Jordana Sommer Named 2019 National Register Doctoral Student Award Winner


The National Register of Health Service Psychologists is proud to present the 2019 National Register Doctoral Student Award to Jordana Sommer of the University of Manitoba. This award comes with a $10,000 stipend.

This award is presented annually to a currently enrolled student in good standing in an APA- or CPA-accredited doctoral program in psychology. This award supports an original applied research project focused on improving psychology delivery in a health, including mental health, setting.

The National Register’s Awards Committee was extremely impressed with Jordana’s plan to use the $10,000 award stipend to support her dissertation research. Her study will specifically involve a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of a preoperative virtual reality surgical simulation on both preoperative distress and other psychological outcomes in breast cancer surgery patients, and a qualitative component to evaluate the experiences of those undergoing the simulation.

Upon receiving the award, Jordana said, “I am honoured and grateful to receive this award from the National Register. This award will support my doctoral research, which will investigate the impact of a novel preoperative virtual reality simulation on preoperative distress in breast cancer surgery patients. If proven effective, we hope to adapt the simulation for other surgical samples.”

Jordana is a first-year Clinical Psychology doctoral student at the University of Manitoba, co-supervised by Dr. Renée El-Gabalawy and Dr. Kristin Reynolds. Her primary research interests are in the area of health psychology. In particular, her research examines psychological correlates of adverse health events (e.g., surgery), and comorbidity between anxiety and trauma-related disorders with physical health conditions and associated health-related correlates. She has also recently begun examining psychological interventions among surgical populations and will continue to explore this area through her dissertation research. Her work has been presented at conferences across Canada and the United States and published in several peer-reviewed journals including Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, General Hospital Psychiatry, and the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Jordana has been banking credentials through the National Register since 2019.

This announcement will also be featured in the National Register’s Journal of Health Service Psychology.

About the National Register of Health Service Psychologists

The National Register of Health Service Psychologists is the largest credentialing organization for psychologists and psychology doctoral students. The National Register currently credentials 10,000 Health Service Psychologists and has banked credentials on behalf of more than 3,500 doctoral students and postdoctoral trainees.

The National Register identifies psychologists who have met the highest education and training requirements. The HSP credential positions them for success in healthcare delivery systems and independent practice. For more information, visit


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