Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
Winter 2017-18

Partnership is Key to Progress: How the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council Helps Extend our Reach

Amy Janke, PhD, Scientific and Professional Liaison Council (SPLC) chair

The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) increasingly partners with professional and scientific organizations who share our vision and goals. The SPLC is the internal leadership group tasked with initiating, developing, and maintaining SBM’s interdisciplinary activities with other scientific and professional organizations.

Benefits of partnering

Partnering extends our reach as an organization. Our liaisons expand professional networks, create new opportunities, and enhance communication beyond the resources available within SBM. These relationships also allow SBM to amplify our message of advocacy as we partner on policy endorsements and briefs.

What makes a good partnership?

The key to a successful relationship is mutual benefit. When forming a new liaison, it is important that both partners collaborate in a way that capitalizes on their respective strengths. The SPLC aims to cultivate partnerships that serve the needs of our membership and the strategic goals of our organization.

What liaison activities has the SPLC fostered with partner organizations?

Partner activities include both one-time events and ongoing work, as long as the activity is deemed to benefit the society and our membership. Preparing joint programming for SBM's Annual Meetings is a regular and ongoing activity of the SPLC with its partners, as is collaboration on policy work and the coordination of journal articles or special issues. We also facilitate information sharing, shared services, common resources, and joint membership.

How are new liaisons formed?

Any member of SBM can propose a new liaison by submitting a brief description of the organization, their mission, and the proposed relationship using our liaison proposal form to the SPLC Chair. If the liaison is considered strategic by the SPLC chair and council, the SPLC chair will bring it forward to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. 

Who are our current partners and council members?

Our liaisons include a range of organizations from large, international groups with diverse, multidisciplinary memberships to smaller societies with a focused membership roster. A full list of current liaisons can be found on the SPLC website, along with the current roster of council members.  

How can I help participate in extending our reach?

You likely have many collaborations that extend to scientific or professional societies outside of SBM. These relationships are often how our partners first interact with SBM, and are critical to extending our reach even if a formal liaison between organizations never develops.

If you have an idea for a new liaison based upon your existing relationships, a good first step is to discuss the idea with your Special Interest Group colleagues. Some questions to consider: Do others have an interest in forming a liaison? What are likely shared activities/goals? Is there an SBM member to lead the liaison? The next step is to make outreach to the SPLC chair to propose the liaison.  We look forward to your ideas, and thank you for being the society’s best ambassador as we work to extend our reach!