2019 Award Recipients
2022 Award Recipients
2022 Awards presented by the Society for Health Psychology (Division 38)
Each year, the Society for Health Psychology (SfHP) recognizes members for outstanding contributions to the field by presenting awards in Research, Clinical Practice, Education & Training, Mentoring, and Career Service. Award categories were established to acknowledge and appreciate excellence in health psychology across the career span and throughout the field
I enthusiastically recommend Dr. Jennifer Sumner for the Society for Health Psychology’s Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award. Dr. Sumner is my stellar colleague and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at UCLA. She is a licensed clinical psychologist whose program of research addresses how the experiences of trauma and severe stress contribute to accelerated aging and risk for chronic disease, particularly cardiovascular disease (CVD). As described below, Dr. Sumner has an impressive track record of scientific contribution, and her work already is making a meaningful impact on the field.
Dr. Sumner earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University in 2013, after completing her predoctoral internship as an NIMH-sponsored intern at the Charleston Consortium (Traumatic Stress track). She joined the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health as an Epidemiology Merit Fellow from 2013 to 2015. She then joined the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia University Medical Center in 2015, first as a Postdoctoral Scholar then promoted to Assistant Professor. In 2019, Dr. Sumner joined us at UCLA.
A substantial literature suggests that PTSD is associated with increased risk of CVD, but the substantial majority of this work has been conducted in predominantly male samples of veterans. However, PTSD is twice as common in women as in men. Thus, it is critical to investigate whether PTSD is linked to cardiovascular risk specifically in women, rather than extrapolating results from male participants. Dr. Sumner has been addressing this gap by studying the associations between trauma, PTSD, and cardiovascular conditions in women. In a large longitudinal cohort study of community-dwelling female nurses, she demonstrated that trauma exposure and elevated PTSD symptoms were associated with increased risk of developing incident hypertension (Sumner et al., 2016; Psychological Medicine), myocardial infarction and stroke (Sumner et al., 2015; Circulation), and venous thromboembolism (Sumner et al., 2016; JAHA). Additionally, Dr. Sumner was the senior author on a recent paper linking PTSD to incident ischemic heart disease in the largest sample of women veterans studied to date (Ebrahimi et al., 2021; JAMA Cardiology). Furthermore, Dr. Sumner examines mechanisms underlying these associations. For example, findings indicate that poor health behaviors and related conditions (e.g., elevated BMI, smoking, physical inactivity) account for a sizeable portion of the PTSD-cardiovascular risk relation (e.g., Sumner et al., 2015; Circulation) and that chronic systemic inflammation also plays a role (e.g., Sumner et al., 2017; Biological Psychiatry).
Dr. Sumner has continued this line of research by working to elucidate what is most “cardiotoxic” about PTSD. Virtually all the research on PTSD and CVD has focused on diagnoses of PTSD, which are notoriously heterogeneous, making it challenging to identify mechanisms of risk. In contrast, Dr. Sumner adopts a novel approach by focusing on a core dimension of PTSD—posttraumatic fear responses—in order to understand the pathways by which PTSD symptoms contribute to cardiovascular risk. Research from Dr. Sumner’s NHLBI-funded K01 award demonstrated that elevated symptoms of posttraumatic fear in particular—and not symptoms of dysphoria after trauma—were associated with increased risk of developing hypertension in trauma-exposed women (Sumner et al. 2020, Psychological Medicine). It also is notable that Dr. Sumner employs multiple levels of analysis in this work. Indeed, in her current NHLBI-funded R01, she is examining how self-report and objective psychophysiological measures of posttraumatic fear relate to endothelial dysfunction, an early precursor to CVD that can, importantly, be improved with intervention. Furthermore, she is Co-PI of another NHLBI-funded R01 (scored at the 7th percentile) that aims to identify the manifestations of posttraumatic psychopathology that predict the onset of CVD using data from more than one million trauma-exposed individuals from the Danish electronic health registry.
Despite receiving her Ph.D. only 9 years ago, it is clear that Dr. Sumner already has made substantial and programmatic contributions to health psychology science by deepening the understanding of the biopsychosocial factors that contribute to CVD risk, particularly in women. She has a truly impressive CV, with 111 publications (37 first author, 11 senior author) to date. Dr. Sumner has an h-index of 32, and her publications appear in such respected scientific outlets as Circulation, JAMA Cardiology, JAHA, Biological Psychiatry, Psychological Medicine, Psychosomatic Medicine, Nature Human Behaviour, and Molecular Psychiatry. She has been recognized for her research by other organizations (i.e., Neal Miller New Investigator Award, Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research; Rising Star Award, Association for Psychological Science; Herbert Weiner Early Career Award, American Psychosomatic Society).
Overall, Dr. Sumner embodies the key qualities the SfHP Early Career Award is meant to recognize. She already has developed a national and international reputation for expertise in studying the links among trauma, PTSD, and CVD, and she has been invited to give numerous talks on this topic. In addition to her important research and engagement with the heretofore overlooked influence of PTSD on women’s health, Dr. Sumner works to ensure that the next generation of researchers understands the values that sustain our field. At Columbia and UCLA, she has mentored numerous undergraduate and graduate students, providing key opportunities for scholarly development.
Dr. Sumner has demonstrated ingenuity and excellence in research and mentoring, and she has laid the groundwork for even greater success going forward. I therefore offer her my highest recommendation for the Society for Health Psychology’s Excellence in Health Psychology Research by an Early Career Professional Award.
Dr. Sumner's remarks
My name is Allison Gaffey. I’m a clinical psychologist and an Instructor Yale School of Medicine and VA Connecticut. It is my distinct pleasure to introduce a 2022 recipient of our Society’s Excellence in Research Award, Dr. Matthew Burg. Since 2018, I’ve worked closely with Dr. Burg, gaining the perspective of his contributions as a researcher, mentor, and a fierce advocate for the field of health psychology and for our psychological science.
Dr. Burg received his BA in Psychology at SUNY New Paltz, his MA in Applied Behavior Analysis at Drake University, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology at West Virginia University. Following a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular behavioral medicine at Duke, he joined the faculty at the Yale School of Medicine and VA Connecticut.
As Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Anesthesiology at Yale, over the past 35 years, with continuous NIH and VA funding, Dr. Burg has directed an innovative program of translational research. He’s a recognized expert in the pathophysiological processes linking stress and emotional factors that contribute to risk for incident cardiovascular disease and hypertension, prognosis, and outcomes for patients with extant disease.
Dr. Burg has focused on developing seminal research methods for examining these links, and conducting randomized clinical trials aimed at improving patient outcomes.
Dr. Burg was the first person to identify a vulnerability spectrum for mental stress ischemia (MSI) including elements related to anger. This discovery influenced the methods used to study MSI – e.g., using anger-related probes vs. more generic mental stressors – and sharpened the focus on how the experience and the expression of anger affects vascular processes relevant to myocardial perfusion.
Dr. Burg has maintained a focus on stress and anger as 'triggers' for patients with cardiac arrhythmias and ischemic syndromes and also led the clinical trial effort to mitigate the risks associated with depression after acute coronary syndrome. Additionally, as a recurrent NIH Study Section Reviewer, Dr. Burg has guided research priorities in cardiovascular disease. As a long-time member of Division 38, Dr. Burg has served on the Society’s Research Council, and as the Senior Associate Editor of the journal Health Psychology.
At Yale and as a long time supervising psychologist and Director of the Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Program at VA Connecticut, Dr. Burg has mentored many promising scientists and clinicians with a background in medicine or clinical psychology, individuals who went on to and who continue to make important contributions through both research and patient care, as faculty at institutions including Brown, Columbia, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, the University of Connecticut, Tilburg University in the Netherlands, and certainly here at Yale.
Dr. Burg is a constant advocate for his mentees. Through a key mix of experience, knowledge, and candid reflection, he facilitates independence, hones scientific thinking, and cultivates interest in new areas. His guidance has been central in cultivating my approach to science and values concerning mentoring and professional responsibility, service, and especially the dissemination of psychological and health science.
In sum, Dr. Burg’s scientific contributions are undoubtedly foundational to the presence and the progression of our field. Through research, as well as mentorship and advocacy he has, and continues to make a tremendous impact on health psychology and cardiovascular disease research and on early career researchers, making him a superlative choice for our Society’s Excellence in Health Psychology Research Award.
Thank you for honoring his contributions and please join me in congratulating Dr. Burg.
Dr. Burg's remarks
What started as a simple search for a way to measure the changes that I would like to implement in the clinics where I work, led me to Dr. Carolyn Tucker’s immense body of work, a shining example of the career of someone I would like to emulate. Dr. Tucker is currently the UF Florida Blue Endowed Chair in Health Disparities Research at the University of Florida. She is also a Distinguished Alumni Professor, Research Professor in Psychology, and Courtesy Professor in Community Health and Family Medicine. She is also the Director of the UF Health Disparities Research and Intervention Program, Director of the UF Multidisciplinary Academic-Community Obesity Disparities Research Partnership, Director of the UF Health Cancer Center Cancer Disparities Research Collaborative and Liaison between Cancer Control and Populations Sciences and Community Outreach and Engagement at the UFCC. In addition to all those titles, Dr. Tucker has over 140 publications, has had over $17 million in research grants, awards, and a myriad of accomplishments. Dr. Tucker’s community-based participatory research which focuses on improving outcomes in at-risk communities demonstrates her commitment to improving health equity. Her current projects reflect decades long community involvement, for example, she is currently working on a grant-funded research project that focuses on rates of utilization of traditional health care and telehealth by older black adults with multiple chronic diseases. Despite the time and dedication that she has spent developing a scientific career, her role as a mentor is clearly special, demonstrated by the words of her students. I’d like to share them with you.
As one of Dr. Tucker’s former students, I can share that Dr. Tucker is a mentor like no other! You will never meet another Dr. Tucker (or anyone remotely like her). She is unique and special in the very best ways – did you know she still drives the very first car she ever owned?!
As a mentor, Dr. Tucker holds her mentees to the highest possible standards. This is not always pleasant in-the-moment, but everything she asks of her students is done out of love. Now that I am a professor myself, I see even more clearly how she works tirelessly to mentor her students to grow into the very best versions of themselves professionally and personally. Dr. Tucker takes the time to truly know and understand each of her students’ needs and she goes above and beyond to care for them in her own unique ways. As an example: Dr. Tucker knew I was feeling lonely and was longing for a romantic partner so she added a social “singles mingles” event to the calendar of events for a research conference we were hosting to help me find love! It didn’t work (haha) – but, I certainly felt loved and well cared for!
Dr. Tucker deeply cares for her students (all 100,000+ of them) and once a Dr. Tucker student, always a Dr. Tucker student - she is a mentor for life. Whether it’s consulting about a job offer or giving advice on a personal dilemma (most recently Dr. Tucker helped me sort through an issue I was having with my mother-in-law), her time, energy, and care continue long after graduating. I owe so much to Dr. Tucker for all that she has done for me and I am so happy she is receiving this award – she is very deserving of the honor.
--- Whitney Wall, PhD (former PhD student)
Current student #1
Dr. Tucker, thank you for teaching me the value of community work, cultural humility, and how to truly have an ear for the beat of another heart. Your dedication to serving others is evident in all that you do. From serving as one of your undergraduate research assistants, lab manager, and research coordinator, I have had the privilege and honor of growing as a researcher, mentor, and aspiring psychologist under your guidance, support, and warmth. Words cannot begin to describe how grateful I am for all that you have taught me and continue to teach me.
Wafaa Ateyah, Doctoral Student, Counseling Psychology (UF)
Former student #2
Dr. Tucker’s commitment to community, especially racial/ethnic minority communities, and passion for mentoring, especially of minority students, are unmatched. She has devoted her career and given her life to improving the health and lives of those around her.
As a mentor, Dr. Tucker is knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and compassionate. Many of her graduates will say that what we learn in her lab, both about health disparities and about showing up for others, lasts us a lifetime. While community work has been described as “exciting but exhausting,” there is a zest in Dr. Tucker to leave the world better than she found it that carries large teams forward. As students, rail, hail, or shine, every Tuesday evening we knew we could count with a safe space for sharing stories, receiving guidance from peers and elders, and envisioning positive change. In my time working with her, she has not only motivated me to be a strong, ethical researcher, but she has also inspired me to do better by marginalized communities.
Dr. Tucker is loving of her mentees (current and past) and fosters a community of support and interdependence that helps her mentees navigate the academic and health systems in such way that they can thrive and be successful. As a woman of color in an oppressive setting like academia, Dr. Tucker has faced extraordinary barriers. Yet, she will be quick to drop anything and everything to tend to one of her students as they face personal struggles like breakups, moving, illness and death, or “negotiating for an office with a window.”
--- Julia Roncoroni, PhD (former PhD student and current collaborator)
Former student #3
I remember sitting in a minivan in the middle of rural Florida with Dr. Tucker and her team. I was a second-year graduate student and we were on our way to an AME Church to implement a 2-day health promotion program. During part of the trip, Dr. Tucker was talking about her grandfather and something he would often say – ‘anything worth doing ain’t easy’. She mentioned that she is guided by those 5 words. We all know that many people talk the talk, but few walk the walk. After working closely with her for 10 years, Dr. Tucker walks the walk. She is willing to take the difficult road to promote health among those in need. We often hear some groups referred to as ‘hard-to-reach populations’, which is a shame because the blame is put on the individual/community for being difficult to reach, when in reality they are “hard-to-reach” because health promotion specialists do not put in the work to reach these individuals and communities. Like Dr. Tucker, perhaps we can all learn something from her grandfather – ‘anything worth doing ain’t easy’. Thank you Dr. Tucker! – Guillermo”
----Guillermo Wippold, PhD (former PhD student and current collaborator)
Current student #2
Dr. Tucker has been a rock in this process of navigating a PhD. Her dedication to people who are important to her, like her husband, her students, and most of all the community members she works alongside, is inspiring. I cherish our relationship, and always look forward to talking with her. No one could deserve these accolades more than her.
---Meagan Henry, current doctoral student
Closing statement (written by Tanecia Blue, submitter of award)
Dr. Tucker is a consummate psychological scientist, mentor, and member of her community. I’m truly in awe of her career and inspired by the impact that she has made. It is with pleasure that I present the Excellence in Health Psychology Research award to Dr. Carolyn Tucker.
Dr. Tucker's remarks
I am delighted and honored to present Dr. Joanna Yost, known as Joey, the 2022 Excellence in Clinical Health Psychology by an Early Career Professional award.
Dr. Yost has been an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine since 2017. Even though this was her first position after fellowship, she took on the roles of Director of the Behavioral Emergency Response Team and Co‐Director of the Behavioral Medicine Consultation‐Liaison service at the UVA Health Center and has excelled in these challenging roles. She has developed and expanded a strong consultation‐liaison service and her work is well-respected throughout UVA, including being awarded the 2020 Interprofessional Collaboration Award.
Dr. Yost has been very involved in the development and implementation of programs and services at UVA, especially during COVID-19. She co‐developed and implemented a range of evidence‐informed services for frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic, including a needs assessment, daily rounding with brief consultations, and didactic trainings throughout the health system. She also serves on local COVID‐19 task forces and was asked to assist in development of services for Medical ICU attending physicians and fellows and surgery residents related to stress and burnout.
Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Yost is very involved in the field of health psychology. She has presented at local and national conferences, been an invited speaker at Grand Rounds and webinars, published manuscripts, serves as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals, and provides interviews to media about health psychology and clinical care. She serves on the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers Board of Directors (APA Division 12, Section 8) as Social Media Committee Chair and also serves on a committee for the state psychological association and many committees within UVA.
Dr. Yost also has a strong commitment to teaching and serves as both a clinical supervisor and lecturer for psychology fellows and psychiatry residents. She has received uniformly high praise from trainees remarking on her commitment to their personal and professional developmental, the richness of her knowledge base, and her effective teaching style.
Dr. Yost’s excellence in clinical work, professional service, teaching, and scholarship reflect her passion for the field of psychology and her dedication to both patients and improving healthcare, and are a true embodiment of this award. Congratulations to Dr. Yost.
Dr. Yost's remarks
I am so sorry that I cannot be here in person to congratulate Dr. Allison Dempsey on this important and well-deserved recognition from the Society for Health Psychology; but appreciate the opportunity to share a few words to highlight some of her achievements that have made a significant impact on the field and on community healthcare.
Dr. Dempsey has worked with perinatal and neonatal populations with high-risk medical conditions in integrated obstetric and pediatric settings for over a decade. She is currently the Director of the Connections Program for High-Risk Infants and Families at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Dempsey’s multidisciplinary program is the only program in the United States that provides continuity of behavioral health services to women, infants, and families with high-risk medical conditions across integrated inpatient and outpatient behavioral health settings from pregnancy through early childhood. The Connections program also provides mental health services to families experiencing late pregnancy and neonatal loss. Dr. Dempsey’s program includes psychotherapy, medication consultation, dyadic interventions to improve infant-parent interactions, and health behavior interventions--such as heart rate variability biofeedback and exposure sessions to prepare for C-section deliveries.
Dr. Dempsey also serves as Director of the Perinatal Behavioral Health Pathways Program. This innovative program adopts a proactive consultation-liaison model to provide integrated behavioral health services to women at-risk for postpartum mood and anxiety disorders and substance use disorders on the inpatient labor and delivery and mom-baby units at University of Colorado Hospital.
As a clinical researcher, in addition to the aforementioned work, Dr. Dempsey has developed technological approaches to clinical care and serves as the Director of Informatics for the Department of Psychiatry at University of Colorado School of Medicine. To date, she has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and chapters in edited books, and has co-edited two books in the field of perinatal and neonatal healthcare.
Dr. Dempsey has held key national leadership positions, including Co-Chair of the National Network of NICU Psychologists, and Co-Chair of the Early Childhood Special Interest Group for the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. She currently serves on the leadership council for the Western Society for Pediatric Research and on the Interdivisional Professional Wellbeing Interest Group (which is a collaborative workgroup representing APA Divisions 38, 54, and the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers).
Moreover, Dr. Dempsey has had a significant impact in clinical education. She is the co-founder and Director of Training for the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Clinical Health Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
In sum. Dr. Dempsey is an accomplished clinician, scholar, and educator, who is so well-deserving of the Society for Health Psychology Excellence in Clinical Health Psychology Award for her tremendous contributions to promote the health and well-being of women, infants, and families with high-risk medical conditions.
Congratulations, Dr. Dempsey!
Dr. Dempsey's remarks
For more than three decades, Distinguished Professor Christine Dunkel Schetter, recipient of the Society’s Health Psychology Mentoring award, has been a stellar mentor to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars at UCLA, as well as junior faculty at UCLA and elsewhere. With regard to doctoral student mentoring, Chris has chaired or co-chaired more than 30 doctoral dissertations at UCLA. Former students describe Chris' mentorship glowingly, commenting on her generosity, support, and personal interest in them. These qualities were particularly meaningful during the pandemic. Two mentees wrote, “The navigation to remote mentorship was seamless because of Prof. Dunkel Schetter’s availability and commitment to student support. Not only did she support our continued development as researchers through this time, but she also emphasized our emotional well-being in living through unprecedented times." She is also described as setting high standards for theoretical and methodologic rigor.
It is worth noting Chris' exceptional mentoring of minoritized students and those who are the first in their families to seek higher education. The words of one former Ph.D. student—now a university professor—are especially meaningful: noting the "social class chasm" she felt between herself and most other students and postdocs, she commented that, "Chris' lab was one of the few places where social class differences did not make me stick out like a sore thumb." The "comfort zone" that Chris created in her lab permitted the student to thrive.
Dr. Dunkel Schetter is seen as an inspiring model who "never stops being a mentor" even after students leave UCLA. She excels in connecting her students to one another and to senior scientists in the field. Moreover, her students have gone on to influence health psychology science and education through their faculty positions at SUNY Stony Brook, USC, University of Texas, the University of California campuses in Santa Barbara, Merced, Irvine, San Diego, and San Francisco, and several other institutions.
Dr. Dunkel Schetter also has worked tirelessly to create institutional supports for the career development of students and faculty. As the Chair of UCLA’s health psychology program from 1995 to 2015, Chris spearheaded the transition of this graduate minor into a departmental PhD major, which admitted its first class in 2008 and has grown to more than 30 current students and graduates in 2022. Since 1995, she also has served as the Director and Principal Investigator of a NIMH T32 training grant, Biobehavioral Issues in Mental and Physical Health, which supports doctoral students and postdoctoral scholars. In that regard, she has played a role in the education of more than 50 T32 scholars at UCLA and has served as the primary mentor for 14. Chris created a dual-mentorship model for the T32, in which each recipient works actively with at least two mentors. Under Chris’s direction, the NIMH training program and health psychology area have produced some of the top scientists in health psychology in the country, including Drs. Edith Chen and David Creswell, both of whom were recipients of the APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions to Health Psychology.
In 2015, Dr. Dunkel Schetter was appointed Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Development at UCLA, and in that role she has created mentoring initiatives for early-career faculty across the university. Chris also has mentored junior faculty in maternal-child health research at the University of Calgary, Wayne State University, University of California-Irvine, and the University of Southern California, among others. Chris has been recognized for her outstanding mentorship by the APA Society for the Psychology of Women (Division 35) and by the Society for Health Psychology with the Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology, in part for her role in mentoring aspiring health psychology researchers.
In all these many ways, Distinguished Professor Chris Dunkel Schetter has exemplified the very best in academic mentoring in health psychology. The span of her outstanding mentorship across undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career researchers at UCLA and across the country is extraordinary.
Dr. Dunkel's remarks
Pamela A. Geller, Ph.D. is a dedicated, generous, caring and accomplished research and clinical mentor who encourages individualized growth, original thought, and commitment to health psychology among her mentees. She has spent nearly 30 years training and mentoring researchers and clinicians at all levels and across disciplines. Through her mentorship, Dr. Geller has had a substantial impact on the field of health psychology as a distinguished leader, educator, clinical supervisor, and role model, in addition to her own scientific and clinical contributions.
As an Associate Professor of Psychology at Drexel University, Dr. Geller’s Women’s Health Psychology Lab focuses on stigmatized and understudied issues, such as women’s experiences coping with adverse reproductive life events (e.g., infertility, pregnancy loss, postpartum depression and anxiety). Her research has helped to advance our understanding of diverse women’s experiences with medical systems and providers to support the development of novel programming to enhance care and overcome barriers to treatment engagement. To this end, Dr. Geller co-founded and co-directs one of the first perinatal mental health intensive outpatient treatment programs in the United States (Mother Baby Connections at Drexel University). This program provides a unique health psychology training venue for mentees to gain clinical experience with mothers coping with acute perinatal distress individually, in group settings, and with multidisciplinary teams. In addition, Dr. Geller’s collaboration at the Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU) of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) provides opportunities for student research and clinical training with families of infants with chronic health conditions and neonatal complications in this fast-paced, medical setting. With each pursuit, Dr. Geller has incorporated training opportunities and emphasized student involvement to develop future health psychologists.
Dr. Geller has mentored, inspired, and encouraged her mentees to create and pursue clinical and research integrative health psychology careers. She has offered her expertise in health psychology and her exceptional mentoring approach to help each student and junior faculty members achieve their goals and realize their full potential. Following her lead, at least 15 of her former doctoral mentees currently hold clinical, research, and/or supervising positions in medical settings, Veterans Affairs medical centers, psychological and medical practices, or academic psychology departments, all with an emphasis on health psychology. The prestigious health psychology careers of Dr. Geller’s mentees in the arenas of clinical service, leadership and research demonstrate the substantial impact she has had on their professional development and career trajectories.
Consistent with Dr. Geller’s values and devotion to her students, she is an extraordinary role model, advocate, teacher, colleague, collaborator, and respected and trusted confidante. Dr. Geller sets an ideal example through her work-life balance, and her approachable, encouraging, and individually-tailored style of mentoring. Her ongoing relationships with former mentees are a testament to her outstanding character and deeply caring approach to mentorship.
Dr. Geller’s mentorship has and will continue to enhance careers, promote intellectual thought, advance the field, and positively impact the many health psychologists who have the privilege of working with her.
Dr. Geller's remarks
Dr. Charles Emery is a Professor of Psychology and the Chair of the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University where he has served as a member of the faculty for the past 27 years. He completed his PhD training at the University of Southern California, his internship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and began his career at Duke University before moving to Ohio State in 1995. At OSU, he has helped to establish one of the premier training programs for health psychologists. And given his roles as a teacher, clinical mentor, and research mentor, he has impacted the training and trajectory of every single health psychologist who has graduated from OSU over almost the last three decades.
He has taught courses in aging and cardiopulmonary behavioral medicine, served on countless committees, and served as the primary research mentor for approximately 20 PhD students. However, Charles is perhaps best known among trainees for his Behavioral Medicine clinical practicum, a requirement for all PhD students specializing in Health Psychology. After arriving at OSU, Charles skillfully convinced hospital leadership of the need for integrated care and created unique and valuable training experiences for psychology trainees in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation and weight management programs. His dedication to this program and his trainees has left an indelible mark on many. Indeed, Charles’s nomination for this award was supported by dozens of former trainees who consistently recalled how his mentorship was delivered with warmth and compassion for patients and trainees and collegiality, along with the challenge to become more skillful clinicians.
In aggregate, Charles’s impact on the education and training of health psychologists is immeasurable. He has served as a model health psychology educator. Universally, trainees consider their time with him to have been a privilege that continues to impact how they practice health psychology today. We are therefore so thrilled to present Dr. Charles Emery with our 2022 Cynthia D. Belar Award for Excellence in Education and Training.
Dr. Emery's remarks
We are thrilled that our colleague, mentor, and friend is the recipient of the 2022 Nathan W. Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology.
As someone who has made significant lifetime career contributions to the Society for Health Psychology and to the advancement of Health Psychology as a field, both nationally and internationally, Dr. Dan Bruns epitomizes the characteristics of this award.
Dr. Bruns is not only deeply passionate about educating others in Health Psychology, but his unwavering dedication to changing laws, policies, and procedures to improve our field and expand its impact, thus enhancing the level of care received by all individuals who benefit from our profession, is exemplary.
Dr. Bruns received his PsyD from the University of Northern Colorado in 1984. Over the last 35 years, Dr. Bruns has owned and operated an independent pain psychology practice in rural Colorado, while serving as a senior clinical instructor for the University of Colorado Medical School. Dr. Bruns is a highly skilled clinician and mentor who is always willing to discuss challenging cases, provide literature to support treatment recommendations, and motivate everyone around him to do their best and to “change the world” in small and global ways.
In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Bruns has demonstrated extraordinary dedication to the advancement of Health Psychology in the following ways:
Standardized Test Development
Dr. Bruns has been instrumental in the development of psychological assessments specifically for the field of health psychology that are today employed across the globe for diagnostic clarification, to guide treatment recommendations, and to identify psychosocial risk factors for individuals prior to surgical procedures. After ten years of research and formulation, in 1996, Dr. Bruns and Dr. Mark Disorbio published the Battery for Health Improvement (BHI). They also developed the Brief Battery for Health Improvement 2 (BBHI 2) in 2002, Battery for Health Improvement 2 (BHI 2) in 2003, and BHI 2 Medical Intervention Risk (MIR) Report (2016).
Dr. Bruns has also served on numerous boards, often as the only psychologist among medical professionals and representatives from governing bodies. For example, from 2016-2019, Dr. Bruns served as a Technical Expert for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Additionally, from 2018 to 2021, he co-led a symposium that brought about the publication of a joint statement recommending standardizing the assessment of functioning in electronic health records between parties including the CDC, APA, ACOEM, AMA, six other medical societies, as well as business, payers, and the Joint Commission.
Currently, (starting in 2021) he serves as the chair of the Functional Assessment Task Force that is advising AMA on integrating psychometric methods of assessing function into AMA’s protocols. He is also serving as chair of the “MD Guidelines” Medical Treatment Guidelines, used nationally by workers compensation systems and by the US Department of Defense.
Dr. Bruns has served as a chair or panel member in the development of 22 evidence-based medical treatment guidelines, including 12 pain guidelines.
Dr. Bruns has also held the following leadership positions/appointments inside and outside of the SfHP:
2007- Society for Health Psychology: Member of the Clinical Health Services Council
2007- SFHP representative to Interdivisional Healthcare Committee
(Acting chair in 2011)
2007-2013 Society for Health Psychology: Chair of the Clinical Health Services Council
2007-2021 Society for Health Psychology: Division Board Member
2011-2022 Association for Scientific Advancement in Psychological Injury & Law:
2015-2021 Society for Health Psychology: Executive Board Member-at-Large
2016-2019 North American Spine Society: Interdisciplinary Treatment Committee
2021-2022 North American Spine Society:
Psychologically Informed Practice Curriculum Panel
Dr. Bruns has co-authored numerous research articles about chronic pain and psychological assessment, notably including, but not limited to:
1) The principal investigator in a 15-year longitudinal study of 29 million injured patients describing economic advantages associated with the implementation of the Colorado biopsychosocial model.
2) An author for 17 articles on a topic that had not been previously explored: prevalence and predictors of extreme risk factors among patients with chronic pain (e.g., suicidality, violence, trauma, borderline personality, entitlement).
3) An author for a review of clinical and forensic standards for pain assessment. Notably, as an independent practitioner, Dr. Bruns self-funds his service and research activities.
Dr. Bruns has been recognized for his numerous contributions to the field of psychology, receiving the following awards:
2001 Colorado Governor Romer commendation for help developing Colorado chronic pain guidelines
2008 Society for Health Psychology Presidential Citation
2010 Recipient of the Jeffrey Award for Health Psychology
2011 National Cancer Institute/Society for Behavioral Medicine: Award for leadership in developing measures and promoting data harmonization in behavioral medicine
2012 Fellow of Society for Health Psychology and American Psychological Foundation
2016 American Psychological Association: Presidential Citation
2018 American College of Physicians: Outstanding Scientific Reviewer
Through long-term service, dedication to the advancement of Health Psychology, and numerous meaningful contributions to the Society for Health Psychology, Dr. Bruns is certainly deserving of this award. Congratulations Dan!
Dr. Bruns' remarks
The first recipient of the Society for Health Psychology’s (SfHP) Volunteer of the Year Award is Claire Conley, PhD. The Award was conceived to draw attention to the remarkable professional generosity of SfHP leaders across the organization and to highlight efforts that have far exceeded role requirements.
Since joining SfHP in 2016, Dr. Conley has applied herself to active contribution of her time and talents. She was selected to serve on the Student Advisory Council in 2018, participating on the Communications Committee and editing two Student Newsletters.
In 2020 she initiated the role of Virtual Programming Editor, establishing processes for vetting and scheduling events, orienting presenters, and collaborating with APA Division 12 administrators to facilitate the provision of continuing education credit for programs. In the early days of the pandemic, she spearheaded the transition from teleconferences to Zoom events, rapidly raising SfHP’s ability to respond to changing member needs - all with calming technological confidence.
In 2021, Dr. Conley took on expanded service challenges as the new Chair of the Publications & Communications Committee. At nearly the same time, she accepted the leadership of the Communications “Row” of the 2021 Long Range Planning Task Force - the only ECP to hold such a position. In both roles, she has shown remarkable organizational and motivational skills. Her ability to gather and engage diverse groups of people in a respectful and productive manner is outstanding. She is also adept at wresting large amounts of input into clear and useful output.
Meanwhile, Dr. Conley performed her professional duties as Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology, Cancer Prevention and Control Program, at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. In addition to this and many other honors, she was recently recognized as a 2021 Scholar by the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group Clinical Trials Intensive, and in 2019 was given an Early Career Achievement Award by the American Psychological Association.
The Society for Health Psychology thanks Dr. Conley for her many contributions to the Society and the field to date, and we look forward to her continuing participation in the years to come.
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