WELCOME | Message From ABCT's President | ...

53rd Annual Convention 2019 |
Message from ABCT's President
Message from President Bruce Chorpita

Dear members, colleagues, and cherished friends,

Welcome to the 53rd Annual Convention of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. This year's convention theme is "A Wisdom of Purpose and Perspective: Extending the Social Impact of Cognitive Behavioral Science." Our activities this year have focused on purposeful reflection about what we do in our diverse roles to serve ABCT's mission of improving the health and wellness of all people.

The setting of Atlanta, GA, affords a unique opportunity for us to reflect on the activities and impact of our organization in the larger social context. Atlanta is home to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (as well as Dr. King's birthplace), the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among many other inspiring and historic sites. I look forward to seeing you connect, speak up, get concerned, and get inspired to focus your expertise on some of the world's most pressing problems.

Accordingly, I hope you find inspiration in the convention offerings, curated from an exceptionally large number of thematic submissions (59% rated as "highly thematic," across all reviewers). Our invited events will feature some of the field's most influential and moving people. Vikram Patel, a visionary leader in global mental health, will talk about scaling effective mental health solutions for the world. Matt Sanders, an icon of behavioral parent training, will speak about transforming lives and communities through one of the greatest implementation success stories of our time. Sonja Schoenwald, a pioneer in implementation science and quality of care in diverse and highly challenging contexts, will guide discussion among a panel of three invited members-Ileana Arias, Richard Puddy, and Craig Thomas-from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together, they will address questions of public health impact and will showcase both success stories and battle scars from improving health and wellness for millions of lives. Finally, Lynn Bufka has agreed to organize a special panel on science and policy in response to conversation and concern regarding recent legislative efforts in the state of Georgia. Dr. Bufka has spent more than a dozen years as Associate Executive Director of Practice, Research, and Policy at the American Psychological Association, working at the nexus of science, legislation, and policy. I am grateful to all who have agreed to participate in all four of our invited events-they are not just extraordinary individuals; they are my heroes.

And speaking of extraordinary, I wish to thank Program Chair Alyssa Ward, Convention Manager Stephen Crane, and Assistant Program Chair Cameo Stanick-they were truly a dream team, having engineered one of the most innovative conventions since I joined ABCT nearly 30 years ago. As Dr. Ward highlights in her own welcome statement, we will offer several ABCT firsts: childcare for attendees, an environmentally friendly electronic program book, voting at the convention, a new poster format to improve legibility and impact, and the "ABCT Mission Wall" (a social media-worthy space for attendees to document their connection to ABCT). Finally, I wish to note the exceptional contributions of our 342 volunteer reviewers, who had the difficult task of preparing 3,686 reviews for more than 1,700 submissions. Two hundred and thirty of those volunteers prepared 10 or more reviews, and three of them each completed more than 20 reviews, warranting special recognition: Kimberly Becker, Bob Friedberg, and Carmen McLean. The generosity and thoughtfulness of the many people involved in putting the 2019 program together have been truly extraordinary. I am humbled and honored to be have been a part of this opportunity to serve you and all of ABCT's members.

I look forward to seeing you in November, and I welcome your continued input into how we can leverage ABCT's long tradition of excellence to achieve our mission.

Bruce F. Chorpita, Ph.D.

ABCT President



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