Dear APS Members,
I’d like to take this opportunity to update our esteemed members on what is going on at APS. There are many nice developments and of course the one at the top of the list, as you know, is planning an in-person meeting that will take place March 23-26, in Long Beach, CA. It will be 3 years since we have seen each other. I’m so looking forward to our in-person meeting and I know many of you are as well; I’ve enjoyed hearing from you personally. Council is keeping an eye on developments but right now, we are heaving a sigh of relief as cases of the omicron variant have been dropping over the last few weeks. In order to keep everyone safe we are requiring proof of vaccination, we are requiring rapid tests upon arrival (which we are providing), and as of now, we are requiring wearing of masks during the meetings. We will update as appropriate.
The program is shaping up nicely as planned by our Program Chair Dr. Nina Kupper. She graciously provided an overview. This year’s theme is diversity which reflects APS’s increasing commitment towards inclusiveness. The conference features a pre-conference workshop on psychophysiological mechanisms underlying intersectionality and structural barriers to health. In addition, with the plenary lecture on the health effects of structural racism by Dr. Gilbert Gee, an invited symposium on the impact of societal stressors and health inequalities, and many excellent individual paper contributions on this topic we hope to raise awareness and encourage action on this important subject.
The Program Committee also aims to focus on clinical and mechanistic diversity, focusing on heterogeneous needs in treatment and strategies for engaging communities in research. With plenary talks from Dr. Elissa Epel and Dr. Naomi Eisenberger, a workshop on meta-analysis and systematic reviews, and an invited symposium on innovative methods for testing mechanisms of effect, the conference also aims to raise awareness for individual differences in mechanisms and clinical outcomes. We will also have two TED style talks from Dr Wijo Kop and Dr. Margaret Chesney, and a book session by several APS authors. The Program Committee is enthusiastic about the 2022 program and hopes to see you all in good health in Long Beach, CA.
We would like to welcome our newly approved Special Interest Group (SIG) for Psychosocial Well-Being and Health. We are going to have a roundtable luncheon for this group as well as other SIGs such as Affect Science, Climate Change and Health and Emerging Leaders. It is not too late to join.
As you know we are also inducting our inaugural class of Fellows at this annual meeting! This program recognizes sustained excellence in scholarship and professional contributions to the field of psychosomatic medicine and commitment to the American Psychosomatic Society. We hope that those of you who are eligible for this honor but have not applied yet will consider doing so in the coming year.
And for our younger members we will have several special events including the young investigator’s colloquium, meet and greet where younger members have an opportunity to meet with senior investigators, and a special breakfast for new members and first time attendees.
We are also harnessing the power of virtual technology – one of the silver linings of the COVID pandemic. The main talks will be live streamed for those of you who cannot make the meeting in-person. In addition, spurred on by Dr. Richard Lane and Laura Degnon, the council approved a new idea that involves a special topic/theme a year (perhaps even more than one) which will be in a virtual session in the fall. We will soon be launching a call for committee members to serve on a new committee around this exciting new concept.
We urge you to register for our upcoming Annual Meeting in beautiful Long Beach, CA. Looking forward to seeing you all there in a few weeks!
Gail Ironson, MD, PhD