The International Positive Psychology Association is grateful to the Health Division Leadership Team for their capable stewardship and significant contributions to the field of positive health. Notable accomplishments include developing the division’s charter and presenting the Contributions in Positive Health Award at each World Congress.

President: Liana Lianov

Dr. Liana Lianov chairs the Happiness Science and Positive Health (HSPH) Committee of American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), which convened the inaugural Summit on Happiness Science in Health Care in 2018 to address strategies for integrating positive psychology and well-being interventions into health care. Dr. Lianov is a leader in the international lifestyle medicine movement, including spearheading the development of lifestyle medicine core competencies for health providers by a national blue ribbon panel and serving as lead faculty for the first of its kind comprehensive lifestyle medicine curriculum. She is the vice-chair of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and a past president of ACLM and has served on the boards of both ACLM and the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM). She continues to lead the expansion of lifestyle medicine, emphasizing the key role of positive psychology in the field. Previously, Dr. Lianov worked at the California Department of Health Services in a variety of public health and health care programs, including expansion of mental health services. She is board certified in internal medicine and preventive medicine and completed a psychiatry fellowship.

Past- President: Gail Ironson M.D., Ph.D.

 Dr. Gail Ironson is a Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Miami. She has over 200 publications in the field of behavioral medicine applied to HIV/AIDS, cancer, and cardiovascular disease, is past president of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research Society, and is current or past member of the editorial board of five journals. She has directed or co-directed federally funded research studies investigating psychological factors in long survival with HIV/AIDS, stress management in HIV and cancer, massage therapy and immunity, and the biological effects of trauma in underprivileged people, people with HIV, and people at risk for HIV. She is one of the core investigators in the nationwide Templeton Landmark study on Spirituality and Health and established and runs the trauma treatment program at the University of Miami Psychological Services Center.

Dr. Ironson earned her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, her M.D. at the University of Miami School of Medicine and completed her residency in psychiatry at Stanford University. She is passionate about advancing the field of positive health psychology and bridging the disciplines of medicine and psychology. Her goals for the Positive Health and Wellness Division are to promote collaboration across disciplines, publish in leading healthcare journals, promote best practices and mentor undergraduate and graduate students interested in the field.



President- Elect, Joel Milam, PhD

Joel Milam, PhD, is an associate professor of research at the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He is also a faculty member of the USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research and the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research encompasses the field of positive health psychology, examining the roles of positive and protective psychosocial and behavioral factors that can influence health and wellbeing. This includes health promotion interventions and the positive psychosocial and behavioral changes in response to major life events/stressors/disease. He has examined these changes among adolescents and adults, including ethnically diverse and clinical (e.g., persons living with HIV, cancer) populations. He is currently involved with several projects examining behavioral interventions among people living with cancer & HIV/AIDS. One of these projects, among childhood cancer survivors, includes posttraumatic growth and health behaviors in response to a cancer diagnosis. Other projects include safer sex and medication adherence interventions.