2021-25 Strategic Plan

SBM's 2021-25 Strategic Plan seeks to make the field of behavioral medicine—and members’ careers—even more impactful. The plan has three core outcome areas, determined by our members.


Plan Icons


Awareness and Impact of Behavioral Medicine

Many members identified a pressing need for the larger biomedical community to better acknowledge and engage with the behavioral medicine specialty. We recognize this opportunity, and one outcome of our Strategic Plan is to ensure that SBM members are seen as knowledge brokers of evidence-based behavior change science. We want to elevate behavioral medicine so that we can help members improve clinical and population health. We know members are tired of SBM being medicine’s best kept secret—we are too.

Outcome impact by the end of 2025: Behavioral medicine professionals are recognized by the medical community and medical/research organizations as the knowledge brokers of trusted behavior change science, which improves clinical and population health.

2021 Completed Actions:

  • Define who we are as behavioral medicine professionals, via review of existing collateral, interviews with internal and external stakeholders, and updates to collateral as needed.

2022 Completed Actions:

  • Increase readership of our health policy position statements, via expanded partnerships with endorsing organizations, increased outreach to federal legislators, and use of SBM special interest groups and social media influencers.
  • Seek funding for increased investment in early-career grants and advocacy, via SBM's fundraising campaign.

2023 Planned Actions:

  • Create collateral showing how we are relevant in solving today’s problems (e.g., systemic inequities, climate change, COVID-19). (in progress since 2022)
  • Develop strategic partnerships with peer organizations focused on clinician audiences and climate change, respectively. (in progress since 2022)
  • Grow industry sponsorship/financial support of SBM.
  • Increase demographic diversity (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity) in research practices and in publication/review.


Public Education and Behavioral Change

Scientific research is currently undervalued, and science is often disparaged by those falsely claiming expertise. That’s why another outcome in our Strategic Plan is to increase the public’s access to members’ science. We want to give members more opportunities to translate their expertise into real-world impact. As engagement with science communication increases, we want to ensure members have the resources they need to broadcast their research via every possible avenue. SBM will help members disseminate their results beyond the traditional behavioral medicine community.

Outcome impact by the end of 2025: Increased public access to, and engagement with, behavioral medicine leads to healthier environments and outcomes for all.

2021 Completed Actions:

  • Increase our members’ engagement in communicating their science, via sharing examples of members engaging in scicomm and via surveying members about their scicomm needs and barriers.
  • Enhance lay accessibility of our Healthy Living website, via search engine optimization, Google Ads, and social media ads.

2022 Completed Actions:

  • Create a sci comm toolkit with trainings on how and why to do sci comm.
  • Enhance TBM and ABM authors’ interest in and ability to promote their published research, via extra communication to accepted authors about sci comm tools, identification of newsworthy accepted articles, use of article lay summaries and teaser text, use of graphical abstracts, and instructions for authors on how to write titles and abstracts for maximum discovery via online search.

2023 Planned Actions:

  • Be a leader to other organizations in conducting rigorous, community-based participatory research.


Indispensable Professional Resource

We have seen profound changes to the world we live in. COVID-19, climate change, and the global demand for racial justice, especially for Black Americans, have caused us to reflect on how we can improve our society. We have developed COVID-19 resources to help members adapt, no matter their professional level or role. More to come! Our third Strategic Plan outcome is to always be your indispensable professional home.

Outcome impact by the end of 2025: SBM as a society is known as the indispensable resource of behavioral medicine professionals, who research, educate, practice, and advocate for better health outcomes for all.

2021 Completed Actions:

  • Develop a plan to communicate the indispensable value we already offer to members, via a robust email and social media membership recruitment and retention campaign.
  • Evaluate current diversity efforts in SBM, via a rigorous deep-dive assessment reviewed by senior leadership to identify success, gaps, and future actions.
  • Update SBM organizational chart and governance policies to ensure efficiency, equity, nimbleness, and valuable volunteer experiences.

2023 Planned Actions:

  • Retain and recruit more student members, from all backgrounds. (in progress since 2022)
  • Expand non-Annual Meeting programming for students, via regional in-person events (in progress since 2022)
  • Build members’ capacity for innovative research by identifying and providing training (e.g., at Annual Meeting, via webinars) in knowledge or methods that will provide a competitive advantage to members and accelerate the impact of behavioral medicine. (in progress since 2022)
  • Grow the Bridging the Gap Award (which prioritizes underrepresented scientists and equity-related projects), securing funding for more awards for more years.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Each plan outcome includes diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, to make sure DEI is a priority throughout the society. We’ve also assessed our current diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts through a rigorous deep-dive, identifying successes and gaps.

SBM is committed to diversity and inclusion in its leadership, membership, programs, activities and decision making. SBM defines diversity as the collective ways in which people and organizations are different and similar with respect to demographic characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, and behaviors. The society seeks to actively engage individuals and organizations representing various backgrounds to support our mission and vision.