Practice Council Members Shine

Tom Wolff

2014 APA Distinguished Contribution to Independent Practice Award recipient

Tom Wolff, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized consultant on coalition building and community development, with over 40 years’ experience working with individuals, organizations and communities across North America. His clients include federal, state and local government agencies, foundations, hospitals, non-profit organizations, professional associations, and grassroots groups. Examples include: Boston Public Health Commission’s Center for Health Equity and Social Justice, CMMS End Stage Renal Disease Networks, Institute for Community Peace, IRS’ VITA program, US Breast Feeding Coalition, Cleghorn Neighborhood Center, Holyoke Unites/Holyoke Se Une and North Quabbin Community Coalition.

Tom is committed to “giving community psychology away”. To that end he has partnered with the Community Tool Box for 20 years with 7,000 pages of free resources on community health and development and 3 million users a year. His web site is a source for free community building material for thousands. His newest book is The Power of Collaborative Solutions: Six principles and effective tools for building healthy communities.

From 1985 to 2002, Tom founded and directed Community Partners, a technical assistance and training program affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. In that role he created Healthy Communities Massachusetts which assisted numerous communities in creating concrete changes (transportation, dental access, early childhood prevention programs). Tom is a Fellow of APA, which through Division 27 has granted him its 1985 National Career Award for Distinguished Contributions to Practice in Community Psychology, its 1993 Henry V. McNeil Award for Innovation in Community Mental Health, and its 2010 John Kalafat Award in Applied Community Psychology. The APA Monitor covered his work in April 2011, and Eye on Psi Chi in Summer 2012. In 2000 he received the “For the People Against the Tide Award” from the advocacy group, Health Care for All for his outstanding efforts to energize and educate local communities in areas of health care justice.

He has held academic appointments at the University of Massachusetts School of Public Health, the University of Massachusetts Medical School Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Wellesley College’s Stone Center. He received his undergraduate degree from Clark University and his doctorate from the University of Rochester. His earlier popular books were: From the Ground Up: A Workbook on Coalition Building and Community Development (1997 with Gillian Kaye), and The Spirit of the Coalition (2000 with Bill Berkowitz), published by the American Public Health Association.

We are pleased and honored to have Tom as a member of the Practice Council. Along with Greg Meissen, and others, he facilitated its creation in 2005, served as its Co-Chair, and has maintained an active role, promoting the development of multiple initiatives, such as the establishment of the Community Psychology Competencies for Practice, the Program Consulting Group, the CP Summits, the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice and the Peer Consultation Calls, which serve as a platform for Community Psychologists to share their work with each other and identify new and alternative approaches to it.

We are thrilled as APA recognizes his lifelong achievements in their upcoming 2014 convention.

Congratulations Tom! And thank you very much for your hard work and continuous support!


Tom Wolff