Daniel V. Foster, PsyD
Member since: 1981
Lives in: Rosebud, S.D.
His job: Foster is director of behavioral
health at the Rosebud Indian Health
Service Hospital, a 38-bed hospital on
the Rosebud Indian Reservation in
Rosebud, S.D., an area marked by high
unemployment, poverty and substance
abuse. “We are a beautiful place in terms
of the hills, trees, grass, rivers, animals,
people and culture, but we are a very
difficult place in socioeconomic terms,”
says Foster. With no psychiatrists on the
reservation, Foster and the reservation’s
other four psychologists — including his
wife, Becky — earned master’s degrees
in psychopharmacology to help improve
care. By both working and living on the
reservation, Foster sees firsthand how his
interventions improve people’s quality of
life. “I find that very gratifying,” he says.
A welcoming spirit: After the
Fosters’ first four children grew up, the
couple adopted seven special-needs
children. Their oldest son is 40, while
their youngest children are 6-year-old
twin girls. Balancing work and child-
rearing often requires Daniel Foster to
remind himself to breathe throughout
the day. “I feel like a one-legged man at
a kickboxing tournament a good deal of
the time,” he says.
A handball prodigy: Foster
competed as a member of the U.S.
National Handball Team, including in
the Pan Am and Olympic Games, from
1971 to 1982. Foster, who had played
football and basketball in college,
came to handball as a fluke while he
was in the Army in the early 1970s:
Members of a handball team spied
Foster working out one day and invited
him to join them. He was a natural.
“The coach ended up inviting me to
compete in the nationals with the team
in New York and we won the national
championship,” he says. He has earned
several National Gold Medals in
handball since, the latest in 2002.
Giving back: Foster decided to become
a psychologist when he witnessed
how many fellow soldiers suffered
psychological wounds much like those
American Indians bore from oppression.
To contribute to the profession on the
national level, Foster is a member of APA’s
Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs
and attends the annual meeting of the
Society of Indian Psychologists — with
all of his young children. Psychology, he
believes, is the career he was born for. “I
have truly enjoyed listening to and being a
part of people’s life narrative,” he says.
— JAMIE CHAMBERLIN
Each month, “Random Sample” profiles
an APA member. You may be next.
Father of 11, Indian Health Service
psychologist and former Olympian (inset, far right).