Susan Lutgendorf, PhD, APS President
It is a great privilege to be serving as President of APS and to be writing to you following our very successful 2013 annual meeting in Miami. We are already working on the 2014 meeting under the able leadership of our new program chair, Kristen Salomon, PhD from the University of South Florida. Our theme for the upcoming 2014 meeting will be “Stretching the Boundaries: From Mechanisms of Disease to Models of Health.” This theme captures some of my vision for APS - that we as a group act to stretch the boundaries of our research and practice. One example would be developing a better understanding of mechanisms of wellness as well as mechanisms of illness and finding ways of translating that knowledge into interventions and environments supporting well-being. Another example of “Stretching Boundaries” includes a greater integration of Complementary and Alternative/Integrative Medicine modalities with Psychosomatic medicine- including broad-based interventions, and a broadening of our understanding of putative biobehavioral mechanisms. “Stretching the boundaries” also extends to how we can tap the burgeoning field of e-medicine to deliver interventions and better understand physiology.
This is an important time for finding innovative ways to translate our cutting-edge mechanistic knowledge into interventions that can help people. Our challenge is to find ways for the work of our scientists to be better integrated into medical awareness and clinical practice so that biobehavioral and socio-environmental factors become an integral part of the medical approach. Many of us in the Society operate with one foot in the world of psychology or psychiatry and the other foot in the medical world and can help bring this transformation about. Another important challenge is to find ways to make available the important scientific findings from our society for the benefit of the public. To this end, members should be aware that APS has an Educational Resources section on the website and that material can be made available to the public through this section of the website.
Some of the important upcoming events we have this year:
The name change process: By the time you read this, we will have identified a candidate alternative name for the Society and you will be asked to vote on that name versus APS. Voting will continue until the end of June. Anyone who wants to vote in this important election must have renewed their 2013 membership in APS. Members will continue to receive reminders about voting until they vote, so early voters will receive the fewest hassling reminders from the APS office.
The One Day Specialty Conference: On October 11, 2013, we will host our second one day specialty Conference on the topic of Diabetes, Obesity and the Brain in Washington, DC. The program committee for this is chaired by Susan Everson-Rose, PhD, and also includes John Ryan, PhD, Maria Llabre, PhD, Andreana Haley, PhD, and Tica Hall, PhD. They have been working hard and have begun to line up a terrific group of speakers for this meeting which is shaping up to be a very unique and exciting opportunity. The biobehavioral oncology group from the October 2012 Exposome conference has started to work on developing a special issue of Psychosomatic Medicine based on the talks at the conference.
Plan now to join us in San Francisco at the 2014 meeting, March 12-15. I look forward to serving the membership over the next year and encourage all of you to find ways to get involved in the Society.