Contribution and commitment

The new president discusses leading the Division 54 Midwinter meeting, and long range division goals and initiatives

By Tonya M. Palermo

As I write this column, the dark and rainy days of winter in Seattle have become more of a constant. The year end is approaching and it is a time of reflection but also one of energy and renewal. In looking ahead to 2012, I would like to express my personal appreciation for the outstanding contributions of our board, central office, and committee members. I enter my presidential year filled with gratitude for the time, energy, and talents of all of these individuals who care deeply about SPP and our members. Their commitment is a part of what makes our division a truly special and unique professional home. I feel incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to serve as president in 2012.

Midwinter Meeting

One of the first tasks of my presidential year will be to lead the SPP Board at the Midwinter Meeting in Tempe, Arizona, on February 9-10, 2012. The purpose of this meeting is to conduct a strategic planning retreat to clarify SPP’s purpose and goals, identify strategic issues and priorities, and conduct long-range financial planning. We will ask important questions about how best to focus our resources, plan for the future, and meet the needs of our members. From this meeting, we will produce a written strategic plan that I look forward to sharing with the membership this spring.

Presidential Goals and Initiatives

In addition to the strategic priorities, including both short-term and longer-term initiatives, I have also identified a few presidential goals/initiatives that I’d like to focus on this year.

The first goal is to revitalize SPP’s focus on evidence-based practice. I would like to extend the initiatives started several years ago by former presidents Anne Kazak and Lori Stark. It is in SPP’s best interest to be an authority at the forefront to provide education, training, and dissemination of pediatric psychology evidence-based practice to students and professionals.

Despite commitment and interest in this area, we have a lot of work ahead of us to make this goal a reality. I am committed to exploring multiple avenues (e.g., journal, conferences, website, affiliated organizations) to enhance our focus on training psychologists in evidence-based interventions and to promote delivery of evidence-based practice by pediatric psychologists.

My second goal is to increase SPP member’s engagement at all levels of training by creating more opportunities for members to volunteer and get involved. The newly created SIGs provide momentum in this direction by involving more of the membership in working toward a shared focus. I will explore other strategies to utilize the immense pool of talent so that we all benefit from this collective effort and provide updates on these initiatives throughout the year.

Conference Programs

This year, we have several exciting conference programs that will provide important occasions for education, knowledge exchange, and networking with members. This April marks the 25th anniversary of the Midwest Regional Conference on Pediatric Psychology, which will be held in Milwaukee. The conference theme perfectly represents SPP’s focus this year: “Reflecting on Past Accomplishments and Looking toward Future Growth.”

In August, the annual APA convention takes place in Orlando and will have a large focus on health issues this year, including obesity and pain. I hope to see many of you at these conferences.

In closing, I look forward to 2012 and contributing toward the growth of the society. In this regard, I invite your interaction so I can better understand members’ perspectives on issues of relevance to SPP.

Please share your thoughts with me.