2013 Award Recipients


2013 Award Recipients

Excellence in Health Psychology Research Award

James O. Prochaska, PhD

University of Rhode Island

By Colleen A. Redding, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island

James O. Prochaska, Ph.D. is an ideal candidate for the APA Division 38 2013 Excellence in Health Psychology Research Award. He is Director of the Cancer Prevention Research Center and Professor of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Rhode Island. He has been a fellow of Division 38 since 1996 and of the Society for Behavioral Medicine since 2000. Over the past forty years, he has authored or coauthored well over 300 publications, including three books. He is nationally and internationally recognized for his work as one primary developer of the Transtheoretical model (TTM) of behavior change, one of the most highly applied and influential models in health psychology and public health.

Dr. Prochaska has won many awards for his work including the prestigious Innovators Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2002. He was included as one of the Top Five Most Cited Authors in Psychology by the American Psychology Society. In 2002, he was one of the only psychologists ever to be awarded the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor for Clinical Research.

His early work aimed to integrate principles of change across theoretical boundaries, culminating in Systems of Psychotherapy and laying theoretical foundations for the Transtheoretical model (TTM). Subsequent integrative work, using positive psychology principles before they were known as such, sought to understand individuals’ self-change efforts, both inside and outside of formal intervention settings. This programmatic research and theory- building culminated in the formulation of the TTM. NIH-funded research applied the TTM to smoking cessation, which provided many insights and ideas that helped to both articulate the TTM further as well as apply the model to additional health behaviors. Early discussions with Steve Rollnick and Bill Miller helped elaborate at least two ideas that are key components (readiness for change, pros and cons) of Motivational Interviewing. In collaboration with colleagues in the 1980s, he developed the first computerized expert system to deliver theoretically and empirically tailored and retailored feedback on all TTM constructs to smokers to accelerate their natural change process. This intervention worked well for smoking cessation, and replicated, even in independent, proactively recruited representative samples. Furthermore, collaborators found that this TTMtailored smoking cessation intervention demonstrated efficacy with adolescents and in combination with other treatments, with depressed adult outpatients. This intervention became a prototype for many additional effective TTM-tailored health behavior interventions.

Finally, innovative systems that applied the TTM to change multiple behaviors simultaneously also demonstrated efficacy in various samples, including individuals with diabetes, overweight and obese individuals, as well as different population-based samples, including high school and middle school aged children. Subsequent analyses of pooled datasets examining multiple behavior change are shaping this new area of inquiry. This programmatic research illustrates his contributions to the growing science of population-based tailored multiple behavior change interventions.

The impact of his ideas regarding participant selectivity in efficacy trials compared to population effectiveness trials are groundbreaking and paradigm shifting, especially as we move towards truly population-based health psychology. His ideas about population reach and impact challenge our field in many ways. His constructive ideas, his challenging spirit, and his keen innovative research programs have moved the field of Health Psychology forward. Many of his students have gone on to become respected clinicians and scientists in their own right and his many distinguished collaborators have helped to challenge, replicate, elaborate, and extend his ideas. His impressive level of achievement as well as his superior scientific contributions to the field of Health Psychology merit this Excellence in Health Psychology Research Award.

Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award

Sally S. Dickerson, Ph.D.

University of California, Irvine; National Science Foundation

By Roxane Cohen Silver, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine

Sally S. Dickerson, recipient of the Division 38 Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award, is an outstanding young scholar who is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology & Social Behavior at the University of California, Irvine.

Starting with work she began as a graduate student, Dr. Dickerson has conducted groundbreaking, thought provoking, creative research on cortisol responses to acute stressors in humans. Overall, her body of work has contributed immensely to the field of health psychology and is on the cutting edge of the fading line between mind and body.

Almost a decade ago, Dr. Dickerson and her colleague Margaret Kemeny produced a masterful meta-analysis in which they considered the implications for physiological functioning of social conditions that threaten self-worth and social status, such as experiences of failure, rejection, ridicule, or criticism.

Dickerson and Kemeny convincingly argued that uncontrollable threats to the social self elicit negative selfrelated cognitions and emotions and increase cortisol and proinflammatory cytokine activity.

Their paper highlighted immunological and neuroendocrine responses to social-evaluative conditions, as well as articulated a variety of factors that influence such responses.

It demonstrated that such social conditions trigger psychobiological processes that have the potential to play an important role over time in the onset or progression of illness and disease and pointed to the likely psychological and physiological pathways through which social- evaluative threat, emotion, and cognition translate into effects on health.

Dr. Dickerson’s early scholarship created an overarching theoretical framework for making sense of how and why an important physiological system becomes activated in humans.

In a short period of time, Dr. Dickerson’s original conceptualization and insights have begun to reframe the work of researchers across the world. In the years since its publication, Dickerson and Kemeny’s Psychological Bulletin article has been cited over 1500 times and in wide-ranging journals in psychology, medicine, neuroscience, and beyond.

Over the past decade, Dr. Dickerson has also conducted a series of rigorous and innovative scientific studies that further delineate the construct of social-evaluative threat and what constitutes the “active ingredient” in a socialevaluative context necessary to elicit cortisol responses.

This empirical work is noteworthy for its theory-driven, programmatic nature, as well as its use of diverse methodologies (including laboratory experiments, daily diary methods, and survey methods) and sophisticated statistical analysis. Of course, this scholarship continues to be published in the most prestigious journals in the field of psychology.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention that in addition to her important and innovative scholarship, Dr. Dickerson is also an award-winning teacher who has begun to serve our community in a number of ways, including serving on several journal editorial boards as well as currently serving as Director of the National Science Foundation Social Psychology program.

Division 38 is pleased to award the 2013 Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award to Dr. Dickerson for her transformative and groundbreaking research and in recognition for her extraordinary body of work at this early stage in her career.

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

Nancy B. Ruddy, PhD, ABPP

Mountainside Family Practice Residency

By William B. Gunn, Jr., Ph.D., NH/Dartmouth Family Practice Residency Program

Dr. Nancy Ruddy received her Ph.D. in child clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University. She was on the faculty of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in the departments of Family Medicine and Psychiatry from 1991-2000, and the Hunterdon Family Practice Residency Program from 2001-2008. She currently serves on the faculty of Mountainside Family Practice Residency.

Dr. Ruddy is a licensed psychologist and family therapist and has over twenty years of experience in primary care based behavioral health clinical provision and training in varied settings over that time. These settings include academic health centers, community based family medicine residencies, federally qualified healthcare centers, and primary care private practice. She has had extensive experience in clinical and educational program development within the primary care medical setting.

Nancy has been in the forefront of education and training as well as policy advocacy for the inclusion of psychologists in primary care. In her role as faculty in family medicine she collaborated with physician faculty and residents to revise and implement a broad-based psychosocial curriculum and to implement a primary care based integrated behavioral health service. In this same setting she developed and implemented a program to train psychologists to work in a primary care setting. She developed a group medical appointment program for indigent obstetric patients as well as general medical patients. She also supervised resident and psychologist research and quality improvement projects.

Dr. Ruddy has served on a number of APA committees. She was on the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative Task Force and the APA Primary Care Training Task Force from 2010-2012. She served on the APA Commission on Accreditation from 2011-2012. She currently serves as co-chair of the Division 38 Integrated Primary Care Committee.

So that’s all the formal stuff. I first met Nancy when I was working as a co-author of a book called Models of Collaboration, published in 1996. We were looking for exemplars of professionals who were in the trenches doing collaborative work in primary care. Nancy and I maintained contact over the next ten years and in 2005, she asked me to join her and Dorothy Borresen in writing a book that would become called, The Collaborative Psychotherapist. Nancy’s vision for this book was to provide a rationale and a practical toolkit for those practitioners who were working in private practice or in an agency. She felt that even though a psychologist was not going to be working directly in an integrated setting, they should know how to collaborate effectively with physician’s and health care teams. This is even more true now in the era of health care reform. Nancy was the perfect first author using a mixture of carrots and sticks to help Dorothy and I stay on track with our parts and to shepherd the process into publication by APA Press in 2008.

Since this book was published we have presented the content in multiple settings both within and outside of APA. Last year when I became the chair of the Division 38 Integrated Primary Care Committee, I quickly asked Nancy to be the co-chair. In the last year, this very active committee has been able to create a directory of training programs which provide integrated care experiences and is currently working on a series of modules which training programs might use to teach the attitudes, knowledge, and skills to be effective in primary care settings.

In summary, Nancy is one of my favorite collaborators, colleagues, and friends. She is passionate about her ideas, collaborative in everything she does and compassionate for all those with whom she works. She is a frontline pioneer in advocating strongly for psychology and other behavioral health disciplines to join together in the integration with the larger health care system. We need it, our country needs it and most importantly our patients and families need it.

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

Tracey A. Revenson, Ph.D.

Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

By Christopher R. France, Ph.D., Ohio University

It is my great pleasure to recognize Dr. Tracey Revenson as the 2013 recipient of Division 38’s Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology for her influence on our profession through her devotion to scholarship, leadership, and mentorship.

As a scholar, Professor Revenson is recognized internationally for her research on stress and coping processes among individuals, couples, and families facing serious physical illness. In addition to dozens of book chapters and more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, she is the co-author or co-editor of nine volumes, including the most comprehensive handbook in our field, Handbook of Health Psychology. Importantly, her work has had a sustained scientific impact as evidenced by more than 2500 Web of Science citations. Although she is perhaps best known in this room for her scholarly accomplishments in health psychology, it is worth noting that she is a Fellow in four different APA Divisions.

Dr. Revenson’s leadership in health psychology has been evidenced throughout her career at local, national, and international levels. As a faculty member at the City University of New York (CUNY) she has served as co- Director of an NIMH Training Program in Health Psychology, Director of the Health Psychology Concentration, and co-Director of the Health Psychology and Clinical Science Training Area. She has also been a tireless contributor to the profession outside of her own academic institution. For example, she has co-chaired international meetings on stress and coping, served as the Founding Editor and Editor-in Chief of Women’s Health, Associate Editor for both Annals of Behavioral Medicine and Journal of Behavioral Medicine, and as an Editorial Board member for many other prestigious journals, including Division 38’s own Health Psychology. She has also demonstrated her longstanding commitment to our Division through past and present membership on many committees, councils, and task forces, as well as serving on the Executive Committee as Member-at-Large and President. Last, but not least, she recently chaired the Division 38 Task Force on Structure, and through this effort was instrumental in developing an organizational structure that will shape our way forward for many years to come.

Mentorship is a third area in which Dr. Revenson truly excels. First, she is an outstanding mentor in the traditional sense, having successfully guided more than twenty doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows to successful careers of their own. When I reached out to past mentees, I received a blast of superlative statements about their experiences:

“At every stage of my career thus far, Tracey has been right there, offering support and advice all along the way. Not surprisingly, Tracey has always been the best at offering both problem-focused support and emotion-focused support. At the end of a conversation with Tracey, you not only feel reassured, confident, and validated, you also leave with a concrete plan of action.”

“She’s renowned for her purple pens on drafts. It’s always purple and always amazing.”

“After graduation, I would tell people that I felt like I had gotten two doctorates — the one from my program, and the research one directed by Tracey.”

“Brilliant, creative, funny, fun, thoughtful, generous.”

But, if you know Tracey, then you also know that you don’t have to be a past student to benefit directly from her wisdom and support. Dr. Revenson’s dedication to mentorship goes far beyond her own students, and she is a frequent guest speaker, symposium organizer, and member of conference panels on issues that promote the development of junior colleagues.

In closing, you may know that “mahalo” is a Hawaiian word meaning thank you. However, it also can mean gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regard, or respect. Accordingly, with the fullest sense of this word in mind, I salute my friend with “Congratulations Dr. Revenson, and mahalo!”