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Master Lectures

SBM is proud to welcome the following master lecturers to the 2018 Annual Meeting!


Karen EmmonsKaren Emmons, PhD, is a leader in health promotion research, cancer prevention research, and implementation science. She was one of the first researchers to use web technologies to tackle health behavior change and to encourage wide uptake and scalability of cancer prevention interventions, particularly for low-income and under-resourced communities. Dr. Emmons’ research has also focused on reducing the prevalence of multiple behavioral risk factors for cancer, including tobacco use and physical inactivity. Her work earned her SBM’s 2017 Distinguished Scientist Award. Dr. Emmons is a past SBM president and dean for academic affairs at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Thursday, April 12; 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.; Grand Ballroom A


Christine RobertoSara BleichBinta BeardBinta Beard, ScD, SM, Sara Bleich, PhD, and Christine Roberto, PhD, know a thing or two about health policy. They know, for instance, that health policies are better when they’re drafted based on actual science, so they work tirelessly to make sure lawmakers take scientific evidence into account. Dr. Beard is a managing partner at Equinox Strategies and a former senior health policy advisor for U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL). Dr. Bleich is a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her work focuses on obesity prevention, and she has been a senior policy advisor for Let’s Move! and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Roberto is an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her nutrition work helped shape menu-labeling policy under the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday, April 12; 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.; Grand Ballroom B


Salud America!Judith OckeneJudith Ockene, PhD, MEd, and Salud America! understand patient communication. Dr. Ockene developed curriculum to help medical students and practicing doctors integrate patient-centered counseling into their day-to-day clinical care. Salud America!, a nonprofit working to prevent obesity for Latino children and families, created the first website to deliver culturally tailored health information. For this work, Dr. Ockene and Salud America! were honored with SBM’s 2017 Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement. Dr. Ockene is a past SBM president and chief of the Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Salud America! is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a project of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Friday, April 13; 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.; Grand Ballroom A


Vanessa GarrisonMorgan DixonMorgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison founded GirlTrek, a national nonprofit that encourages black women to walk their neighborhoods regularly to “heal our bodies, inspire our daughters, and reclaim the streets.” GirlTrek is the largest public health nonprofit for African American women and girls in the United States. They have 117,000 women involved—and counting. Part of their goal is to change the health statistics about black women, who have the highest rate of obesity of any subpopulation in the country. They also strive to eliminate barriers to physical activity, and improve the walkability and built environments of 50 high-need U.S. communities. Ms. Dixon and Ms. Garrison have been featured in major national news outlets, including The New York Times and Ebony, and their TED Talk has more than 1 million views.

Friday, April 13; 12:45 – 1:45 p.m.; Grand Ballroom B


Joe SmyserJoe Smyser, PhD, MSPH, has worked at the intersection of public health and marketing throughout his career. He believes in using marketing strategies to achieve behavior change. He has designed marketing campaigns for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. He has worked with USAID, Google, and the Peace Corps, among other high-profile clients. (He also served as director of strategy and partnerships for Big Boi of Grammy-winning hip-hop duo Outkast!) Dr. Smyser has engaged in public health collaborations with Tumblr, Buzzfeed, and other media and technology companies. He is CEO of The Public Good Projects, a nonprofit that uses the power of mass media to solve social problems.

Saturday, April 14; 8:30 – 9:30 a.m.; Grand Ballroom B


Vanessa MasonDrew SchillerDeborah KilpatrickJeff DJeff Dachisachis, Deborah Kilpatrick, PhD, Drew Schiller, and Vanessa Mason, MPH, have years of experienceand successin the digital health space. They have led innovative projects involving website platforms, big data, social marketing, mobile apps, wearables, and much more. Mr. Dachis is founder and CEO of OneDrop, a diabetes management platform that uses mobile computing and data science to help people with diabetes live healthier lives. Dr. Kilpatrick is CEO of Evidation Health, a company that analyzes behavior health data to inform outcomes and individual experiences. Mr. Schiller is co-founder and CEO of Validic, a company that provides digital health tools to help people improve their healthcare and wellness. Ms. Mason is co-founder and managing director of P2Health Ventures, a public health tech venture fund.

Saturday, April 14; 8:30 – 9:45 a.m.; Grand Ballroom A

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