About the Center for Psychology and Health

The APA Center for Psychology and Health collaborates with the American Psychological Association Practice Organization to provide a coordinated way forward to secure psychology's role in the overall improvement of health and health care in the United States. The center aims to implement one of the major goals of the APA Strategic Plan — to expand psychology's role in advancing health. There is growing recognition that the ever-increasing rise in our nation's health care costs — now 18.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product — is due mostly to the treatment of serious, chronic health conditions. These conditions are largely due to unhealthy behaviors such as poor diet, inadequate exercise and substance use. As experts in human behavior, psychologists have much to offer to improve public health and bend the steep cost curve.

Leadership

Norman B. Anderson, PhD
APA CEO and Director of the Center for Psychology and Health

Norman B. Anderson, PhD Norman B. Anderson, PhD, has long been a dedicated advocate for psychology’s role in health and health care. As the founding director of the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, he championed psychological research in areas including heart disease, cancer, mental health and aging. A clinically trained health psychologist and researcher, Anderson also serves as editor-in-chief of the "Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior."

 

 

Ellen G. Garrison, PhD
APA Senior Policy Advisor and Coordinator, Center for Psychology and Health

Ellen G. Garrison, PhD Ellen G. Garrison, PhD, has helped shape APA federal policy and advocacy efforts for nearly two decades, while working in the Executive Office and in three of APA’s four directorates. During her nearly 10 years as a practicing clinical psychologist, she also served as founding director of school- and community-based mental health programs in Montgomery County, Maryland. In her role as center coordinator, she fosters communication and collaboration across the association and with other stakeholders to apply psychology’s expertise to improve our nation’s health care system.

 

 

Randy Phelps, PhD
Senior Advisor for Health Care Financing

Randy Phelps, PhD Randy Phelps, PhD, leads APA’s advocacy efforts for sustainable health care financing for both health systems and practitioners. He was formerly the deputy executive director of professional practice at APA. Before joining the APA executive staff in 1994, Phelps spent 13 years in private practice, specializing in family and couples work. He was also chief of psychological services in a private psychiatric hospital, on the faculty at the University of Texas Medical School and chief of a Texas public mental health treatment and research clinic.

 

 

W. Douglas Tynan, PhD, ABPP
APA Director of Integrated Health Care and Associate Director, Center for Psychology and Health

W. Douglas Tynan, PhD, ABPPDoug Tynan has advocated for and practiced in integrated health care settings for over 25 years in both primary care and specialty care pediatric settings. He developed one of the first psychosocial programs for children with diabetes and a primary care practice model. He previously worked for 13 years at the Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Delaware. He served as the training director of a doctoral internship program and as the principal investigator on one of the first Graduate Psychology Education program grants.

 

 

Other Health Leadership Team Members

L. Michael Honaker, PhD
Chief Operating Officer 
Deputy Chief Executive Officer 
Executive Director, Central Programs

Cynthia D. Belar, PhD
Executive Director 
Education Directorate

Steven J. Breckler, PhD
Executive Director 
Science Directorate

Rhea K. Farberman, APR
Executive Director 
Public and Member Communications

Gwendolyn P. Keita, PhD
Executive Director 
Public Interest Directorate

Katherine C. Nordal, PhD
Executive Director 
Practice Directorate

Collaborating Partners

APA Practice Health Care Team

The APA Practice Health Care Team consists of Practice Directorate and APA Practice Organization (APAPO) staff and is chaired by Katherine C. Nordal, PhD, APA’s executive director for professional practice. The group coordinates program development and implementation efforts related to health care reform at both the state and federal levels. 

State Implementation Advisory Group

The State Implementation Advisory Group includes representatives from key constituencies who serve as a sounding board for the APA Practice Health Care Team. They also provide resources and expertise to leaders of state, provincial and territorial psychological associations and APA divisions that are working toward the development and implementation of health care reform at the state level.

APA Div. 38 (Health)

For more than three decades, Div. 38 (Health) has advocated for including psychologists on integrated health care teams. The group’s 3,000 members include practitioners and researchers who are advancing science’s understanding of the mind-body connection.

Interdivisional Health Care Committee:
The Society of Behavioral Medicine

The Society of Behavioral Medicine  is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities and populations.