Candidate Statements

Candidates for member at large

Read statements from Michael A. Harris, PhD, Kevin A. Hommel, PhD, Chad D. Jensen, PhD, and Jennifer Verrill Schurman, PhD.

Michael A. Harris, PhD

Michael A. Harris, PhD Michael A. Harris is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) as well as the chief of pediatric psychology. He earned his PhD from Alliant International University in San Diego, formerly known as United States International University. As chief of pediatric psychology, Harris is responsible for and oversees the clinical, research, and training efforts of 10 faculty within the Division of Pediatric Psychology.

Clinically, Harris provides service to patients in OHSU’s Diabetes Center, the Pediatric Pain Center, and the Pediatric Oncology Survivorship program. In addition, he oversees the Pediatric Psychology Inpatient Consultation Service.

Harris’ research focuses on family-based intervention for youth with type 1 diabetes for which he has received funding from the NIH, ADA, and other foundations. He is also involved in the Division’s predoctoral APA-approved internship and is the primary supervisor for the pediatric psychology rotation as well as the inpatient consultation rotation.

Candidate statement

I am honored to be nominated for the SPP member at large for national conferences position. During my 20 years working as a pediatric psychologist, I have seen the field and SPP grow exponentially and am excited about the opportunity to participate at a different level in the continued growth of both SPP and the field of pediatric psychology. Throughout my career, I have been incredibly lucky to have worked clinically with a diversity of patients with complex medical conditions. Likewise, I have been fortunate to be engaged in empirical efforts in moving the science forward.

For me, this is an exciting time in pediatric psychology as our field moves head-on into the world of translational efforts and effectiveness studies. I am committed to the dissemination of research and clinical work in pediatric psychology at the national level. I have been a member of Division 54 since 1991, have been on the editorial board for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, have reviewed abstracts for SPP student awards and for regional and national conferences. Likewise, I have been responsible for organizing, coordinating, and planning national conferences for a group of scientists who conduct psychosocial research in diabetes (BRIDGE; Behavioral Research In Diabetes Group Exchange).

Kevin A. Hommel, PhD

Kevin A. Hommel, PhDKevin A. Hommel is an associate professor in the Center for Adherence and Self-Management in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC). He received his PhD from Oklahoma State University and completed his pediatric psychology residency and postdoctoral fellowship training at CCHMC.

Hommel’s research focuses on measurement and treatment of nonadherence to medical regimens in pediatric chronic conditions, particularly inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). His current randomized controlled trial is testing telehealth behavioral treatment for medication nonadherence in pediatric IBD. In addition, Hommel is engaged in self-management and adherence technology development and improving care through collaborative chronic care networks. He is also actively involved in the residency and postdoctoral training programs at CCHMC.

Hommel has been an active member of SPP for many years. He twice served on the SPP board as APA Program Committee Chair for Division 54 in 2006 and 2007, and received the Routh Early Career Award in 2008. He also served as a mentor in the SPP Mentoring Program and for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology (JPP), reviewed proposals for APA and SPP conferences and grants, and currently serves on the JPP editorial board.

Candidate statement

I am honored to be nominated for the member at large for national conferences position. I have been a member of SPP since I began my graduate training. Throughout the years, SPP has played a significant role in my training and my career as a pediatric psychologist, and I would welcome the opportunity to represent the Division in this capacity.

As a former SPP program committee chair, I would bring a high degree of organizational knowledge to this position. It is clear that it requires an ability to work with many individuals and organizations to promote continuing education for our Division. My research program involves networking with numerous individuals in the healthcare setting, as well as those in industry and organizations not traditionally associated with healthcare. This has allowed me to build strong organizational skills and leadership capabilities that will enable me to perform the duties of the MAL-NC position at the highest level.

As member at large, I would continue to increase the breadth and depth of continuing education opportunities for Division 54 membership and develop innovative methods for disseminating these important training opportunities to our membership.

I sincerely appreciate your support and would be thrilled to serve in this role.

Chad D. Jensen, PhD

Chad D. Jensen, PhDChad D. Jensen is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Brigham Young University. He earned his PhD from the University of Kansas Clinical Child Psychology Program and completed his clinical internship at Brown University.

Jensen mentors clinical psychology doctoral and undergraduate students as part of his research program in pediatric health promotion. His research examines prevention strategies for increasing children’s physical activity participation and evaluates novel interventions for adolescent weight control. Jensen teaches courses in clinical child and health psychology. He also provides clinical training in pediatric psychology to doctoral students. Jensen currently serves on the Journal of Pediatric Psychology editorial board.

Candidate statement

I am honored to be nominated to serve as SPP member at large for national conferences. I have been an active member of SPP throughout my career in psychology and appreciate the many benefits my membership in the society has provided. I am particularly passionate about the important role of national conferences in advancing our professional identity as pediatric psychologists. National conferences provide opportunities to advance evidence-based practice, connect pediatric psychologists with others who share their clinical and research interests, and provide opportunities for society members to enhance their research and clinical skills. I view national conferences in pediatric psychology as one of the most vital roles of the society.

My primary aim as member at large for national conferences would be to ensure that society-sponsored conferences meet the needs of all society members. If elected, I would collaborate with national conference planning committees to ensure that programming meets the needs of members at all levels, from undergraduate trainees to senior society members. My experience as student coordinator for a previous SPP regional conference and student volunteer for several additional SPP conferences has prepared me well to assume a leadership role in developing career-enhancing conferences. Building on the important work of past society leaders, I plan to work with SPP members to assess areas where our conferences could be enhanced to ensure that these meetings provide maximal benefit to SPP members.

I would be pleased to serve SPP as member at large for national conferences.

Jennifer Verrill Schurman, PhD

Jennifer Verrill Schurman, PhDJennifer Verrill Schurman is a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospital (CMH) and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine. She received her PhD in clinical psychology (Child Track) from the University of Cincinnati.

Schurman is a clinician, researcher, educator, and administrator. She codirects the CMH Abdominal Pain Program and is director of Psychological Services and Programs and director of research for the CMH Division of Gastroenterology.

Within SPP, Schurman co-chairs the Pediatric Gastroenterology SIG and sits on the editorial boards for both the Journal of Pediatric Psychology and Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. Schurman served as co-chair for the Midwest Conference on Pediatric Psychology in April 2009.

Candidate statement

I am honored to be nominated for the position of SPP member-atlarge, national conferences. Our national conference and scholarly publications are the academic heart of SPP. They are critical to the dissemination of knowledge, as well as to the stimulation of new ideas, collaborations, and opportunities for our members and trainees.

As co-chair of the Midwest Conference on Pediatric Psychology, I experienced firsthand the array of tasks required for a successful conference, from development of a meaningful educational program through the less glamorous (but no less important) tasks of financial stewardship, compliance with CE requirements, creation of promotional materials, personnel coordination, etc. My strong organizational skills and detailoriented nature served me well then, as I hope they will serve SPP now in this board position.

If elected, it will be my pleasure to contribute to and help strengthen SPP’s academic programming as the primary liason between the SPP board, conference planning committees, journal editors, and APA CE office. I will work with colleagues to identify the best educational opportunities and ensure they meet the required documentation standards.

Beyond these core responsibilities, I hope to bring a unique perspective to SPP board activities. Within my current leadership roles, I strive to value, balance, and integrate the demands of clinical, research, and educational work to the benefit of patients and the broader professional community. Finding innovative ways to bridge the gap between research and practice is critical to our strength and sustainability as a profession moving into the new era of increased healthcare accountability.

I look forward to channeling my own passion and commitment for the field into support for Division 54’s continuing education efforts. I appreciate your consideration and support.