Psychologist Jennifer Kelly, PhD, from the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine, represented APA Dec. 58 at the World Federation of Mental Health's inaugural world conference, "The promotion of mental health and prevention of mental and behavioral disorders," in Atlanta. The conference brought together mental health experts from around the world to create a worldwide strategy and collaborative framework for the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental and behavioral disorders.
Kelly's presentation focused on advocacy for patients' rights, education and how mental health professionals can contribute to these efforts.
Pieter LeRoux, PhD, director of family therapy training in the department of psychiatry at the University of Rochester, has been selected as APA's Fellow to the 2001 Public Health Service Primary Care Fellowship. He is the fourth APA member to receive this honor. Thirty fellows were selected from 70 nominees spanning a range of disciplines and backgrounds, including medicine, mental health and nursing.
The Public Health Service Primary Care Fellowship is designed to enhance the capabilities of primary-care leaders to influence health policy at the national, state and local levels. The 30 participants are involved in an intensive, six-month program, which includes four weeks of on-site training in Washington, D.C.
"This is a great opportunity," says LeRoux, "since my background focuses on primary-care issues related to children and families, and developing interventions for early prevention."
The fellowship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Care Financing Administration, the Department of Veteran Affairs, Indian Health Services, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
On Dec. 6, Ronald F. Levant, EdD, dean of Nova Southeastern University (NSU), and five other people received the 2000 Times Award. Sponsored by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Broward County, Fla., the award honors county residents who have contributed to the advocacy for and improvement of the lives of people with severe mental illness.
"The award really honors the staff of the NSU Center for Psychological Studies Community Mental Health Center and the faculty and students of the Psychology of Long-Term Mental Illness concentration in our doctoral programs," says Levant. "They serve day in and day out to promote the recovery of consumers diagnosed with serious mental illnesses through service, training and research."
APA's Executive Director of Practice, Russ Newman, PhD, JD, recently appeared on the PBS show "This Is America with Dennis Wholey." The program aired the weekend of Dec. 9 in 400 cities in the United States and 160 foreign countries. Six panelists--Newman, three psychiatrists, a social worker and a nun, talked about the mental health of America. The question, "Are Americans happy?" kicked off the hour-long dialogue. Even though they may be generally happy, survey after survey indicates that Americans are "overworked, overwhelmed and over stressed," said Newman. The panelists' remarks covered a wide range of topics, including Internet use, the stigma of mental disorders, insurance coverage and the harmful effects of managed care. In discussing the issue of violence, Newman mentioned the "Warning Signs" anti-violence forums for parents and teens being conducted throughout the country by APA and state psychology leaders.
The American Psychoanalytic Association (ApsaA) has awarded psychologist Karen Shore, PhD, honorary membership. Shore, co-founder and presi dent of the National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals and Consumers in New York, has fought for patients' rights to confidentiality and against denying access to care due to managed-care constraints.
The award, says Shore, "feels especially good because I was a very lonely voice when I began speaking out in 1992. I was called a lot of names like 'radical,' 'loose cannon' or 'crazy woman' when I began comparing managed care to totalitarian regimes."
The Grawemeyer Award, administered by the University of Louisville, gave its first award in psychology to three cognitive neuroscientists who have made significant contributions to the field. The scientists--Michael Posner, PhD, Marcus Raichle, MD, and Steven Petersen, MD--combined their expertise to identify and measure the brain's functions as it performs complex tasks. Their work began when the three men worked at Washington University in St. Louis in the mid-1980s. As a cognitive psychologist, Posner studied the effects of behavioral and cognitive changes in the brain. Eventually, Posner's interests led him to collaborate with Petersen, a behavioral neuroscientist, and Raichle, a neurologist, in studying the brain. Their efforts have led to groundbreaking work in neuroimaging of the brain.
"We were essentially studying the same thing from different perspectives," says Petersen.
The three scientists used neuroimaging to see how completing a task can affect brain activity. For example, as a person reads a word, explains Posner, the brain goes through a series of actions. Through neuroimaging, scientists can identify how the brain reacts. By taking images of the brain through each step, scientists can identify what parts of the brain are activated to finish a task.
Posner, the founding director of the Sackler Institute at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, has focused his research on attention and the analysis of complex tasks. He received APA's 1980 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. Raichle, co-director of the radiological sciences division of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University, has made significant contributions in the field of functional neuroimaging. He received the 1992 Decade of the Brain Medal from the American Association of Neurological Surgery. Petersen, chief of the school of medicine's neuropsychology division at Washington University, has conducted research on language, word recognition processes using neuroimaging, as well as attention and learning processes. He received the 1990 Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award.
The Grawemeyer Award recently added psychology to its list of categories, which include religion, music composition, education and improving world order. To learn more about the award and the nomination process, visit www.grawemeyer.org.
Six psychologists were made fellows of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). Fellow status in HFES requires a minimum of five years of membership, 10 years of professional experience in the inductee's chosen field, outstanding and demonstrable contributions to human factors, three years of direction or supervision of significant human factors efforts and at least one year's service to HFES. The 5,000 members of HFES include psychologists, scientists and designers with a common interest in designing systems and equipment that are safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them.
• Dennis B. Beringer, PhD, is a research engineering psychologist at the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aeromedical Research Institute.
• Herbert A. Colle, PhD, developed the master's and doctoral programs in human factors at Wright State University.
• Nancy J. Cooke, PhD, is a professor of psychology at New Mexico State University.
• Jefferson M. Koonce, PhD, is a psychology professor at the University of Central Florida.
• Gavan Lintern, PhD, is the head of human factors at the Defense Science and Technology Organisation in Australia.
• John M. O'Hara, PhD, is a scientist and human factors program manager at Brookhaven National Laboratory.