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Media Advisory/Press Release


May 17, 2012–Boston (West Roxbury), MA–David Satcher, M.D., PhD is the 16th Surgeon General of the United States who was appointed by President William J. Clinton in 1998-2002, while serving simultaneously as the Secretary for Health. Dr. Satcher will be the commencement speaker for the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) on Sunday, June 3 at The Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA. Dr. Satcher was the first Surgeon General to author several critically acclaimed reports on the significant need to include mental health in all considerations of health care planning. He highlighted the serious shortage of mental health professionals available to care for children and the grievous racial and cultural disparities in mental health care in the United States. His work highlights the unfair stigma attached to mental illness and the importance of increasing a culturally sensitive workforce of mental health professionals and the use of evidence-based research to guide behavioral health interventions.

WHAT: MSPP 2012 Commencement

WHERE: The Boston Park Plaza Hotel, Boston, MA

WHEN: Sunday, June 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

WHO: Dr. David Satcher, Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree awardee; three additional awardees, masters and graduate certificate candidates

Dr. Satcher’s career emulates his commitment to improving public health policy and eliminating health disparities for underserved groups. His tenure of public service includes Director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and administrator of the Toxic Substance and Disease Registry from 1993 to 1998. Dr. Satcher’s great achievements include top leadership positions at medical colleges and a recipient of over 40 honorary degrees. Currently he is Director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. At the commencement, Dr. Satcher will receive MSPP’s highest award, the Doctor of Humane Letters for distinguished lifetime contributions of service, scholarship and professional work.

“No other sitting Surgeon General, and few policy leaders, have been as articulate and compelling about the critical importance of treating mental, emotional and behavioral problems among children and adults in this country. His several “Surgeon General Reports” outline the significant shortage of mental health professionals who are available to treat psychological problems for children and they paint a painful picture of the unacceptable system of mental health care that is available to most people from racial and culturally diverse backgrounds. His outstanding scholarship and leadership have been influential in shaping curricula and practice for this and subsequent generations of mental health professionals. It is a great honor to have Dr. Satcher’s presence at the MSPP commencement”, says Dr. Nicholas Covino, President of MSPP.

Honorable Thomas M. Menino, Mayor, City of Boston, will also be awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters, as well as Dr. Hortensia Amaro and Richard Freedman, MSPP Trustee.

Mayor Thomas Menino, elected five times as Mayor of Boston, has put Boston at the national forefront of healthy, livable cities. To preserve healthcare access for some of the city’s most vulnerable people, the Mayor merged two hospitals to create Boston Medical Center, known for offering “exceptional care without exception”. His targeted outreach has fought to reduce ethnic health disparities, combat substance abuse and promote healthy nutrition for adults and children. A national leader on neighborhood issues, in 1998 the Mayor launched the Office of New Bostonians to welcome immigrants and connect them to the cultural, economic and academic fabric of the city.

“Mayor Menino is celebrated for his vision and leadership. His capacity to plan, engage and motivate others is transforming Boston. His humanity, social inclusiveness, and his singular commitment to bring equal access to health care for all citizens is exemplary. Many in the city credit him with single-handedly extending access to critical healthcare services to the poor”, says MSPP President Covino.

Dr. Hortensia Amaro is among the nation’s premiere social science researchers whose work has brought innovative care and critical attention to substance abuse in adolescent girls, HIV/AIDS prevention, and drug abuse treatment for Latina and African American women. At Northeastern University, she is the Associate Dean of the Bouve College of Health Sciences, a Distinguished Professor of Health Science and of Counseling Psychology, and the Director of the Institute on Urban Health Research. In recent years, Dr. Amaro has been named one of the top 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by the Hispanic business Journal, and her published article “Love, Sex and Power” earned her the Scientific Publication Award in 1996 from the National Association of Women in Psychology. Born in Cuba, and raised in Los Angeles, Dr. Amaro feels her immigrant beginnings and the women she studies are her inspiration.

Richard Freedman is a business leader, philanthropist and passionate advocate for children. A devoted MSPP Trustee for 20 years, he and his wife, Joan, have shown great generosity in creating, fostering and continuing to nurture the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development at MSPP. Today the Center is a cornerstone of MSPP’s growing focus on educating future child psychologists and other mental health providers dedicated to children.

At this year’s commencement ceremonies, the following candidates will receive degrees: 32 students - Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), 4 for February, 2012 (PsyD), 15 for October, 2012 (PsyD), 25 Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology (MA), 15 Master of Arts in Forensic and Counseling Psychology (MA), 20 Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MA), 13 Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Psychology (Certificate), and 8 Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching (Certificate).

About MSPP—Founded in 1974 as an independent graduate school of psychology, MSPP provides unique training programs for mental health professionals at the doctoral, master’s and certificate level, each designed to immerse students in both academic study and real-life clinical experience. Constantly assessing and evolving to meet the needs of the needs of a rapidly changing and increasingly diverse society, MSPP currently offers programs to train highly skilled professionals to care for Latinos, veterans, children and adolescents and families in a variety of settings, including the schools, the courts, the community and the workplace, among others.

Updated 5/25/12

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