has published over 327 journal articles, 108 book chapters and has authored or edited 23 books, including An Introduction to Health Psychology (with Dr. Andy Baum)- the first non-edited textbook in Health Psychology.

The interdisciplinary nature of Dr. Gatchel’s research is evidenced by the fact that he has received numerous awards and honors associated with his clinical research from organizations representing many disciplines. He has also been a major participant in science and health psychology/pain management education. To date, he has trained and mentored 65 Ph.D. graduate students, 6 postdoctoral Fellows, 34 Masters level students, and numerous junior faculty members. Many of these have gone onto prestigious careers in academia and pain management.

Dr. Robert Gatchel’s longstanding contributions in the area of health psychology have inspired his colleagues in the field of psychology and in numerous medical specialties, and his research and clinical work has led to the reduction of pain and disability in many people. His long-standing scholarly work in research, the clinical application of that research, and education, for the past 35 years truly makes him worthy of this Award.

Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award

Jeanne McCaffery, PhD

Brown Medical School

By Rena R. Wing, Ph.D.,

This year’s recipient of the Division 38 Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award is Dr. Jeanne McCaffery. Dr. McCaffery is being honored for her research bringing recent advances in both quantitative and molecular genetic into the field of behavioral medicine.

Dr. McCaffery is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She received her Ph.D. degree in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001 and completed her clinical psychology internship in the Behavioral Medicine track at Brown Medical School. After completing this training, she received an appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown Medical School and as a Staff Psychologist at The Miriam Hospital, where she has been an active member of the Centers of Behavioral and Preventive Medicine and the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center.

Dr. McCaffery was among the first clinical psychologists to train in both biometric genetics and at the bench in molecular applications and has used these different genetic techniques to address gene by environment interactions within cardiovascular behavioral medicine. Her initial RO1 used a twin-design to examine the impact of social stressors, such as low socioeconomic status, on the heritability of cardiovascular disease and related health behaviors. She showed, for example, that the heritability of hypertension is modified by educational attainment, such that the genetic variance is lowest among those in the lowest level of education, where environmental factors such as stress presumably play a greater role. More recently she has used twin registries and sophisticated modeling techniques to show that the heritability of body mass is greater among sedentary individuals and that physical activity can help override the genetic influence on obesity.

Dr. McCaffery has also examined sources of genetic variation in the adrenergic receptor system that may contribute to heritable individual differences in blood pressure and the cardiovascular responsiveness to stress. Currently, funded by two new RO1 grants, she is examining sources of genetic variation that may explain the variance seen in weight loss outcomes and in the changes in HDL-cholesterol that occur with weight reduction and increases in physical activity.

Dr. McCaffery has received many awards for her research, including the Student research Award from Division 38 of APA and the Bruce M. Selya Research Excellence Award from Lifespan Hospitals. She has been a frequent reviewer for NIH study sections, is on the editorial board of Psychosomatic Medicine, and is Associate Editor of Frontiers in Behavioral and Psychiatric Genetics.

Dr. McCaffery has contributed significantly to our understanding of the interactions between genetic and environmental factors across a wide range of cardiovascular behavioral medicine topics, including smoking, hypertension, obesity, and physical activity. Her work increases the recognition that “Genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger”. It is with great pleasure that we present the Division 38 Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award to Dr. McCaffery.

Excellence in Clinical Health Psychology Award *Timothy B. Jeffrey Memorial Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology

Andrea Mechanick Braverman, PhD

Medical Health Journeys, Bala Cynwyd, PA

By Helen L. Coons, Ph.D., ABPP,

I am delighted to honor Andrea M. Braverman, Ph.D. for receiving the 2011 APA Division of Health Psychology/American Psychological Foundation Timothy B. Jeffrey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology.

Simply put, Dr. Braverman has been at the forefront of applying clinical health psychology in reproductive endocrinology in the US and abroad! She has collaboratively defined the guidelines for screening for and treating psychosocial aspects of infertility; developed programs based on fundamental clinical health psychology research to enhance decision making and psychosocial outcomes among women and couples facing fertility challenges; and serves as a strong voice for the complex ethical issues associated both infertility treatment and parenting options.

Dr. Braverman is widely considered a leading national and international expert on psychosocial aspects of infertility; the use of donor ovum and sperm as well as gestational surrogates; and ethical issues in fertility treatment. Long before clinical health psychology addressed psychosocial issues in women’s health in general or specifically in the care of women and couples with infertility, Dr. Braverman was applying our assessment and treatment strategies in reproductive endocrinology. For example, early on she addressed complex health decision making; started preparing women for invasive medical procedures such as diagnostic exams – for example HSG, Hysteroscopy and IVF; treated anxiety and depression associated with pregnancy losses; and established groups to promote problem solving and social support. Second, long before “mind-body” programs became in vogue in reproductive settings, Dr. Braverman designed and implemented interdisciplinary teams to address medical and psychosocial issues among women and couples coping with infertility. She was first to establish a multi-specialty program for families using gestational surrogates, and more recently fully integrated complimentary and alternative care providers in reproductive endocrinology offices.

Dr. Braverman’s distinguished contributions extend far beyond the patient office. In fact, Dr. Braverman chaired American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) committees which established the guidelines for psychological screening and counseling in third part reproduction. And, while the media routinely dramatizes ethical issues related to high profile cases using of donor sperm and gestational surrogates, Dr. Braverman became the first and only psychologist to sit on the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Ethics Committee, and wrote their statements on ethical issues for ovum donors and gestational surrogates. She is also widely known as an outstanding clinical educator for physicians, psychologists and other health providers here in the US and abroad.

Dr. Braverman is a past recipient of the 2001 Family Building Award from the American Fertility Association; the 2009 Ian Johnston Memorial Award from the Fertility Society of Australia; the 2010 STAR Award from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Dr. Braverman’s long standing and distinguished clinical work in reproductive endocrinology as well as her research, continuing education, writing and policy work underscore why she is entirely deserving of the Timothy B. Jeffrey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Health Psychology.

Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology

Karen Matthews, PhD

University of Pittsburgh

By David S. Krantz, Ph.D.,

Dr. Karen A. Matthews is honored as the 2011 recipient of the Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology for her many and multi-faceted contributions to the formation and growth of health psychology as a discipline. Her contributions to the Health Psychology field have been nothing short of remarkable. Early in her career, she helped set the stage for future educational and training models and programs in the field through her participation in the landmark National Working Group on Education and training in Health Psychology. At the University of Pittsburgh, she initiated an innovative Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine training program that provided high quality multidisciplinary training to many individuals who later became future leaders in the Health Psychology field.

Dr. Matthews’ has represented our field in numerous high profile leadership positions. She served as president of the Division of Health Psychology as well as one of the first women presidents of the American Psychosomatic Society. She represented the health psychology and behavioral medicine fields at the National Institutes of Health as a member of Council of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute and of the Advisory Board for the NIH Center for Scientific Research. In all of these positions, she paved the way for acceptance of the field of health psychology by member of other basic and clinical science disciplines in the behavioral and biomedical sciences. Dr. Matthews also served as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Health Psychology, on the editorial board of other prestigious journals, and on the search committees for editors of Health Psychology and other journals in the field.

Dr. Matthews’ scientific contributions to Health Psychology have been broad ranging and nothing short of groundbreaking. Among other areas, her research accomplishments have included seminal work on childhood antecedents of coronary heart disease risk, women’s’ health and the menopause, and the effects of socioeconomic status on health. She has been recognized for her major scientific contributions by every major professional organization in the health psychology and behavioral medicine fields, including the Division of Health Psychology, the American Psychosomatic Society, and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and she received the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology from the American Psychological Association. Among her most distinguished honors, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine, where she represents the behavioral sciences alongside many other of this Nation’s finest scientists and policymakers in health and medicine. For these and many other of Dr. Matthews’ career contributions to advancing research, education and policy in our field, she is richly deserving of the Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology.