The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Kendra Homan

Briar Cliff University announces the recipient of its distinguished alumni award. The Distinguished Alumni Award is given to an individual that obtained a degree from Briar Cliff, lives a life reflective of Catholic Franciscan ideals, excels in professional activities, and demonstrates personal commitment to Briar Cliff. The 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award goes to Dr. Kendra Homan.


Dr. Kendra Homan graduated from Briar Cliff in 2007, received her master’s degree from Minnesota State University in 2009, and her Ph.D. from Utah State University in 2015, and completed her fellowship at Mayo Clinic. She is currently an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a Pediatric Pain Psychologist in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center.


Dr. Homan is now an expert in several specialized areas of pediatric pain intervention including intensive interdisciplinary pain treatment and association between pediatric chronic pain and comorbid eating disorders. She is the Clinical Director of the FIRST program which is an inpatient chronic pain rehabilitation program that treats children and adolescents with complex chronic pain presentations who are functionally disabled due to pain. 


“Children and families come from all over the country, oftentimes without hope after years of failed treatments and interventions, to receive nationally recognized care from Dr. Homan and the FIRST team,” said a nominator of Dr. Homan. “According to her colleagues, it takes witnessing just one interaction with Dr. Homan and a patient to know that she is committed to her patients and providing them with the best care possible. She communicates personal investment to her patients and then uses her relationship with her patients to help them make meaningful, oftentimes difficult, changes in their own lives for the betterment of their physical and mental health.”


Dr. Homan has a strong research record with 26 peer-reviewed publications and is part of several grant-funded projects. Dr. Homan’s research agenda focuses on the psychosocial functioning of patients presenting for intensive interdisciplinary pain treatment, identifying variables that impact the trajectory of change after pain treatment, parenting practices in pediatric chronic pain, and the impact of disordered eating on outcomes among pediatric patients with chronic pain. 


“She is also a gifted educator – training and supervising medical and psychology residents and is frequently sought out by other intuitions and programs to share her incredible knowledge,” said a nominator.


While an undergraduate student at Briar Cliff, Dr. Homan was actively involved in the department of psychology serving as president of the psychology club, founded Briar Cliff Mission Honduras alongside of Sister Janet May, served as a peer advising leader for several years, and played softball.