Dr. Gilbert O. Sanders has been chosen to receive the American Psychological Foundation’s 2014 “Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Practice of Psychology” award.
The award recognizes a distinguished career and enduring contribution to advancing the professional practice of psychology through a demonstrable effect on patterns of service delivery in the profession. Previous recipients include several former presidents of the American Psychological Association.
Sanders currently serves as a behavioral health consultant for the 72nd medical group at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City. He provides integrated psychological service to all eligible uniformed service members, their families, and to uniformed service retirees and their dependents.
Following his Air Force ROTC training at OSU, Sanders was commissioned as a second lieutenant and has since remained involved with military service. He later earned the rank of captain, the highest rank awarded to psychologists in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), a uniformed service corps that addresses health-related services.
Sanders worked with the Indian Health Service division of the USPHS in Alaska where he was elected president of the Alaska Psychological Association. He was then transferred to the Division of Immigration Health Service where he established a breakthrough behavioral medicine and medication management clinic. He retired from the USPHS in 2002.
In 2003, Sanders established a private practice in Oklahoma City, but was drawn back to military clinical consultant work in 2005. In 2012, he was selected as the primary mental health consultant for the Family Medicine Department at Tinker Air Force Base.
Sanders received a bachelor’s in history from Oklahoma State University and a master’s from Troy State University. He received a doctorate in educational and counseling psychology from the University of Tulsa in 1974 and has completed numerous postdoctoral studies at universities around the country, including a psychopharmacology program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.