The Louisiana Psychological Association has named Dr. Johnny Matson, Drs. Kevin Bianchini and Kevin Greve, Dr. Susan Tucker, Dr. Julie Nelson, and Dr. John Sawyer for their outstanding contributions in the psychology community. The awards were announced at the 71st Annual Convention and Business Meeting of the Association, held June 14 and 15 in Metairie.
For the prestigious 2019 Distinguished Psychologist Award, the association named Dr. Johnny Matson of Louisiana State University (LSU). Dr. Matson is Professor of Psychology and Distinguished Research Master at LSU and a top cited scholar who has been named by Thompson Reuters as one of the “Most Influential Scientific Minds of our Time.”
Dr. Matson is an expert in autism, mental disabilities, and severe emotional disorders in children and adolescents, and has produced more than 700 publications and 38 books. He has authored the International Handbook of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Practitioner’s Guide to Applied Behavior Analysis for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Practitioner’s Guide to Social Behavior and Social Skills in Children, and many others.
He has served as Editor-in-Chief for Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders (Oxford England), Editor-in- Chief for Research in Developmental Disabilities (Oxford, England), and Associate Editor for Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities (London). Among his many professional activities, Matson has been a guess expert on ABC’s 20/20, consulted with the Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Virginia, and the US Departments of Mental Health. He has been a guess expert on CBS Eye-to-Eye and consulted for the DSM III-R Educational Testing Service. He has served on the President’s Committee on Mental Retardation, and consulted to the US States Department of Justice, and the US Department of Education.
The state psychological association named Kevin Bianchini, PhD, ABN and Kevin Greve, PhD, ABPP, as the 2019 recipients of the Contributions to Psychological Science Award.
The joint award acknowledged the two applied scientists and their roles in the systematic development of validity science based upon criterion-groups research, and the development of the rules for malingered pain related disability, explained Dr. Michael Chafetz, Awards Committee Chair. “Their scientific influence in our field has had considerable impact, and we are grateful for their outstanding contributions,” said Chafetz.
Dr. Kevin Bianchini is a board certified Neuropsychologist and Clinical Psychologist who has been in practice in Louisiana for 23 years. He was the Director of Neuropsychology for Bancroft NeuroHealth, a residential brain injury rehabilitation facility in Louisiana. He has remained involved in the rehabilitation of patients with acquired brain injury and pain throughout his career. He is actively involved in research and has published more than 75 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals on psychological factors and work related injuries, neurological rehabilitation, brain damage, neuropsychological assessment and symptom validity assessment.
Dr. Bianchini is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology. He holds adjunct faculty appointments at Tulane University Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, and at the University of New Orleans, Department of Psychology. He is the managing partner of Jefferson Neurobehavioral Group, which has offices in Metairie, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Houston.
Dr. Kevin Greve has published more than 110 papers in peer-reviewed neuropsychology, psychology, and medical journals including papers on the assessment of the effects of traumatic brain injury and chronic pain. He is also the author of 10 chapters in edited books and has made more than 100 scholarly presentations at state, regional, national, and international conferences. Dr. Greve has served on the editorial board of The Clinical Neuropsychologist, Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, and Assessment. He periodically serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several other journals.
He retired from full-time employment in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Orleans in May 2012, at the rank of University Research Professor after 21 years of service. He continues to be affiliated with the University of New Orleans as Emeritus Research Professor and holds a number of other academic positions. Dr. Greve is now in the full-time practice of clinical psychology and clinical neuropsychology. He conducts approximately 150 psychological evaluations a year typically related to traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, dementia, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and the psychological effects of medical illness.
Dr. Susan Tucker is the 2019 recipient of the Award for Psychology in the Public Interest. Dr. Tucker, has been a key figure in reforms in the state correctional system. She is Psychologist and Assistant Warden at the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, where she has focused on treatment and research showing innovations that reduce recidivism and that are based in the fact that most inmates have a substance abuse problem but few get the right kind of treatment. She launched the Steve Hoyle Intensive Substance Abuse Program at the facility to offer intensive treatment, skill development, educational opportunities, and post release support and care. “We thank her for her outstanding work that is certainly in the public interest,” said Chafetz.
Her effective and creative treatment approach has achieved a significant reduction in recidivism, from an expected first year rate of 18 percent to only 3 percent. Tucker has earned state and national recognition for these achievements, including from the Vera Institute of Justice who said the program “…should be a model for the nation.” Dr. Tucker’s work was also honored by the Ash Center for Democratic Government and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Dr. Tucker was commended by Louisiana legislators for her work and the related cost savings of $15 million by earned “good time credits” through participation and successes in the psychological programs designed by Tucker. Legislators pointed to multi-million dollar cost savings to the state because of shorter incarceration times of those offenders who participated in the psychological programs.
Julie Nelson, PhD, received the award for Distinguished Service in Psychology. She was cited for her service as LPA President and for her journalism and publishing of The Psychology Times. She is a consulting psychologist and owner of PSI, Inc. and serves the petrochemical industry in Gulf south region providing validity research and organizational development activities.
Dr. John Sawyer was named Early Career Psychologist. John Sawyer, PhD, ABPP is a board-certified neuropsychologist trained to evaluate children, adolescents, adults, and geriatrics. He is the Co-Director of the Cognitive Disorders and Brain Health Program at Ochsner Health System, where he has led several clinically-focused research projects aimed at using telehealth and electronic medical record technology to provide care to individuals with dementia and their care partners while limiting the need for disruption of routine for hospital or clinic visits. His work will be presented at the upcoming meeting of the National Academy of Neuropsychology.
The LPA Awards Committee is chaired by Dr. Chafetz and committee members include Drs. Kim VanGeffen, Beth Arredondo, and Brian Mizuki. LPA is the state affiliate of the American Psychological Association.