Candidate Statements for
Division 54. Society of Pediatric Psychology
Please note that the submission of a candidate statement was voluntary, so not all candidates listed on the ballot will have a statement.
Candidate: Jennifer Shroff Pendley, PhD
I am honored to be nominated for SPP President. Active in SPP for 25 years and most recently a board member, I deeply value SPP and the opportunity to serve our membership and the greater community of Psychology. While CPPP Editor, I worked to translate pediatric psychology evidence base into practical knowledge. The opportunity to strategize with others was gratifying and successful, demonstrated by CPPP’s quick growth and stature. As a children’s hospital Psychology Division Chief and former Director of Internship Training, I have worked closely with hospital leadership to grow our psychology training programs and expand from nine to almost 60 psychologists this upcoming year. Viewing mentorship as essential to our field’s success, I also contribute through trainee development, mentorship lunches, and leadership workshops.
Pediatric Psychology is experiencing rapid growth during a time of unprecedented changes in health care. Successful health care organizations will be those that define meaningful health outcomes, implement successful care systems, and develop effective workforces. SPP can lead these changes by leveraging both scientific knowledge as well as skill in health care delivery. My experiences demonstrate commitment to bridging research and practice and also the ability to advocate for psychology within complex systems and make me uniquely qualified to provide leadership in this area. If elected, I will work to provide mentorship and support to all members – students through senior psychologists. On a more interpersonal note, I love working with each of you, brainstorming creative ideas, and incorporating humor and levity in what we do!
Candidate: Wendy L. Ward, PhD
My name is Wendy L. Ward, Ph.D., ABPP. I am a Professor with tenure at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine. I am also an APA Fellow with over 20 years of professional experience. My career began in collaborative, team-based care initially with obese youth, leading to program development such that I now oversee faculty and fellows in 38 subspecialty clinics at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. This work was presented at a CODAPAR-funded leadership symposium series at the 2016 APA convention that I chaired, demonstrating psychology’s value in medical settings. I have collaborated on two national needs assessment surveys regarding leadership skills in psychologists across diverse medical settings. I serve in two institution-level positions (across five colleges and the Graduate School at UAMS) as the Director of Interprofessional Faculty Development and Associate Director of Professional Wellness. I also have extensive experience in faculty affairs, faculty mentoring, and I have served on national committees (Children’s Hospital Association, CRSSP, APPIC, and the American Academy of Pediatrics) and in multiple positions on national Boards (ABCAPP, Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers, and Division 54). In sum, I am actively and intentionally engaged in the advancement of psychology in medical settings and in the promotion of evidence-based pediatric psychology, very much in alignment with the goals of Division 54. I hope you will consider my interest and commitment to continuing to serve Division 54 as President-Elect and that this summary of information is helpful.
Candidate: Adelle M. Cadieux, PsyD
It is an honor to be nominated for the position of Secretary for Division 54. As a pediatric psychologist for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Healthy Weight Center and Clinical Assistant Professor for Michigan State University, my time is primarily clinical with training and research secondary. I have been a member of APA since 1997, but became a member of Division 54 when I transitioned from child clinical psychology to pediatric psychology. I have been a member of the Division 54 Obesity SIG since 2012 and have served as the Obesity SIG secretary, vice chair and currently serving as chair. I have demonstrated my organizational skills, effective writing skills, presentation skills, leadership and collaboration skills through my work in the Obesity SIG, my program development of the Healthy Weight Center, medical student/resident trainings and scholarly collaborations. I am ready to put these skills to use to contribute to the mission of SPP. My involvement in Division 54 was a key to my successful transition from child clinical to pediatric psychology and has been a significant contributor to my continued professional development and collaboration. The position of Secretary is an opportunity to give back to SPP which has given so much to me. Thank you for this opportunity and for your consideration to serve you and SPP.
Candidate: Allison Dempsey, PhD
I am delighted to be nominated for the position of secretary for the Society of Pediatric Psychology. As a member of Division 54 since 2009, I am strongly committed to participating in the organization which has been foundational to the development of my professional identity and growth. If elected, it would be a privilege to enthusiastically fulfill the responsibilities of the position. The role of secretary requires a high level of commitment, attention to detail, and strong organizational and communication skills. My work through interdisciplinary clinic leadership and program development activities helped me acquire and refine these skills. I engage in both clinical and research work in my position as Associate Professor in Pediatrics. My work focuses on children born preterm and/or with serious medical complications and their families in the NICU and specialty clinics. I particularly enjoy working with other professionals in these settings to promote and expand evidence-based psychological services in an economically viable model. I have a strong interest in the financial and administrative aspects of pediatric psychology service delivery, including billing capture, advocating for psychology services, and assessing treatment models. I am also engaged in research and development of digital health approaches to expanding accessibility to services. The knowledge I have gained through my experiences in direct pediatric service delivery, work with individuals at the systems-level, and research in digital tools for behavioral health prepare me to bring a perspective to the board that is in alignment with its overall mission.
Candidate: Erica Sood, PhD
I am honored to be nominated for Secretary of the Society of Pediatric Psychology. I embrace SPP as my professional home and have sought out numerous opportunities to contribute to the activities of this impactful organization. I have served on the SPP board as both 2014 APA Program Chair and 2018 SPPAC Conference Chair. My success in planning SPP’s large national conference speaks to my strengths in organization, efficiency, and attention to detail. In this role, I have worked collaboratively with the SPP board, conference committee, SIG chairs, and diversity/international committees to plan a conference that is inclusive and meets the professional needs of our members. I strongly value SPP’s commitment to professional development and initiated the first SPP student/trainee research symposium at the 2014 APA Convention and formalized professional development programming for mid- and late-career psychologists at SPPAC 2018. Between these conference planning roles, I continued to contribute to division activities by serving on the SPP Awards Committee and CPPP Editorial Board.
The role of Secretary is a natural fit for my particular strengths as a detail-oriented, conscientious, and highly organized individual. Were I to be elected, I am confident that I would excel at the specific duties of Secretary, while also working collaboratively with other board members to further the mission of SPP and pursue innovative initiatives. In summary, I feel that I have the necessary skills, experiences, and enthusiasm to succeed in the role of SPP Secretary and look forward to this exciting opportunity!
Candidate: Elizabeth Pulgaron, PhD
Dr. Pulgaron is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. During her faculty appointment at the Mailman Center, she has supervised interns and practicum students’ clinical cases and research projects. Dr. Pulgaron presently serves as Director of Psychosocial Services for the School Health Initiative at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The program provides primary care and psychosocial interventions free of charge to approximately 12,000 students in 9 schools located in high need and low resource communities in Miami.
I am honored to be nominated for the SPP Member at Large for Diversity position. Recently, I served as the 2016 APA Program Chair and as the Diversity SIG Co-Chair for the past three years. Previously, I was the Research and Presentation Chair for the Diversity SIG. This is an area important to me both personally and professionally. Most of my research and clinical work has been with patients of diverse backgrounds and I continue to grow and learn in this area. Over the last couple of years, especially under Dr. Lescano’s presidency, there has been focus and attention to diversity in our division’s membership, conference programming, and scholarship. I plan to continue her efforts by ensuring that we recognize and integrate diversity in SPP. It would be a privilege to serve in this position and represent the evolving demographics of our division and our patients.
Candidate: Idia B. Thurston, PhD
I am honored to be nominated for the SPP MAL-Student/Trainee Development position. As a pediatric psychologist focused on adolescent health disparities, I am driven to understand students’ needs, enhance student training, and diversify our division to more closely match the families we serve. I am dedicated to developing the next generation of pediatric psychologists. I joined SPP as a graduate student and attended my first SPPAC in 2007 with much trepidation because I did not come from a well-established pediatric psychology program. However, attending that conference changed my career trajectory. Networking during a poster session, led to my participation in a T32 predoctoral fellowship at Brown University, which made me competitive for a pediatric psychology internship (and postdoc) at Boston Children’s Hospital. These training experiences launched me into my current career – an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis. If elected, I will bring my passion, knowledge, and skills to promote trainee development and pay forward the opportunities I have been afforded. I aim to work collaboratively with the board to address the training needs of our next generation of pediatric psychologists, with particular focus on increasing the presence of underrepresented trainees at SPP and promoting scholarship/grant opportunities that support the well-being of marginalized and underserved pediatric populations. I will work to streamline the process of applying for SPP awards/grants, to make them more accessible and decrease student burden. I will collaborate with the board to support SPPAC programming focused on diversity and expand opportunities for underrepresented trainees.
Candidate: Kathleen L. Lemanek, PhD
Office: Council Representative
Kathleen Lemanek, Professor of Pediatrics at Ohio State University and Pediatric Psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, earned her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and interned at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University. Her clinical and research interests center on pain management, adherence to medical regimens, and psychosocial adjustment to chronic conditions. She has published on assessment, intervention, and training, and presented at international, national, and regional conferences. Lemanek served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, newsletter editor for Progress Notes, and editorial board member and reviewer for medical and psychological journals. She has been member-at-large, treasurer, and president of SPP. She is a site visitor for the APA Accreditation Program and treasurer of the Clinical Child & Pediatric Psychology Training Council.
I am honored to be nominated to represent Division 54 as a Council Representative. I have been involved in clinical practice, training, program development, and research for over 30 years, so I have first-hand knowledge of these issues. I have served SPP in various roles and know how to work effectively within governance. It is critical that SPP has an active voice within APA to advocate for child mental and physical health needs as the national health care agenda is changing. The importance of keeping child health care interests in the legislative forefront is evident due to political influences on families and communities. I will ensure that Division members are informed about events occurring within APA related to practice, training and research. Thank you.
Candidate: Terry Stancin, PhD
Office: Council Representative
Terry Stancin is Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She has spent her career at the MetroHealth System in Cleveland, OH, currently in multiple leadership roles including Chief Psychologist, Vice-Chair for Research in Psychiatry, and Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology.
Stancin has been a national advocate for integrated primary care services for more than thirty years. She is a board certified Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychologist and a Fellow in APA Division 54. A leader in national pediatric and psychology organizations, Stancin is a past President of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and recipient of awards including Division 54 Lee Salk Distinguished Service Award.
I am excited that Division 54 has been awarded an additional position on the APA Council of Representatives, and even more excited about having the opportunity to represent Division 54 in that capacity. I would bring 30+ years of experience as an academic pediatric psychologist to the Council with a focus on positioning psychologists as leaders in health care initiatives and ensuring that we have an adequately prepared workforce that is highly valued and compensated fairly for its efforts. This includes advocating for advancing research and training funding streams as well as significant payment reform for psychological services. Moreover, I am eager to solicit ideas from the Division 54 membership and Board to bring forward to the Council, and to be a liaison to the Board regarding APA activities.
Candidate: Melissa Santos, PhD
Office: Member-at-Large, Diversity
Melissa Santos is a Senior Pediatric Psychologist, Clinical Director of the Pediatric Obesity Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. In her current role, she oversees CCMC’s surgical and non-surgical obesity programs. Her research focuses on improving treatment outcomes for youth by focusing on subpopulations that historically have not benefited from current obesity treatment models.
I am honored to be nominated to serve as Member at Large for Diversity. The Society of Pediatric Psychology has been my professional home for years and I am privileged at the chance to be able to serve an organization that has served me for years. Issues of diversity are particularly salient for me. As a first generation born American, one of the first in my family to graduate college and the first to go to graduate school, having a strong, safe space to learn from others, be mentored and air concerns and struggles are essential to success. Representation across multiple areas of diversity is critical and I am eager to work with others, including students, the executive board, SIGS and committees, on initiatives to increase representation in SPP, provide networking and mentoring opportunities and, given our challenging political climate, a sense of safety and community within our organization.
I thank you for your consideration and support.