Public Policy Roadmap
SBM Stepping Into the Public Policy Arena
Developments in healthcare reform and congressional pressure on the National Institutes of Health (and the researchers they fund) demonstrate how scientific advances influence the health of the nation provide exciting opportunities for our Society to achieve our vision of better health through behavior change. The SBM Board has identified areas where our Society could contribute, at the public policy level, to improving health through advances in behavioral medicine. In October 2010, the Board adopted three public policy focus areas:
- Shaping Healthcare Reform
- Weighing in on Hot Topics
- Enhancing SBM’s National Visibility
Public Policy Leadership Group Helping SBM Reach Policy Goals
The Public Policy Leadership Group (PPLG) was formed to help the Society meet its public policy goals. This group currently has two “action teams,” which aid the PPLG in identifying timely policy issues relevant to behavioral medicine, suggesting topics for policy briefs, tracking legislation, issuing Board-approved letters to editors and policy makers, and forming or enhancing working relationships and communications with health policy advocacy groups, among other activities. Action teams include:
- Obesity, Diabetes and Physical Action Team
- Congressional Communications Action Team
In September 2011, the Public Policy Leadership Group published an article in SBM's policy journal: Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy Research. The article, "The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and public policy advocacy: a call to action" discusses the importance of behavioral medicine presence in public policy initiatives, reviews a brief history of SBM’s involvement in public policy, describes steps SBM is now taking to increase its involvement in health-related public policy, and finally, puts forth a call to action for SBM members to increase their awareness of and become involved in public policy initiatives. If you are a member of SBM and are interested in joining or learning more about the PPLG and the action teams, contact SBM executive director Amy Stone.
SBM’s Recent Public Policy Activities
On Monday, November 19, 2012, six SBM Board members called on the offices of 15 congressional representatives in Washington, DC, urging them to protect National Institutes of Health funding for research grants threatened by the nation's looming financial crisis. Board members also familiarized lawmakers with behavioral medicine evidence by providing information from Behavior Matters, an article published by several SBM members in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which explains the central role of behavior in health and provides evidence for how behavioral interventions can be effectively used to prevent disease, improve management of existing disease, increase quality of life, and reduce healthcare costs.
Recent Policy Briefs and Statements
- SBM and SRNT Urge Increased Funding of Quitlines and Research to Maximize Public Health Benefits of 1-800-QUIT-NOW on Cigarette Packs
- School-based Physical Activity: Essential for Children’s Health
See the Policy Briefs and Statements page for a full list of SBM’s briefs and statements.
Anyone – not only Health Policy Committee members – can identify a need for a policy brief and bring it to the attention of the Committee. View the flow chart depicting the policy brief development process. If you see such a need, contact SBM’s executive director, Amy Stone, at firstname.lastname@example.org.