Leading National Behavioral Healthcare Provider

Call 1-800-345-1292

  • Introducing Population Health
  • Start an Online Fundraiser Today
  • Carl Clark III
  • Autism Success Story

Tweet Share on LinkedIn Send email Print

Devereux’s Behavioral Health Consultant Wins Prestigious Educational Research Award

Dr. David Messer receives Outstanding Counseling Dissertation Award from American Educational Research Association on psychological care for
cancer patients, survivors

PHOENIX – October 12, 2018 – David Messer, Ph.D. and Behavioral Health Consultant for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona’s Adolescent Health & Wellness Clinic, recently received the 2018 American Education Research Association’s (AERA) Outstanding Dissertation in the Counseling & Human Services Division Award. The award was presented at the AERA’s annual convention last April.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

Dr. Messer’s dissertation involved the creation, implementation, and evaluation of an online mindfulness training for cancer survivors. His research, upon realization that cancer patients and survivors rarely receive any psychosocial support during or after treatment, found that online mindfulness training helped patients cope with the stress of cancer by alleviating survivors’ anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep problems and improved overall mood. Learning to cope with the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis was found to be quite important as many experience anxiety and depression about their health, the possibility of recurrence, changes in social roles or physical functioning because of cancer treatment.

“We want to be known as the best behavioral health care option for those wanting to end the stigma facing people with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences,” said Lane Barker, executive director for Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona. “This award, won by our own Dr. Messer, shows our thought leadership and showcases that an individual’s reaction to certain life-changing issues can be supported in parallel fashion to interventions targeting the disease or event itself.”

A licensed psychologist specializing in child and family therapy, Messer joined Devereux’s Adolescent Health & Wellness Clinic prior to the clinic’s opening in July. The Adolescent Health & Wellness Clinic provides integrated healthcare to youth ages 10-29. Messer is the clinic’s behavioral health consultant and works closely with the medical team to provide individual treatment tailored to youth facing emotional and behavioral challenges. He received his Ph.D in counseling psychology from Arizona State University and is a board member for the Arizona Psychological Foundation in Phoenix.

About Devereux Arizona

Established in 1967, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona provides a wide array of programs and services for children, adolescents and adults – ages newborn through life span – with emotional/behavioral differences and autism spectrum disorders. Every year, Devereux Arizona helps more than 5,500 individuals – and their families – across the state. Programs include: residential treatment, short-term assessment and intervention, outpatient counseling services, prevention programs, placement stabilization, traditional foster care and therapeutic foster care for children, therapeutic foster care for adults, respite services, autism services and in-home behavior coaching. The Human Rights Campaign recognized Devereux Arizona in 2012 for its work with LGBTQ foster and adoptive families, with the “All Children – All Families” seal. DevereuxAZ.org

About Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations providing services, insight and leadership in the evolving field of behavioral healthcare. Founded in 1912 by special education pioneer Helena Devereux, the organization operates a comprehensive national network of clinical, therapeutic, educational, and employment programs and services that positively impact the lives of tens of thousands of children, adults – and their families – every year. Focused on clinical advances emerging from a new understanding of the brain, its unique approach combines evidence-based interventions with compassionate family engagement.

With approximately 7,500 employees working in programs across the nation, it is a recognized partner for families, schools and communities, serving many of our country’s most vulnerable populations in the areas of autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities, specialty mental health, and child welfare. Programs are offered in hospital, residential, community and school-based settings. They include: assessments; interventions and support; transition and independent life services; family and professional training; research and innovation; and advocacy and public education. For more than a century, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health has been guided by a simple and enduring mission: To change lives by unlocking and nurturing human potential for people living with emotional, behavioral or cognitive differences. devereux.org

Latest News

Colorado playground   Devereux Colorado awarded $6,500 grant for playground equipment

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Colorado was recently awarded a grant of more than $6,500 to help purchase playground equipment for children with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.

Together We Rise   Devereux Arizona receives hundreds of ‘sweet cases’ from Together We Rise/Toyota

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Arizona received more than 300 “sweet cases” from the nonprofit Together We Rise, in partnership with Toyota Financial Services.

EPIC   Devereux Pennsylvania Children’s Behavioral Health Center awarded EPIC designation

Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Pennsylvania’s Children’s Behavioral Health Center (DCBHC) has been awarded the Education and Programming for Integrated Care (EPIC) designation by West Chester University, which recognizes organizations that support and train student interns in settings that integrate both behavioral health and physical healthcare services.

Dr. Barry McCurdy   Dr. Barry McCurdy discusses supporting students with behavioral challenges on The Behavioral Observations podcast

Take a listen as Devereux Center for Effective Schools Director Barry McCurdy, Ph.D., NCSP, BCBA-D, discusses Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), school mental health and supporting students with trauma - on The Behavioral Observations podcast.

Hank Booth   Supported by Devereux as a youth, Hank Booth now serves as an advisory board chair

As a young boy, Hank Booth struggled emotionally and socially. When Booth started experimenting with drugs, his parents turned to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Texas. Decades later, Booth now serves as chairman of the Devereux Georgia Advisory Board.

Dr. Yolanda Graham   Dr. Yolanda Graham discusses human sex trafficking on iHeartRadio’s Philadelphia Community Podcast

Take a listen as Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Clinical/Medical Officer Yolanda Graham, M.D. discusses human sex trafficking and Devereux’s residential Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) program - on iHeartRadio’s Philadelphia Community Podcast.


More Stories