Champions of Evidence-Based Interventions
This award recognizes outstanding individuals who have shown exceptional dedication, influence, and social impact through the promotion of evidence-based interventions and who have thereby advanced the mission of ABCT. Champions may not be members of ABCT at the time of their nomination.
Potential Candidates. Nominees should demonstrate the characteristics of champions, broadly construed, as recognized in the implementation science literature (see Knudsen, Gutner, & Chorpita, 2019, for examples relevant to ABCT (the Behavior Therapist, v42, No.1, January 2019). Briefly, ideal candidates should have demonstrated one or more of the following: (1) an enduring commitment to the application and impact of one or more evidence-based intervention; (2) the promotion of innovation, even in the face of social or organizational indifference or resistance, (3) a willingness to risk reputation as a result of a commitment to change, (4) leadership in the service of the broad mission of positive social change, and (5) a willingness to go above and beyond their regular professional duties.
Recognition. Nominees will be reviewed in March, June, and October by the ABCT Awards Committee and those meeting criteria will be forwarded to the ABCT Board of Directors for approval. Recipient will be notified by the ABCT President, and their names and photographs will be posted on the ABCT website, along with the rationale for their recognition. Each year's champions will also be acknowledged at our annual awards ceremony at the ABCT Convention.
How to Nominate. Email your nomination to 2019ABCTAwards@abct.org (link to nomination form is below). Be sure to put "Champions Nomination" in the subject line. Once a nomination is received, an email will be sent from staff, copying the Awards and Recognition Committee Chair. The nomination will be reviewed by the Awards and Recognition Committee and if deemed appropriate for our program, will be forwarded to the ABCT Board of Directors for final approval. Once reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors, the nominee will be contacted directly by the President and followed up with an ABCT staff member for a final review of the copy to be posted on the ABCT website.
Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., Director of NIMH
Dr. Gordon's own neuroscience research focuses on neural analysis and directly translates to furthering our understanding of schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety disorders. He also oversees a research portfolio at NIMH that seeks to promote preventions, recovery, and cure of mental health disorders.
David Chambers, DPhil, Deputy Director for Implementation Science, Office of the Director in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Dr. Chambers has been an integral part of advancing the field of implementation science by fostering dissemination and implementation research within the NIH portfolio, funding opportunity announcements, training programs, research activities, dissemination platforms, and enhancement of partnerships and networks to integrate research, practice and policy. He has also published several seminal papers advancing the field of implementation science to enhance translation of research to practice.
Arthur Evans, Jr., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President
Dr. Evans served as the commissioner of Philadelphia's Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Service for 12 years. In this role, he served as a champion of implementation and dissemination of evidence-based psychotherapies throughout the city of Philadelphia and improved health outcomes and increased the efficiency of the Philadelphia system.
Rep. Joseph Kennedy, III, J.D. (D, MA)
Congressman Kennedy has a record of working towards bipartisan, comprehensive mental health reform. He has been an advocate for systemic reform of the mental health system, proposing the Fair Care for Kids Act to facilitate mental health treatment for children on Medicaid (signed into law in 2016), and introducing the Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act of 2015, to hold insurers accountable for providing adequate mental health benefits and increase transparency for consumers.
Sarah Hollingsworth Lisanby, M.D., Director, Division of Translational Research NIMH
Dr. Lisanby is one of the leading researchers in the area of neuromodulatory interventions for treating major depression. She has been an outstanding mentor to numerous investigators and as Director for the Division of Translational Research at NIMH, Dr. Lisanby has a major impact on the national research approach to mental illness.
Denise (Denny) Pintello, Ph.D., Chief of the Child and Adolescent Research Program, NIMH
Dr. Pintello previously oversaw the implementation of innovative scientific initiatives and special research dissemination projects, and currently supports implementation science research efforts within the NIMH portfolio. Prior to her time at NIH, she worked as a social worker and focused on child welfare, mental health, and substance abuse.
Jonathan Purtle, DrPH and MPH, Assistant Professor, Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
Dr. Purtle is a leader in the field of dissemination research, and has developed strategies to effectively disseminate mental health evidence to state policymakers, as well as identifying ways to reduce health inequities in US cities.
Joel Sherrill, Chief of the Psychosocial Treatment Research Program at the NIMH, Director of the Division of Services and Intervention Research at NIMH
Dr. Sherrill works to advance psychological research by identifying research priorities within intervention and services research. He regularly attends ABCT and consistently advises clinical researchers and supports investigator-initiated projects with targeted initiatives directed at specific populations or clinical practice questions to advance research on enhancing mental health care.
Pia Escudero, Director of the Los Angeles Unified School District School Mental Health
Ms. Escudero oversees more than 300 professionals (psychiatric social workers, psychiatrists, and clinical psychologists) and provides local and national leadership to assist in the development, implementation, evaluation, and dissemination of trauma-informed and trauma-specific services for children and families in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) School Mental Health. Ms. Escudero has also participated in the development of the California Mental Health Services Act and represented LAUSD, students, and school stakeholders in several local and state workgroups. She has also served as a champion for evidence-based mental health treatments in routine care in the Los Angeles community.
Bruce Cuthbert, Ph.D., Directors, RDoC Unit, National Institute of Mental Health
Dr. Cuthbert previously served as the Chief of NIMH's Adult Psychopathology and Prevention Research branch, as the Director of the Division of Adult Translational Research and Treatment Development, and the acting director of NIMH. He has also spearheaded the Research Domain Criteria project (RDoC) which has had a major impact on the national research agenda. The primary goal of RDoC is to gain a better understanding of mental disorders by providing a new classification system that incorporates many levels of information (from genomics to self-report).
Beverly Pringle, Ph.D., Chief of the Global Mental Health Research Program at the National Institute of Mental Health
Dr. Pringle oversees scientific leadership for the institute's global research activities, monitors NIMH's international grants and activities, and provides consultation to the global mental health research community. Her work has supported expansion of mental health services to the global community.
David I. Sommers, Ph.D., ABPP, Scientific Review Officer, National Institute of Mental Health
Dr. Sommers has been a tireless champion for interventions research as a Scientific Review Officer for NIMH for more than 18 years. He is deeply committed to facilitating the development, testing, and dissemination of evidence-based psychosocial interventions, thereby serving an instrumental role in improving mental health outcomes. Dr. Sommers is also a practicing clinical psychologist, delivering evidence-based care to those with mood and anxiety disorders.
Kim Griffin Esperon, LCSW, Field Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District's School Mental Health Department
Ms. Griffin Esperon provides administrative oversight to the LA Unified School District's 15 mental health clinics and wellness centers, playing a critical role in strategic and operational management of implementation quality of student mental health services. Her 20 years of collaboration, leadership, and service have led to successful and efficient implementation of evidence-based interventions, affecting tens of thousands of students' lives in one of the largest school districts in the country.
Mark Chavez, Ph.D., Division of Translational Research, NIMH
For nearly two decades, Dr. Chavez has been committed to the training and career development of clinician-scientists at the graduate, postgraduate, and early-career levels at the National Institute of Mental Health. Through his diverse portfolio, he has played an integral role in the research funding, promotion, and success of many of the emerging leaders in psychology and psychiatry in the country. In addition, he conducts an intramural program of research on the etiology, core features, longitudinal course, and assessment of eating disorders.