Training for the Future:
From Clinic to Community via Population Health
This meeting builds on our series of mid-winter meetings to inform clinical health psychology training programs on innovations in training related to health service psychology, revisiting the theme of Population Health which has become even more salient since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thursday February 17
A Look Forward into the Future of Clinical Health Psychology through a Population Health Lens
• Wayne Talcott, PhD, ABPP, (Ret. Col. USAF), Professor, Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia
• Daniel Cassidy, PhD, ABPP, Lt Col USAF, Lackland Air Force Base
• Wen You, PhD, Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia
The first day of the program consisted of a series of three coordinated presentations organized around the common theme: “A Look Forward into the Future of Clinical Health Psychology through a Population Health Lens”.
Dr. Daniel Cassidy, Lt Col USAF, Lackland Air Force Base began the session with a talk titled, “Powering Healthcare’s Moonshot”. In his talk, Dr. Cassidy posed a number of important and thought-provoking questions for the field of clinical health psychology. In asking, “What is our moonshot as a profession?” Dr. Cassidy compelled the audience to think about the healthcare needs of our society and how psychology can best rise to the challenge of addressing the needs of the population. Citing the growing incidence of chronic disease in our country and the need for primary prevention, Dr. Cassidy predicted that “people problems” (i.e., lifestyle and behavior) are, and will continue to be, the most pressing issues in healthcare. Given current healthcare trends, Dr. Cassidy asked “how can psychology scale up” our training of psychologists and on what sort of tasks and activities should we be focused in order to scale up to meet future needs? He emphasized psychology’s foundational uniqueness as a behavioral science and our skills in processed-based thinking and interprofessional communication.
Dr. Wayne Talcott (Ret. Col. USAF), Professor, Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia then described his work in military population health through the University of Virginia’s Center for Addiction and Prevention Research. Referencing Kazdin and Blasé’s 2011 article about re-booting psychotherapy research and practice to reduce the burden of mental illness, Dr. Talcott echoed the need for psychology to change its traditional approach in addressing mental health and emphasized interprofessional collaboration to create programs that can lead to meaningful change. He shared examples of his work in suicide prevention, alcohol prevention, and sleep health within the Air Force, and presented a stepwise model of project development and integration. He then turned his attention to the issue of educating interns and fellows in population health, emphasizing the importance of communication and leadership training.
Dr. Wen You, Associate Professor, Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia then went on to
discuss population health from the lens of health economics and behavioral economics. She described the field of behavioral economics (BE) and highlighted its core differences from traditional economic theory. She described how BE is a science about “choice architecture”—explaining how and why people behave in the real word and how to promote better choices. She described several key BE concepts that related to behavior and behavior change (e.g., status quo bias, social norms, framing effect, and incentives) and spoke on how psychology can help others value population-based work.
Friday February 18
APA Updates: Presidential Initiative: Health Equity
• Jennifer Kelly, PhD, ABPP; Past-President, APA
Day two began with an update from Dr. Jennifer Kelly, Past-President APA, on her presidential initiatives in health equity. She spoke eloquently about the continued health disparities in the US and our need to focus on the “upstream” (social determinants of health) factors that influence “downstream” health outcomes. She talked about psychology’s role in achieving health equity and the Presidential Task Force and Roundtable/Summit Meetings she led to develop a vision for psychology and psychology education. She discussed the importance of increasing diversity within the field and APA’s commitment to dismantling racism within psychology education, practice and policy.
Update on Education & Training
• Cathi Grus, PhD; Chief Education Officer, APA
Dr. Cathi Grus, Chief Education Officer, APA then provided an update on education and training. In her talk, “Reimaging the Future”, Dr. Grus encouraged the audience to think about “transformational change” in psychology education and training. She discussed ways in which APA has been supportive of population health (advocacy, convenor of resources, consensus building), and she emphasized the importance of aligning our education and training goals with the ways in which the profession is evolving (noting the need to clarify our roles, the distinctiveness of the doctorate degree, and the vision for psychology education to be more inclusive, expansive, representative and responsive).
APA Advocacy: Overview -Practice World
• Karen Studwell, J.D.; Deputy Chief, APA Advocacy Office
Karen Studwell J.D., Deputy Chief, APA Advocacy Office proceeded to provide an update on APA advocacy in science and education. She talked about the ways in which health equity and population health are interconnected and described many the ways in which APA is advocating for these two priorities.
National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
• Margret Dundon, PhD; National Program Manager for Health Behavior, VA Center for Health Promotion and Disease
Dr. Margret Dundon, National Program Manager for Health Behavior, VA Center for Health Promotion and Disease was the final presenter. In her talk titled, “Health Psychology Matters--Healthy Living Matters-- Prevention Works”, Dr. Dundon highlighted the mission and vision of the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (patient centered, evidence-based, and population focused) and described what the center does and their main focus on health behaviors. She provided a rationale for focusing on health behaviors—that three health behaviors (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and inactivity) lead to the four major diseases that contribute to 50% of deaths worldwide and emphasized the need to reduce the mind-body dichotomy in medicine. She went on to describe VA initiatives in prevention and health promotion, the importance of communication skills training to enhance patient engagement, and models of self-management. She also highlighted the ways in which psychology in supporting population health and public health initiates, and the many ways in which psychologists can support healthcare teams.
The Mid-Winter Meeting concluded with a brief business meeting that announced the addition of three new trainee representatives to the board and other board member changes, including thanking Dr. Sharon Berry for her many years of service to CCHPTP. Member interests and potential future meeting topics were briefly discussed.
Thanks for all that attended.
CE credits were available through Wayne State University to those who attended live. The Department of Psychology at Wayne State University is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Department of Psychology at WSU maintains responsibility for the program and its contents.