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President-Elect, 2023-2024 Candidates

William Barbaresi, MD, FAAP

I am honored to be nominated for president of SDBP.  For 30 years, SDBP has been my academic and professional home.  I have served on the Program, Nominating and Research Committees, and Board of Directors, and presented research findings almost every year since first joining the society.  For 6 years, I was Chair of the Research Committee, co-leading the establishment of the SDBP Research Grant Award.  I represented the SDBP as Liaison to the AAP, Committee on Pediatric Research.  I was chair of the SDBP Research Scholar Symposium and continue as a faculty member for the symposium.  I recently served as chair of the group that authored the SDBP Complex ADHD Clinical Practice Guideline. 

I am currently Chief of the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and the T. Berry Brazelton Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.  After completing an undergraduate degree in psychology at Dartmouth College, I attended the State University of New York at Buffalo Jacob’s School of Medicine.  I completed my clinical training in pediatrics and ambulatory/developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Boston Children’s.  From 1993 to 2009, I was on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic, where I organized the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and founded the Mayo Clinic-Dana Child Development and Learning Disorders Program.   In addition to providing clinical care for children with a wide variety of developmental and behavioral challenges, I have an active research program involving clinical and outcome studies of AD/HD and autism.  I am a Site Principal Investigator and a founding member of DBPNet, for which I serve as Research Director.  At Boston Children’s, I direct our Developmental Medicine Clinical Research Laboratories and am the Project Director for our MCHB-funded DBP fellowship.

I am a member of the AAP Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Ambulatory Pediatric Association, and American Pediatric Society.  I have served as Chair of the Sub-Board for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and on the editorial board of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology.  I served as Co-Editor for Reviews and Special Articles for JDBP and remain on the JDBP editorial board.  I am a lifetime Senior Fellow of Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria, where I helped to establish the university’s Research Institute in Developmental Medicine.

Statement of Goals for the Society

In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, the behavioral health crisis has deepened, further challenging our interdisciplinary field to meet the needs of children and families.  At the same time, and despite the overwhelming need for our services, the healthcare system, research funders, and the medical educational system undervalue our field, hampering our efforts to fulfill our mission.  If I have the privilege of serving as SDBP President, my focus will be squarely on the issues that must be addressed if we are to fulfill our mission of service to children and families:

  1. EVIDENCE: The evidence base for much of our clinical care is limited or completely lacking.  This was never more apparent to me than during the development of the SDBP Complex ADHD Practice Guideline.  SDBP must be a leader in supporting research, as well as the development of young investigators, ensuring that they receive the support of federal and other funders.
  2. WORKFORCE: We must all proactively encourage young people, especially those from diverse backgrounds, to enter our interdisciplinary field.  This will require strong advocacy for major changes in pediatric residency training and support for training of colleagues in psychology and other disciplines.
  3. THE VALUE PROPOSITION: While we are committed to our mission to improve lives and outcomes for children, we need to orient our advocacy to highlight the value to society of the clinical care and research in our field.  This will require aggressive advocacy for resources not only for children, but also for professionals.  If we are to recruit talented young people into our field, we must work to ensure that they are compensated fairly.
Jill Fussell, MD

SDBP has been my professional home for over two decades now, since my years in fellowship training. It is therefore quite an honor, to be considered for the role of President, to potentially lead the Society that I feel like raised me. I am so impressed with and proud of the growth, progress, and impact SDBP has had through the years, and humbled to be considered for this opportunity to lead.

The perspective I bring is a southern one; I grew up in rural south Arkansas. In my undergraduate training at Louisiana State University, my major was psychology and minor biochemistry (attracted to a biopsychosocial model early on, apparently!). I completed residency at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where time spent with Michelle Macias and her team ignited my excitement for a career in DBP. After completing DBP fellowship at MUSC in 2002, I returned to my home state, and have remained on faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) for over 20 years now. I’ve served as UAMS DBP Fellowship Director since 2007, and DBP Division Director since 2018. Inequities in access to care are astoundingly real here in the south, unfortunately, and I am passionate about trying to improve that here, and nationally. 

My service within SDBP began as a Membership Committee member 2005-2009, and then Co-Chair of the SDBP Fellowship Training Committee 2011-2017 (now known as Section on Training). I served on the Program Committee for the SDBP annual meeting for 8 years and I have served one term on the SDBP Board (2017-2020). I was also on the Program Committee of the SDBP and American Academy of Pediatrics jointly sponsored DB:PREP CME course for 8 years, serving as Chair of the Course in 2018 and 2020. I have been representing SDBP within the Council of Pediatric Subspecialities (CoPS) since 2015 and was the first DBP to be elected to the CoPS Executive Committee. I was appointed Chair of CoPS 2020-2022, and currently remain on the CoPS Executive Committee, as Immediate Past Chair. I was appointed in 2020 to co-lead (with Laurel Leslie, ABP Director of Research- and also a DBP!) the domain of “Workforce Data/Needs and Access” within the Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs (AMSPDC) Pediatric 2025 Workforce Initiative. I hope that the synergistic impact across these more recent roles, and the timing of them (including through the pandemic), has allowed me to effectively represent DBP, and elevate the national understanding of the vital importance of DBP care. I frankly hadn’t felt competent to compete for SDBP Presidency in years past, but my experiences in these organizations over the past 3-5 years has broadened my perspective, so that I now feel like I can bring to SDBP a more comprehensive view of pediatric healthcare, and DBP within that bigger picture.

My perspective on Goals/Direction for SDBP:

The number of medical students choosing pediatric residency has been steadily declining, compared to other major specialties. So, we are not alone in DBP, and there can be strength in numbers, advocating for workforce across pediatrics; however, there are also unique considerations specific to DBP. Your SDBP Board summarized these issues specifically and powerfully in the DBP: Critical for Pediatric Health Outcomes document, and we still have much work to do. I would work to advance the Solutions outlined within. We also need to continue to value interdisciplinary training, clinical practice, and research. Future growth of SDBP must prioritize diversity, and interdisciplinary care and research that is directed at resolving inequities. While sharing my perspective, I realize it doesn’t matter as much what I am concerned about, unless it is what SDBP membership is concerned about. I pledge to lead, but also to listen. If I were President, I would want my term to be marked by unprecedented communication, collaboration, and meaningful engagement of membership. I would want to be Your President.

I am grateful for this nomination, and the possibility of serving as President for our Society. 


Board of Directors, 2023-2026 Candidates

Dinah Godwin, LCSW-S

I am honored to have been nominated for the SDBP Board, and grateful for my DBP mentors who have encouraged me along the way.  I am a clinical social worker at the Meyer Center for Developmental Pediatrics and Autism at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.  My career includes 30 years’ experience working with families of children with chronic medical and developmental conditions.  Since 2012, I have been part of the team at the Meyer Center, where my practice has grown to include not only clinical care but development of innovative wraparound programs for families of children with developmental-behavioral disorders.   When I entered academic medicine, I did not expect to develop a passion for education, but despite being a recovering introvert I’ve found that I love teaching trainees from all disciplines in addition to educating and supporting families.  My goal is to enhance knowledge about the holistic and systems-based approach to DBP practice, psychosocial issues that impact families, and the community resources and systems that patients and families encounter.  Texas is not the kindest state for the people we serve, so I also emphasize issues of social justice, equity and the importance of policy advocacy to learners.

I have been a member of SDBP since 2013, eventually growing my role into co-chair of the Advocacy Committee from 2016-2019.  As such, I was delighted to co-coordinate more than 100 SDBP members’ visits to Capitol Hill during our 2019 meeting in Washington, D.C.  In addition to remaining an active Advocacy Committee member, I have served on the Program and Awards Committees.  I also recently founded a group for social workers who work in DBP (31 members to date!), and we meet virtually to network and share information.  

Statement of Goals for the Society 

SDBP is my professional home, where I can not only learn but also network and collaborate with interdisciplinary professionals who share similar experiences and goals.  If elected to the Board, I will work to grow the membership and support the mentorship of professionals from all disciplines.  I also hope to serve as a liaison to national social work and disability-related organizations with the goal of partnering on policy advocacy and professional development related to DBP.  With regard to workforce development, I hope to support the society in further raising awareness of our discipline to medical and other pre-professional students, and potentially college students, such as by coordinating a meet and greet session for students in conference host cities.  Another goal is for our society to educate the broader community regarding the value of the DBP field, the reasons for extended wait times for care, and the innovative programs being developed within the field to increase access and serve the community in a myriad of ways.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve SDBP.

Cy Nadler, PhD

I am honored to be considered for the SDBP Board of Directors, and grateful for the opportunity to serve my primary professional home. My aim in seeking a position on the Board is to offer perspectives grounded in interprofessional and community partnerships, which inform all my work as a psychologist at Children’s Mercy Kansas City and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UMKC School of Medicine. From my direct clinical service to my administration of our hospital’s autism program to my federally funded health outcomes research, collaborations with a diverse range of professionals, parents, and self-advocates have guided my focus on the issues most critical to the patients I serve. Through coalition-building, I have successfully advocated with my state legislature to double its investment in autism services and improve access to care, developed new care models, and conducted research on systemic racism in care delivery. Recognizing the toll of poor access to physical and mental health supports for autistic youth, I partnered regionally to create care pathways to address co-occurring conditions, while also launching research on autism and suicide risk, and co-chairing the Supporting Access for Everyone (SAFE) Initiative to advance access to healthcare. In response to DBP workforce challenges, I’ve prioritized mentorship of medical professionals both directly and through partnership with the National Inclusive Curriculum for Health Education, introducing hundreds of local medical students to DBP through encounters with diverse community advocates. My collaborative experiences have also informed and inspired my ongoing service to SDBP, including as Autism SIG co-chair, Psychology Section co-founder, Program Committee member, Research Grant Award co-chair, Research Scholar Symposium faculty, JDBP editorial board member, and as a Site PI for DBPNet. I would be excited to carry forward this spirit of collaboration and community engagement serving on the Board.

Statement of Goals for the Society

As a member of the Board, I would encourage SDBP to make bold investments in areas that energize our membership and align with the needs of our patient constituents. Building coalitions with the community and interprofessional colleagues will help us meaningfully address areas like the escalating youth mental health crisis. Partnerships will also help us successfully advance research and policies that improve the accessibility, sustainability, and equity of our health systems. SDBP’s leadership in these efforts will also showcase the strengths of DBP and stimulate the workforce pipeline, all while advancing our vision of improved wellbeing for youth and families.

Jennie Olson, RN, MS, CPNP, PMHS

I am incredibly honored to be nominated for the SDBP Board of Directors. I am a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who has spent 13 years specializing in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. I attended The Ohio State University, where I received my Master’s in Nursing and PNP certification. I completed a LEND fellowship and an early intervention specialization. I spent 5 years working in primary care pediatrics in Ohio and Texas before moving into DBP at Children’s Village in Yakima, WA. My passion is providing excellent care to children and families with developmental behavioral disorders. I have a broad-based clinical practice as part of a Federally Qualified Health Center. I truly love the interdisciplinary nature of our field and the opportunities I have on a daily basis to collaborate and learn from my colleagues. I have participated in multidisciplinary clinics focused on ASD, FASD, EI, and NICU Follow-up. I have served as clinic medical director and supervised the University of Washington LEND community training site at Children’s Village. Despite moving to Wisconsin and Oregon, I have been able to continue my clinical practice at Children’s Village through telehealth and in person clinics. I currently live in Bend, OR with my husband who is a CMIO/pediatric hospitalist, our 2 sons ages 11 and 8, and Grover the wonder dog.

I was introduced to SDBP in 2010 when I started in DBP. It was obvious to me that I had found my professional home and my people! SDBP has served as a support to me in my clinical practice and my leadership development. At a time when I was the only NP in my practice, I was able to connect with colleagues who were in similar practices. For the past 5 years, I have served as co-chair of the APC section. I am on the Communications committee and co-editor of the newsletter. I also serve on the membership committee. I maintain a strong connection to the NAPNAP and participated in the planning and implementation of the SDBP-NAPNAP symposium. I appreciate the opportunities that SDBP has allowed me to grow personally and professionally, and I value the many friendships I have gained through the Society.

Statement of Goals for the Society

As a member of the board, I will bring a unique perspective as an APC and as a clinical provider in a community health system. The strength of SDBP lies in our diversity, including our wide range of experiences, geography, and disciplines. I am committed to making SDBP the most inclusive, welcoming organization for all. The field of DBP is built on interprofessional collaboration, and our Society is in a unique position to champion this. Workforce continues to be a challenge in our field, and as a Society and a Board we need to continue to work towards strategies to increase our workforce in all disciplines. As we continue to grow as a Society, we also have the opportunity to expand our voice on a broader stage as the experts in caring for children with DBP disorders. I appreciate this nomination and the opportunity to serve SDBP as a board member.

Alyssa Schlenz, PhD

It is an honor to be considered for the SDBP Board. I am a pediatric psychologist with broad training in neurodevelopmental disorders and special interest in children with chronic health conditions. I am currently an Associate Professor in Developmental Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado/CU School of Medicine, where I conduct a blend of interdisciplinary clinical care, research, and service. I am passionate about translating ideas into concrete plans and processes to improve positive outcomes for patients and providers, whether through the development of novel clinical models, research protocols, or service projects. This is a primary strength I would bring to this position and has been a focus of my work in SDBP.

Since 2015, I have supported SDBP in several capacities, most notably as co-chair of the Communications Committee from 2016-2022. Major accomplishments during this time include:

  • Newsletter (2017-2021): As co-editor, I helped to oversee revamping of the newsletter, Behavioral Developments, including developing sustainable submission processes, incorporating recurring columns and special issues, and advocating for a new visual look.
  • Internal and External Communications: With SDBP’s foray into social media, I supported a framework for organizing our communication tools into internal and external utility and assessed membership communication preferences. I also helped to recruit an outside expert in external health care communications (a need expressed by committee members), who provided a workshop at the 2017 Annual Meeting.
  • Workforce Plan and Strategic Communications: Consistent with the 2019 Workforce Action Plan, our committee sought to increase SDBP’s visibility by pursuing outside consultants and developing targeted campaigns. This work ultimately led to pursuit of an overarching strategic communications plan for the society, which we continue to advocate for among SDBP leadership.

Additional contributions to SDBP include previous membership on the Program and Nominations Committees, current membership in the Psychology Section and DEI Committee, and work on several taskforces.

Statement of Goals for the Society

Across Committee, Section, and SIG initiatives, there are recurring and common needs for sustainable processes and tools (e.g., communication, technology). As a board member, I would advocate for supports needed to develop our ideas and efficiently implement our plans. In addition, I would continue to fight for the use of strategic communication and outside support when needed to improve the visibility of Developmental Pediatrics, which is critical for ensuring the sustainability of our field. We have an exceptional society that continues to grow in its capacity for ideas and solutions. I would love to be part of seeing our ideas through and improving recognition of our work.



The election is closed.