2020 SPPAC


We invite you to attend the ONLINE VERSION of the 2020 Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (SPPAC) on March 19th and 20th.

The conference chairs, planners and SPPAC Board are working diligently to transition SPPAC to a virtual conference.  We remain grateful for your patience and for kind words on the listserv and back channel. Here is a summary of the most updated information available from President-Elect Wendy Ward (last updated 3/15/20 at 7:15pm Eastern):

  1. Schedule--The conference starts today (3/19)!  See the schedule page for the full program and updated schedule (as of 3/17/20 at 6pm Eastern). As you can see, this may look different than a typical SPPAC, but the two-day content is amazing! Note the Presidential Address and conference “start” is now on Thursday morning and the conference is two full days!
  2. Continuing Education Credits: We are offering 10.5 CEs.  There will be no CEs associated with poster sessions since they transitioned to Twitter sessions (but the new format will be fun!).
  3. Registration and cancellation fees—The virtual conference fee structure is $220 for all non-students (both members and nonmembers) and $50 for all students. There are no fees for preconference workshops or the lunch & learn (which are now included in the conference registration and are 75 minutes in duration).
    • Contact Professionalprograms@KU.edu for registration help.  
    • Fees for Dallas SPPAC cancellations will be refunded either in the form of a credit when you re-register for the v-SPPAC (one easy step to cancel live event, register virtual event, and trigger steps for a refund of the difference) or by method of original payment at a later date.
    • Please do not contact registration staff to inquire about refunds at this time, as we must focus our resources initially on processing registrations for attendees of the virtual conference. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will begin processing all refunds as quickly as we can after vSPPAC is complete.  There will be no refund for joining the society as part of your initial registration.
  4. Accessing sessions: ALL registrants will receive a registration confirmation and one email for each subsession they select during registration (from professionalprograms@KU.edu) which will have the ZOOM link and the code to enter the room. 
  5. Technology: We will be using oom virtual rooms for all speaker sessions. Practice sessions to test equipment will be offered to speakers. Attendees who wish to test their equipment should use https://zoom.us/test  PRIOR to the conference. Recommend an ethernet to maximize video and audio capabilities; if you will be on a wifi we suggest you test it.  University of Kansas tech support will be available on the days of the conference in case they are needed.
  6. Recordings! We are excited to share that the conference will be recorded for most of the sessions (based on speaker permission).  Anyone who registers will have access to all of the recordings. If your schedule is booked for some or all of vSPPAC but you would like access to the content, please register to obtain access (same registration fees apply).
  7. Volunteers needed! Anyone with Zoom experience and willing to be a monitor/facilitator in one of the virtual rooms, please email Wendy Ward.  Thank you to all who have responded to our call, we appreciate you!  FYI our savvy Digital Health SIG is helping too!
  8. Plenary and Symposium and Pre-conference Workshop Speakers--We have been able to keep all plenary speakers, and many of the symposia and workshops.  See the full schedule for more details! 
  9. Posters—we will have both a pdf of your poster circulated to registrants as well as a twitter poster presentation and interactive “chat”.
  10. Citations for virtual or cancelled presentations:  if you present at a virtual conference you use the same citation as you would for an in-person conference on your vitae.  If a live conference you were supposed to present at is cancelled, you put the same citation as you normally would with comment under it----*accepted but not presented due to conference cancellation (COVID-19).  This seems to be a common suggestion across multiple conferences that are closing nationally.
  11. SIG Chairs—Katie is reaching out to you shortly to identify your needs, discuss logistics, and see how we can accommodate you. 
  12. Cancelled portions of conference:  The following meetings have been cancelled: ABCCAP informational meeting, CCAPPTC meeting, closed meetings with associate editors of JPP and CPPP, Reviewer reception, Internships/Fellowships on Parade, Student Social Hour, and Yoga/Zumba.
  13. Await further details: The following events will occur AFTER the virtual conference at dates TBD, for those involved you will receive more information from the organizers of these events.  Student/Mentor pairings, SIG Chairs meeting, SAB meeting, Mentoring Lunches.

Any questions, just ask!! 

All the best,


Please read the message below from our SPP President, Dr. Jennifer Pendley, Past President, Dr. David Elkin, and President-Elect, Dr. Wendy Ward about the reasons for this format:


The SPP Board wants to thank everyone for their understanding and patience during these difficult and frankly unprecedented times. As we have been communicating, we have been monitoring the coronavirus situation carefully, working very hard to do as much as we can for our members while prioritizing the health of our community and trying to balance several things:

The health of our members and the ones they love: we do not want to place our members at risk of contracting the coronavirus. We have always been a family, and we want to continue to act in the best interest of each other. As scientists, we are aware, as are you, that healthy kids and young adults are very unlikely to be affected, but still, we want to proceed with an abundance of caution and really care about the health of our members  and their families.

The health of the children and youth we serve: it would be very irresponsible of us to place the health of our patients who we are around every day at risk. Like you, we work around kids all day. We have a responsibility to care for them.

The health of SPP: we have a fiduciary responsibility to you, the members, to care for your money that you have entrusted to us. If we cancelled the meeting (and the hotel) early on, we would have been responsible for about $300,000 to the hotel (plus significantly more in terms of expenses external to the hotel). Now, after lengthy consultation with APA General Counsel and the Chief Legal Officer at the University of Kansas (since KU is administratively implementing SPPAC), we feel that we are in a much better position to invoke the “force majeure” clause of our contract with the hotel in Dallas. You may also know this as an “act of God” clause, meaning that forces beyond our control prevented our ability to have the contract. That is very important, in that $300,000 is about one quarter of our assets. Your assets. And the $300,000 is low estimate, and might be higher once food, etc. is added in. This kind of loss will have a significant impact on our future work. We did not want to squander the assets you have entrusted to SPP, so we have waited to obtain the best possible legal guidance.  Please note that we were not prioritizing the financials over the health of our members and community; however, where possible we wanted to protect our assets so that we can continue as an society.

***At this time, we have decided to move SPPAC to a virtual conference, hopefully on the same days as SPPAC was scheduled live. This means we will not be meeting in Dallas.***

All members will be able attend virtually, through Zoom, and get CE credits. All of our plenary speakers are willing to present virtually, and we are working on getting the full SPPAC schedule virtual-ready. KU has the technological capability to do this. We will obviously offer this at a reduced registration rate. We are still working with numbers, so please continue to give us time as we work this out. For the vast majority of you who are still registered, thank you. If you attend the virtual conference, we will refund you the amount for that CEs doesn’t cover, as in the food and event space. Everyone will have a choice of what they want to do with the registration once we finalize the details.   The March 12 deadline is no longer relevant. 

We feel this move will give our members what they need (sadly, without the networking) while at the same time protecting our members from coronavirus, protecting the kids we care for from it as well, and protecting SPP as a whole. For those interested in attending the virtual attendance please keep Thursday and Friday open, we will send out a modified schedule as soon as we can.

What you need to do immediately!

  • Cancel your hotel room/lodging.   Each person needs to individually cancel their reservation
  • Cancel your travel plans (flights, rental car, trains)
  • Cancel any other reservations you may have (dinner, tours, etc)
  • If you invited any guests, make sure they know of the cancellation
  • Take care of yourself!  Take the precautions recommended to stay healthy!
  • You do NOT need to cancel your registration. The March 12 deadline is no longer relevant.  Please wait to see the details for the virtual conference and make your decision then.

We know you have many, many additional questions. Please know that the Board have been busy with late-night and early-morning phone calls and many, many calls to APA, KU, other organizations, etc.  We hope you trust that SPP leadership will continue to have your best interest at heart as we move forward with sorting out this unprecedented situation.  We work for you. If you do have questions, please feel free to email, but know that we are all getting a very large number of emails from you and we may not be able to respond quickly.   We want to use our time to develop the virtual conference and work out the details of registration so that we can share with you sooner vs later.

I’d like to again recognize the support that so many of you have shown.  We appreciate your encouraging emails, your offers to help, your patience, and your trust in us.   

Thank you for your love of SPP and your support!

Jennifer, David, and Wendy




The SPPAC aims to advance SPP's mission to promote the health and psychological well being of children, youth and their families through science and an evidence-based approach to practice, education, training, advocacy and consultation by:

  1. Advancing the science of pediatric psychology and related fields through dissemination of cutting edge research; promotion of research that is culturally, ethically and developmentally sensitive and includes diverse populations; and education on evidence-based assessment, intervention, and emerging areas of research, clinical care and policy.
  2. Providing a forum for individuals at all levels, from students to established investigators and clinicians, to facilitate consultation, collaboration and mentorship.
  3. Promoting the role and value of pediatric psychology in a changing healthcare environment nationally and internationally.


  1. To provide up-to-date information on evidence-based practice in pediatric psychology services for children and families.
  2. To provide a forum for presentation and discussion of current research in pediatric psychology, and how such research informs clinical practice, service delivery, and policy decisions.
  3. To provide opportunities for productive interaction between and among researchers, practitioners, and trainees.


Click here to check out this year's fantastic sponsors!  We really appreciate the generous support to make our conference a success.

Conference Hotel: (not applicable, but remains here to assist you in canceling if needed) Sheraton Dallas Hotel (link goes to SPP page with more hotel info)

Questions about program content? Contact:

Jessica Fales, PhD
2020 SPPAC Chair


Christopher C. Cushing, PhD
2020 SPPAC Co-Chair

Questions about conference registration or hotel information? Contact:

Pam Hicks
2020 Conference Planner


The Society of Pediatric Psychology (Division 54 of the American Psychological Association) is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Society of Pediatric Psychology maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.