Pediatric psychology is a specialty area that applies the principals of psychology within the context of pediatric health care.  The field aims to promote the health and development of children, adolescents, and their families through the use of evidence-based methods.  Areas of expertise within the field include, but are not limited to: psychosocial, developmental, cognitive and contextual factors contributing to the etiology, course and outcome of pediatric medical conditions; assessment and treatment of behavioral and emotional concomitants of illness, injury, and developmental disorders; and the promotion of health and health-related behaviors.

 

Clinical Services – Section of Pediatric Psychology

The psychologists and fellows in Section of Pediatric Psychology provide outpatient clinical services through the Dennis Developmental Center (DDC) as well as through over 30 pediatric sub-specialty clinics at Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH).   The Section of Pediatric Psychology also provides an inpatient consultation service at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Areas of specific focus for our Pediatric Psychology group include, but are not limited to, addressing psychological issues related to acute and chronic medical conditions, adherence to medical regimens, developmental assessments, psychological assessments, neuropsychological assessments, autism and other developmental disorders, pain management, feeding disorders, and evidenced-based interventions.

 

Research/Grant Activities – Section of Pediatric Psychology

Faculty members in the Section of Pediatric Psychology Section are active in numerous grant/research projects.  Grant projects have totaled over $20 million over the past 20 years.  The section also provides psychological testing services for multiple ACRI grants (e.g., drug studies being conducted by other faculty members in the Department of Pediatrics).

In addition to publishing their own work, faculty members in the Section participate in editorial activities (ranging from associate editor to reviewer) for numerous psychology, educational, and medical journals.

 

Teaching/Training Activities – Section of Pediatric Psychology
Our primary training focus is our Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program. This training program is described below in the next section (and a link to the Fellowship website is provided).  Dr. Brandi Whitaker serves as the Director of our fellowship program and Dr. Tiffany Howell as the Associate Director.

While our primary training focus in on our fellowship program, the Section of Pediatric Psychology participates in other educational efforts at numerous levels including medical students, pediatric residents, pediatric fellows, other psychology trainees as well as professionals from other disciplines.  Workshops and trainings are also provided to community-based professionals from various disciplines as well as for the public (e.g., parents) throughout Arkansas.  It should also be noted that faculty from the Section of Pediatric Psychology are actively involved in the required pediatric resident rotation in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (Dr. Shari Gaudette from the Section of Pediatric Psychology serves as the Co-Director of this resident rotation).

Faculty members in the Section of Pediatric Psychology have been the recipients of numerous teaching awards including over 10 UAMS Department of Pediatrics Educator of the Year awards, UAMS Department of Pediatrics Educator Emeritus Awards, UAMS Chancellor’s Teaching Awards, UAMS College of Medicine Educational Innovation Award, UAMS College of Medicine Educational Research Award, and the UAMS College of Medicine Master Teacher Award.

 

Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program

Our Pediatric Psychology Fellowship training (full-time, 12-month positions) meets APPIC standards and is focused on specialized populations (e.g., child and adolescents with chronic illnesses, developmental disabilities).  Areas of training, include

  • diagnostic interviews, consultation, and brief interventions within outpatient medical subspecialty clinics;
  • psychoeducational, developmental, neuropsychological, and behavioral assessment; outpatient psychotherapy;
  • inpatient hospital consultation-liaison.

Pediatric Psychology Fellows also have the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Education in Neuro-Developmental Disabilities (LEND) program (https://www.armslend.org/).

 

More information on our fellowship program can be found on our fellowship website (https://pediatrics.uams.edu/education/other-training/psychology-fellowship/)

 

 

Faculty Members:  Section of Pediatric Psychology

 

Jayne Bellando, Ph.D. (Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Bellando is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  She received her doctorate from Texas Tech University in 1988.   Dr. Bellando works primarily with children on the autism spectrum and their families through her clinic work at the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  She is also the Co-Director of the Community Based Autism Liaison and Treatment Project – CoBALT (https://cobaltar.org) and Co-Director of Healthy Child Care Arkansas (https://healthychildcarear.org).

 

Mark Edwards, Ph.D. (Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Edwards is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  He received his doctorate from Virginia Tech University in 1990).  Dr. Edwards’ primary areas of interest include: psychological evaluation of complex cases (differential diagnosis); psychological treatment of children and adolescents broadly, with an emphasis in behavioral parent training therapy, disruptive/emotional dysregulation disorders, complex ADHD, and chronic pain.

 

Larry Evans, Psy.D. (Associate Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Evans is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  Dr. Evans received his doctorate from Central Michigan University in 1988. His primary areas of interest include: psychoeducational assessment, learning disabilities, assessing the hearing impaired, school behavior problems, academic therapy, and behavior therapy.

 

 

Shari Gaudette, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Gaudette is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  She received her doctorate from the University of Utah in 2006.  Her primary areas of interest include: Psychological and developmental assessment, developmental outcomes, assessment and treatment of medically complex children, and gender spectrum issues.

 

 

 

Tiffany Howell, Ph.D.  (Assistant Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Howell is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center. She received her doctorate from the University of Georgia in 2012.  Dr. Howell serves as the Associate Training Director for Pediatric Psychology. Her primary areas of interest include: chronic pain, biofeedback, chronic illness and treatment adherence.

 

 

Nicholas Long, Ph.D. (Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Long is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  He received his doctorate from the University of Georgia in 1985.  He serves as the Director of Pediatric Psychology.  He also serves as the Director of the Arkansas Home Visiting Network Training Institute (https://www.arhomevisiting.org/). His primary areas of interest include: Parent education, behavioral parent training, hemophilia, and home visiting.

 

 

Elizabeth Pulliam, Psy.D. (Associate Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Pulliam is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  She received her doctorate from Nova Southeastern University in 2004.  Dr. Pulliam serves as the Psychology Coordinator for the Leadership Education in Neuro-Developmental Disabilities (LEND) program (https://www.armslend.org/).  Her primary areas of interest include working with children with autism spectrum disorders, developmental challenges, medical challenges, feeding issues, and children with emotional/behavioral difficulties.

 

Jeff Snow, Ph.D., ABPP-ABCN (Associate Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Snow is a neuropsychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  He received his doctorate from the University of Georgia in 1983. His primary areas of interest include: pediatric neuropsychology, developmental and learning disorders.

 

 

 

 

Seth Sorensen, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Sorensen is a neuropsychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  He received his doctorate from the University of Arizona in 2014.  His areas of primary interest include: Cognitive development, and clinical assessment of neuromedical, neuropsychiatric, and developmental conditions.

 

 

 

Wendy L. Ward, Ph.D., ABPP (Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Ward is a psychologist who received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina—Greensboro in 1996.  Dr. Ward serves as the UAMS Associate Provost for Faculty. Areas of primary interest include: faculty affairs, faculty development, interprofessional education, behavioral management and emotional support of overweight youth, sleep disorders, adjustment to chronic illness, medical crisis and loss/grief, PTSD in response to acute illness/injury.

 

Janine Watson, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Watson is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  She received her doctorate from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand) in 1987.  Her primary area of interest is the assessment and treatment of feeding disorders in infants and young children.

 

 

 

Brandi Whitaker, Ph.D (Associate Professor, UAMS Department of Pediatrics).

Dr. Whitaker is a psychologist who works at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the James L. Dennis Developmental Center.  She received her doctorate from Washington State University in 2011.  Dr. Whitaker serves as the Training Director for Pediatric Psychology.  Her primary areas of interest include: health-related quality of life, adherence to treatment and treatment outcomes, chronic pain, obesity, cystic fibrosis, and working with medically complex patients and their families.

 

 

Web Links:

Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program
https://pediatrics.uams.edu/education/other-training/psychology-fellowship/

Dennis Developmental Center
https://pediatrics.uams.edu/clinical-programs-affiliates/dennis-developmental-center/

Arkansas Children’s Hospital
https://www.archildrens.org/