GPPA Legacy Award

Please join us to honor 2019 Legacy award winner Dr. Rex Gatto, Thursday April 25th!

Register Here:

Robert Noll, Ph.D. 

received the 2017 GPPA Legacy Award

on Thursday, Jan 18th At La Tavola Italian Restaurant

Dr. Noll has conducted superlative research on the impact of childhood medical illnesses on mental health and family functioning. His research has examined a variety of illnesses, including sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, and chronic migraines, though the majority of his research has focused on pediatric cancer. 

Dr. Noll has published 125 peer-reviewed papers, over 40 of which have focused on pediatric cancer.  His recent research has focused on creating classroom interventions to increase acceptance and inclusion of children who have survived pediatric cancer.  Dr. Noll’s research has been funded through a variety of prestigious grants provided by the National Institute of Health and the American Cancer Society. 

Dr. Noll currently works as a pediatric psychologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is the chair of the Behavioral Science Committee in the Children’s Oncology Group, and he is a faculty member of the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Related Disorders) center. Dr. Noll provides mentorship, supervision, and education to graduate students in the health professions, including not only psychologists, but also physicians, audiologists, physical therapists, and speech therapists. Dr. Noll’s work has made a lasting contribution to his patients and students. 

 Please join us on January 18th to celebrate Dr. Noll's legacy by registering for the event online:

The 2017 Legacy Award was presented to:

Robert Schwartz, Ph.D.


The History of the Legacy Awards

 By Joe Cvitkovic, Ph.D.

In the mid 1980s, the practice of psychology was under siege from managed care, particularly Green Spring, later to become Magellan Behavioral Health.  The company placed severe restrictions on credentialing psychologists so that about 60% of the practicing psychologists in Western Pennsylvania would have been eliminated from the network and then be unable to be part of Highmark and several other insurers. Thanks to the efforts of a revitalized and action oriented GPPA, we organized a combined effort with PPA and APA, to appeal to Highmark and Green Spring to reconsider their restrictions.  This resulted in a change in their national criteria for credentialing, and essentially saved the day.  GPPA was a dynamic and positive force that assured the valuable participation of psychologists in the health care.   

It was in that exciting and creative atmosphere that I was preparing a presentation for our Cancer Survivors Annual Dinner at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.  I was looking for ways to impress upon the group that it is extremely important to be well connected to other people and not become isolated.  As we all know, positive psychology teaches us that isolation is not such a good thing for a healing process, as it is healthier for all of us to have  support and reinforcement from others.

For this talk, I chose to use some film clips to demonstrate several points.  The one I used for the importance of connectivity was one of the last scenes from the Wizard of Oz.   This was the scene in which Toto pulls back the curtain and exposes the Wizard as an ordinary man.  Yet, after much disappointment, a significant event occurred.  Many people miss the most important aspect of this.

Remember that the Wizard gave a diploma to the Scarecrow to demonstrate and validate that in fact he was intelligent.  To the Tin Man, he gave a clock in the shape of a heart to demonstrate that he indeed did have feelings and a heart, and to the Lion, a badge of honor, validating his courage.  And, for Dorothy, he reminded her that the ruby slippers were already in her possession and they could take her home.  So, it was not simply that the Wizard reminded each one of them that they already had what they wanted.  More importantly, to each, the Wizard gave a sign of validation of their inner strengths and a validation that by their actions, each had demonstrated these inner qualities in ways that made them special and valued by others who appreciated and cared about them.

And so it is, whether cancer survivors or psychologists fighting for survival in the rough world of managed care and facing the every day challenges of being a psychologist, there is a need for validation and reinforcement by others who understand our beliefs, our values, and our work.  At a board meeting when Roseanne Hickey was the President, I presented this idea of the importance of validation and how enjoyable it could be for all of us to establish an award ceremony to provide this validation.  In addition to the fun, we thought that we just might be able to entice members to come to our Fall Business Meeting and even bring family and friends as well.  After much enjoyable discussion and brainstorming by what was a truly remarkable group of psychologists, we decided upon the name legacy as representative of a gift handed down by an ancestor or predecessor that would have a lasting influence on us now and in the future.

And so, the Legacy Award was born out of love and appreciation of all that we do.  It is an appreciation of all that is good and healing in our profession, and a celebration of those who practice it with heart and soul.

Thanks to those of you who have carried on the tradition.  Thanks for being here.

 GPPA Legacy Award Recipients


































































Robert Noll, PhD

Robert Schwartz, PhD

Michael Michael Flaherty, PhD

Mark Lovell, PhD

Shirley Kurtz, PhD

No award this year

Charles Bonner, PhD

Katherine Hammond Holtz, PsyD

Vernon Holtz, PhD

Jaclyn Herring, PhD

Pavel Somov, PhD

Lillian Meyers

No award this year

Graham Ratcliff, PhD

Maureen C. McHugh, PhD

Irving Guyette, PhD

James Huggins, PhD

Milton Seligman, PhD

Marcel Just, PhD

Bernard Levin, PhD

Grace Lazavick, PhD

Judy Grumet, PhD

Shelley Roisen, PhD

Ed Zuckerman, PhD

Nancy Chubb, MBA, PhD

Lawrence Glanz, PhD

Lynn Katz, PhD

Andrea S Velletri, PhD

Mary Cole, PhD

Susan Campbell, PhD

Sam Knapp, EdD

Honorary Award to Pitt Psychology Dept.

Roseanne Hickey, PhD

Stanley Perelman, PhD

Dan Shrager, M.D

Joseph Cvitkovic, PhD

Ann Savisky, PhD

William E Wilson, PhD

Nancy Elman, PhD

Pamela Gonzalez, PhD

Anthony Mannarino, PhD

Robert Perloff, PhD

Stewart Sadowsky, PhD

Stephan Schachner, PhD

Dr. David Lazavick

Zita Levin, PhD

Dr. Richard Miller

Mary Ann Murphy, PhD

Robert Gallagher, PhD

Emily Stevick, PhD

Paul Levy, PhD

Ray Naar, PhD

Senator Tim Murphy, PhD

Irene Frieze, PhD

Frank Lackner, PhD

Elissa A Manka, PhD

Anne Golin, PhD

Herbert Barry, PhD

Constance Fischer, PhD

Monroe J. Miller, PhD

Elizabeth Scheide, PhD

Arnold Freedman, PhD

Harriet Machtinger, PhD

Ray Hummel, PhD