In This Issue

Welcome new Division 37 fellows

Div. 37 introduces its four newest fellows.

By Mindy S. Rosenberg, PhD

I am delighted to introduce our new Div. 37 fellows for 2012. Each individual, as you can read below, has demonstrated exemplary work in the field of child and family policy and practice. On behalf of the Fellows Committee, I would like to personally congratulate them on their new Fellow status and thank them for their ongoing contributions to our division, APA, and psychology.

Daniel Dodgen, PhD, Director, Division for At Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health, and Community Resilience, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Dodgen’s remarkable professional career has focused on the promotion of wellbeing of children, youth, and families through advocacy and policy development, primarily at the federal level. Through his work with APA, the Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), and the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Dr. Dodgen has played a pivotal role in shaping laws, policies, and programs to be inclusive and responsive to the unique needs of children, youth, and families. Perhaps most importantly, he has introduced and integrated psychological science into significant areas of discussion and decision making at the national level, most recently in the area of disaster response.

Examples of Dr. Dodgen’s work in disaster response include providing direct services, program development, and consultation (i.e., participating as a child trauma and disaster mental health expert following the Oklahoma City bombing; working at the Pentagon following the September 11 terrorist attack with disaster workers, Pentagon employees, airlines, and children who had lost parents); being named the first Emergency Management Coordinator at SAMHSA (i.e., overseeing the federal government’s response to hurricanes, tornadoes, and coordinating SAMHSA’s responses in national and international emergencies such as H1N1 and SARS pandemics, Japanese and Haitian earthquakes); and being asked to serve as the Human Services Team Lead to develop the HHS strategy for responding to the White House Report on the federal response to Katrina. In 2006, Dr. Dodgen founded the Division for At-Risk Individuals, Behavioral Health and Community Resilience, which has worked to fully integrate atrisk/ special-needs groups including children and youth into our national response plans. Dr. Dodgen chairs the HHS working group on children and disasters. Currently, the group is developing their 2012 recommendations for the HHS Secretary and focusing this year on children with unique vulnerabilities, pregnant women and neonates. Dr. Dodgen’s Division is also developing the first HHS concept of operations for coordination of human services in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery.

Ellen Garrison, PhD, Senior Policy Advisor, Executive Office, American Psychological Association. Dr. Garrison was awarded Fellow status based on her outstanding contributions in the areas of policy and advocacy, organizational leadership, and service delivery and program development. Beginning as a SRCD Congressional Science Fellow placed with the Juvenile Justice Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, to holding a series of significant public policy positions within APA’s governance structure, Dr. Garrison’s rich and impressive career has consistently included a focus on furthering programs and policies affecting children, youth, and families. Dr. Garrison’s psychological expertise and advocacy skills have contributed to direct, observable efforts, such as founding the AMIGO Program, a school-based mental health program for Latino and other atrisk children and families; and drafting legislation on varied topics including child pornography, aiding families of missing children, and provision of psychological counseling, financial assistance and legal assistance to child victims and their families. In addition, Dr. Garrison has shown extraordinary leadership “behind the scenes” in coordinating with members of Congress and their staff, federal agency officials, and other organizational representatives to translate psychological research to inform federal policies affecting children and families. Examples of Dr. Garrison’s accomplishments as APA’s Administrative Officer for Children, Youth, and Family Policy included efforts to develop quality standards for child care programs; preserve and expand the Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment program; increase the availability of psychological services to students with “serious emotional disturbance;” improve aspects of the child welfare system; and ensure access to prosocial and educational children’s television programming.

Currently, Dr. Garrison serves as the first chief advisor and representative to the CEO of APA on policy issues, government relations, and inter-organizational affairs. In recent months, Dr. Garrison has been actively engaged in APA efforts to further the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e., the new health care reform law). Key provisions of interest to Division 37 include coverage for children’s pre-existing conditions and for youth up until age 26 on their parents’ policies, as well as certain prevention and wellness services for children and youth without a required copayment. She has also been involved in responding to concerns raised by key Senate offices and the Department of Health and Human Services about the overprescription of psychotropic medications for children in foster care through the Medicaid program.

Steven Ondersma, PhD, Associate Professor, Research- Educator, Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Ondersma is widely recognized as one of the most innovative researchers currently working in the field of parent education/substance abuse/child abuse prevention. His “unusual and outstanding” contributions in the areas of research and intervention clearly qualified him for Fellow status. Dr. Ondersma’s focus on the use of technology to enhance the extent to which evidence-based approaches can reach at-risk parents is groundbreaking and lauded in the field. He was the first researcher to study the use of computerdelivered brief interventions for drug use in the perinatal period and proactively sought out at-risk parents through primary care settings. He has found promising effects for computer-delivered brief interventions in four published trials to date. He is designing interventions based on the realities and limitations of community settings, as opposed to trying to change community settings to fit an intervention approach. The software that he developed through this work is in use by over a dozen prominent universities who further expand and build upon his work to disseminate effective programs to at-risk parents on a scale and economic cost that would not have been possible without Dr. Ondersma’s contributions.

Currently, Dr. Ondersma is involved with two new research projects. The first is a small clinical trial testing a computerdelivered brief intervention for alcohol use during pregnancy. The software was developed along with a series of videos tailored to participants’ current drinking status, motivation, and other factors, and feedback obtained from 30 pregnant women testing positive for alcohol risk. Their feedback was used to further modify the software, which is now being tested in a randomized trial. The second project tests an intervention for post-partum drug use among women who have recently given birth. Women testing positive on an indirect screener were randomly assigned to either a time control intervention or an “indirect intervention” in which a range of parenting risks are addressed (one of which is substance abuse) in a general way, and the women are invited to share their thoughts about their infants’ risk in that area. The intervention is designed to impart key information regardless of self-report, and to help participants feel comfortable disclosing risk directly or indirectly related to drug use. Dr. Ondersma has also been part of recent expert meetings on illicit drug use during pregnancy, one at the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the other at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The goals of these meetings are to help clarify policy and practice (particularly brief intervention practice) regarding prenatal drug use, especially in light of the rise of prescription drug abuse during pregnancy. (Further information can be found at about two minutes into http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCIp6skzv9I and about 38 minutes into http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WNQVkzOyq8).

W. Douglas Tynan, PhD, ABPP, Program Director, Nemours Health & Prevention Services; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Jefferson Medical College; Senior Fellow, Jefferson School of Population Health. Dr. Tynan is a Fellow of Div. 53 and 54, and was awarded Fellow status in Division 37 based on his outstanding contributions in advocacy, consultation, and teaching. Dr. Tynan’s interests are in the provision of effective mental health and health services for children and adolescents. He is a Board certified clinician in both Clinical Health Psychology and Child and Adolescent Clinical Psychology. In his current position as Program Director of a large, multidisciplinary child health promotion effort, Dr. Tynan provides administrative oversight for all health promotion programs, and psychological consultation regarding prevention of childhood obesity and enhancement of social and emotional development for children within the Nemours health care system in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Dr. Tynan has also served in various capacities at the local, state and national levels including: (1) sponsoring networking meetings between pediatricians and educators to help improve services in special education; (2) testifying before state legislation committees on issues including high rates of stimulant medicine use for children, the advantages of full day kindergarten, the need to limit access to mature rated video games, the advantages of improved developmental screening in primary care and availability of child mental health services; (3) appointments by the Governor to serve on statewide committees relating to early childhood services, and during both Bush Presidential terms as a special advisor to Head Start, and on the Committee for the Evaluation of Head Start; (4) testifying before the House Committee on Education regarding the diagnostic classification process and the need for early intervention in special education; and (5) meeting with Senators Coons and Carper on issues regarding the Child Nutrition Act, and with then- Senator Biden on Graduate Psychology Education Programs. Currently, Dr. Tynan is serving on the Advisory Committee for the State of Delaware’s recently awarded Early Learning Challenge Grant. The grant’s goals include improving screening for young children birth to five for developmental and behavioral difficulties by implementing valid screening tools in primary care and in early care and education settings, and connecting families to early intervention services through their new Help Me Grow Delaware program. Over the past summer, Nemours initiated their PEDS screening program in pediatric practices (which serve over 50,000 children), and are now screening over 700 children per month for developmental delay.

About the Author

Mindy S. Rosenberg is a clinical psychologist, consultant, and neuropsychologist in Sausalito, Calif., who specializes in working with children, youth, and families. She has previously served on the psychology department faculties of the University of Denver and Yale University. Her research interests include child maltreatment, and the effects of witnessing domestic violence on children’s social and emotional development. Dr. Rosenberg was involved originally with Div. 37 in 1984 on the Task Force on Child Abuse and Family Violence, and has been a member of the Fellows Committee since 2007.