Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine

What Has the SBM Board Been Up To?

Margaret Schneider, PhD
Margaret Schneider, PhD,
Board Member Delegate

As a newly-elected SBM Member Delegate, I would like to update the membership on recent Board activities and encourage members to seek out opportunities to get more involved in Society activities.  I am guessing that many members may have little knowledge of what actually transpires at Board meetings, so I hope that this brief update will provide some sense of the exciting work that is going on among the SBM Leadership.  As an example, the Board recently approved two new appointments of council chairs:  Dr. Amy Huebschmann to the Education, Training, and Career Development Council and Dr. Amy Janke to the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council.  In addition, Dr. Eric Heckler was approved to become the next incoming Annual Meeting Program Chair, to follow Rachel Shelton, who is the Program Chair for our next Annual Meeting, which will be held in New Orleans April 11-14, 2018.  The 2018 Annual Meeting will feature the theme of "Extending Our Reach." Speakers will highlight the key connections that need to be built with a diverse range of sectors to maximize behavioral medicine’s reach and impact. This includes, but is not limited to policy-makers, government agencies, community organizations, journalists, healthcare practitioners, and industry partners. 

The board also recently approved two new proposals for policy briefs, which will add to a recent surge in SBM activity around these very important statements of the evidence related to specific behavioral medicine topics.  Recent policy briefs, available on the SBM website, include the following:  “enact taxes on sugary drinks to prevent chronic disease”, “restore CDC funding for firearms and gun violence prevention research”, and ”improving access to psychosocial care for individuals with persistent pain:  supporting the National Pain Strategy Call for Interdisciplinary Pain Care”.  Members who have their own idea for a health policy brief can just fill out this form.

There are many available avenues to become involved in SBM leadership and advocacy.  It is a great way to make connections with other professionals in your field and have an impact on policy.  There is a helpful list of ways to be involved here.  These opportunities include writing an SBM Comment blog post, joining a Special Interest Group and submitting an article to Translational Behavioral Medicine or Annals of Behavioral Medicine (both published by SBM).  For those who are interested in a higher level of commitment, there are 7 permanent councils within SBM:  Digital Health, Education, Training & Career Development; Health Policy; Membership; Publications & Communications; Council on SIGs; and Scientific and Professional Liaison.  To inquire about joining a council, you can contact the Council chair. If you are looking for expert feedback on your research or career activities, SBM can link you up with an expert in your field through our consultation program .

The Society of Behavioral Medicine draws its strength from its members and from the active energy that they put into Society activities.  While the Annual Meeting is the most visible manifestation of the talent and dedication that drives the organization, SBM is really a year-round operation, and there are ways to contribute your voice at any time.  As your member delegate, I invite you to contact me with your ideas about how the Society can continue to serve our members in ways that meet your interests and needs. I can be reached at margaret.schneider@uci.edu.