Dr. Ron Rozensky Receives the 2023 Belar Award for Excellence in Health Psychology Education & Training

Ron ROzenskyRonald H. Rozensky, Ph.D., ABPP, has received the Society for Health Psychology’s (APA Division 38), 2023 Cynthia D. Belar Award for Excellence in Health Psychology Education & Training. This award is presented to a leader in psychology’s education and training community who has made major contributions to the field including activities that support and enhance the preparation of students, interns, and post-doctoral fellows in health psychology locally, nationally, and internationally. Dr. Rozensky is a Professor Emeritus who served as the chairperson of the Department of Clinical and Health, the College of Public Health and Health Profession’s Associate Dean for International Programs, and Professor in the Department for 20 years.  

This year’s Award includes recognizing Dr. Rozensky’s international education activities such as invited keynote speaker at the annual conference of the “Group of Trainers in Clinical Psychology” of the United Kingdom (equivalent to the U.S.’s CUDCP) where he presented on the expansion of education and training into health psychology in the UK. Nationally Dr. Rozensky’s contributions include being appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to an Advisory Committee in the Bureau of Health Professions where he was the first psychologist to chair that committee. During his tenure, the Committee provided a report to Congress on the importance of education and training in psychology and behavioral health to all healthcare disciplines – and words from that report regarding interprofessional education & training and psychological education & services became part of the Patient Care and Affordable Care Act and helped reinforce the importance of funding for psychology students in the Graduate Psychology Education Program (GPE) of the Federal Government. Recognizing his leadership role in education, each of the psychology’s major education and training organization (i.e., COGDOP, CUDCP, NCSPP, ABPP) invited him as a keynote speaker to present on the future role of psychology in healthcare and the importance of interprofessional, team-based education, training, services, and team-based science.  Besides his research publications, Dr. Rozensky has contributed to the scholarly and academic literature for learners at all levels having publishing five textbooks on the science and practice of health psychology; titles include Health Psychology Across the Life Span, Psychology Builds a Healthy World, two major books focused on education, science, and practice in “medical settings”, and a Handbook on Clinical Health Psychology. He is the founding editor of The Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings now in its 30th year of publication. Dr. Rozensky’s peer-reviewed journal articles have focused on the importance of interprofessional education and training, competency-based education, advocacy, and specialization in professional psychology.

Dr. Rozensky was an invited participant at the Carter Center helping to prepare a monograph on interprofessional education for primary care practice, and was first author, publishing with Dr. Susan McDaniel – a curriculum for an interprofessional course on integrated primary care based on Dr. McDaniel’s APA presidential initiative “Interprofessional Education in Integrated Primary Care.” As acknowledgement of his leadership in Association-wide educational initiatives in health psychology, Dr. Rozensky was recognized by an APA Presidential Citation for being “a tireless advocate on behalf of psychology’s contributions in health care” and when he received the Raymond D. Fowler Award for Outstanding Contributions to the American Psychological Association, his noted contributions to psychology education included his leadership in helping add the word “health” to APA Bylaws, chairing the Board of Educational Affairs, and helping establish the Educational Leadership Conference and The Federal Education Advocacy Program.

His colleagues who wrote the letter of nomination for the Award for Excellence in Health Psychology Education & Training noted that, most importantly, Dr. Rozensky has contributed to the future of health psychology as a local educator who was recognized by the students in his department with their Excellence in Clinical Supervision Award (twice) as well as their Classroom Teacher of the Year Award.

Of specific interest to the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, there is a long and broad history of the Society for Health Psychology recognizing the Department’s contributions to the specialty of Clinical Health Psychology. Three of the Society’ major awards actually are named after members of the Department; the Cynthia D. Belar Award for Excellence in Health Psychology Education & Training, the Nathan W Perry, Jr. Award for Career Service to Health Psychology, and the Cynthia D. Belar Education Advocacy Distinguished Service Award.  Dr. Perry was long time chair of the Department and Dr. Belar served as both our Internship Director and Director of Clinical Training before moving to the APA as the Director of Education.  Dr. Rozensky has received each of those awards reflecting the Department’s ongoing contributions to the field.