The Health Psychologist

Society for Health Psychology

Reflecting on a Year of Progress: Connections, Learning, Engagement, and Growth

2024 Summer, From the president, The Health Psychologist

Mark Vogel

Mark E. Vogel, Ph.D., ABPP
Board Certified in Health Psychology
Professor, Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine

Summer is bustling with activity and the Society for Health Psychology is gearing up for convention and contemplating the upcoming fall and the year ahead. It’s an exhilarating time for all of us!

In my Spring 2024 President’s Column, I introduced a theme for the Society: “Strengthening Connections, Fostering Learning, Supporting Engagement, and Cultivating Growth.”  In this issue, I aim to highlight several activities that exemplify these factors occurring throughout our organization.

The Power of Connections

This past year saw the introduction of the “Peer-to-Peer Forum for Wellness Discussions.” These open forums were designed to facilitate small group discussions regarding common work-related stressors and joys so that participants could connect and learn from each other in managing difficult issues and find greater meaning and engagement in our work.  These sessions were organized by career stage (early-, mid-, and late-) and have been attended by more than forty participants.  The feedback from participants was very positive. Based on this initial experience, the Society is looking at how these sessions might be continued and expanded over the next year.  Many thanks to the Wellbeing Task Force for their work in organizing these events.  We look forward to more ways we can continue to connect with each other.

Another powerful connection medium is in-person meetings.  The annual convention is always an exciting time to reconnect with colleagues, learn from each other, and plan for the year ahead, but since not all of us can always attend the convention, another venue for connecting is Regional Meet-ups of the Society.  The Membership Council has been working on developing a Toolkit with a common protocol and standard application process for regions that want to host such an event.   This past year the Chicago region held such an event.  Events are planned in other regions.  If your region would like to organize and host such an event, please contact me or the Membership Council to get more information.

This past year, the Society was invited to participate with other Divisions in a mentoring program:  Promoting Underrepresented Minorities in Psychology (PUMP).  PUMP is a formalized system of mentoring specifically for people who are underrepresented, and is intended to ultimately help increase representation in the psychological sciences. PUMP mirrors the peer review process. Through a web portal, participants may submit a request for review/mentorship (either “informal” or “formal” review).  Dr. Stephanie Fitzpatrick will be rolling out this effort in the upcoming year as part of her presidency.  Thanks to her and the SfHP Fellows who have agreed to serve as mentors in this program. It promises to be an exciting opportunity for making meaningful connections.

Fostering Learning

In the past years, the Society has greatly expanded the number and variety of high-quality virtual programming available to members.  In 2023 the Society offered 22 virtual events; three of these included free Continuing Education (CE) credits.  By the end of 2024 this number will total 23 events, with CE offered in six events (26%).  Early Career Professional held their regular “Office Hours” series highlighting topics focused on ECPs.  Membership Council held “Welcome Wednesdays” to introduce aspects of the Society to new members.  Sessions were also offered by the Health Research Council, Health Advocacy & Policy Council, and Diversity Council.   Many Interest Groups stepped up with valuable programming in 2024. Integrated Primary Care organized four sessions as part of their “Chair Series” that highlighted emerging areas of practice.  They also offered a monthly Practice Management and Leadership Development discussion group.  Women’s Health IG also offered two informative and well-attended sessions.  Sessions were also held by Adolescent & Young Adult, Consultation-Liaison, and Pain Psychology Interest Groups.  A special thanks to Dr. Danelle Miro, the Virtual Programming Editor, for her amazing work at scheduling, organizing, and managing these events.  Also, thanks to the Councils and Interest Groups who organized this valuable content.   All of this programming is provided as a free benefit of membership to members of the Society.

The upcoming APA Convention also promises to be an exciting venue for fostering our learning.  The Society experienced a strong response to the call for presentations.  After careful review, under the direction of Dr. Grant Heller, the 2024 Program Chair, we were able to select 23 hours of excellent programming and 80 posters.  Fifteen of the sessions to be presented by SfHP will offer CE credit. You can find the featured programming along with the full schedule on our webpage.  I hope that many of you can attend these excellent symposiums and poster sessions.

Cultivating Growth of the Profession

In January 2024, the Society held a Clinical Health Psychology Education & Training Summit in New Orleans.  This session invited twenty leaders representing diverse groups and interests in the field to examine the key challenges facing education and training of Clinical Health Psychologists and promote visionary thinking about educational opportunities and pathways toward the specialty.  Through plenary sessions, small group work, and open discussions, the participants examined changing trends in education and training, emerging areas of practice, and a vision for the future.  Key outcomes of this Summit are to include a summary document that describes the current state of Health Psychology Education and Training and provide guidance recommendations for prospective Clinical Health Psychologists on pathways to the competencies in the specialty.  This document is currently in development and findings from the Summit will be presented at APA 2024.  Thanks to Dr. Lloyd Berg for co-leading the effort.


I recently saw a billboard for a financial institution, the name of which I did not recognize.  The catch phrase of the billboard was “Yea, we never heard of you either…let’s change that.” I hope that you felt engaged in the work of the Society over the past year.  If not, “let’s change that.”  I look forward to our continued connections and hope that our Society remains your professional home —a place where you can enjoy the comfort of familiar colleagues, a supportive environment, and abundant opportunities for your growth and development.  Please reach out to me, other members, or the Society office if you would like to be more involved in the Society.  If you are well-connected in the Society, reach out to your colleagues who are not members and encourage them to join.  Show them around the house and help them feel at home here.

Thank You

As I conclude my tenure as the 2023-2024 President of the Society, I want to express my profound gratitude. It has truly been an honor to work alongside our dedicated members, skilled board members, and talented leadership team to further the goals of our organization. I am thankful for the trust placed in me and look forward to continuing to support our Society in my new capacity as immediate past president.  Together, we have achieved significant milestones, and I am excited about our continued journey of growth and success.

I hope to see many of you at the Convention in Seattle this August (7-9) at one or more of our many educational events scheduled and, of course, at the annual Social Event on Friday evening.