Read This Before You Book Your Annual Meeting Travel
Margaret L. Schneider, PhD, FSBM, SBM President
Plans for the 2023 SBM Annual Meeting are set, and I am so looking forward to seeing everyone in Phoenix April 26-29! There are some elements of the meeting that I want to highlight here because they might impact your travel plans. First is the Fellows Reception on Wednesday night. This first-ever event honoring our members with Fellow status will be held at the Desert Botanical Garden just on the outskirts of Phoenix. Anyone who has been there will tell you that this is a very special setting, and Fellows will have the opportunity to tour the gardens as well as to enjoy some drinks and appetizers while they admire the unique flora of the desert. Of course, the Botanical Garden is open to the public throughout the week, so everyone might want to consider taking a trip out to admire the many varieties of cacti and other plants adapted to the desert climate.
Another conference element that you might want to take into account as you make your travel plans is the keynote from Dr. Wizdom Powell on Saturday to close out the conference. Dr. Powell is the chief social impact and diversity officer for Headspace, and she will be addressing the topic of creating a work environment that supports personal resilience. And speaking of keynotes, you won’t want to miss the Friday morning keynote from Dr. Donald Warne, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from Pine Ridge, SD, who was recently appointed as co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health. Dr. Warne comes from a long line of traditional healers and medicine men and is a celebrated researcher of chronic health inequities. He will be talking about promoting American Indian health equity. We will also hear from Dr. Michelle Segar, director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center at University of Michigan and author of two popular books on exercise, “The Joy Choice” and “No Sweat.” Dr. Segar will talk Thursday morning about effective strategies for getting people and communities to incorporate more physical activity into daily living. Another of our keynote speakers, Dr. Jamie Chriqui, is professor of health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago. On Friday afternoon, she will share her experience translating science into policy.
Of course, the bulk of the meeting content is provided by you, our members, and the depth and breadth of scheduled presentations is truly impressive. The full program should be available in the next few weeks via our conference mobile app. Start making plans now to meet up with your colleagues during lunch, as we will be once again be leaving the lunch hour free of programming. And be sure to bring your walking or running shoes to join in the Stride for Science on Thursday evening.
At this time of year, our members’ thoughts are mainly on the Annual Meeting, but I want to note that SBM serves our members throughout the year through our webinars <link here to the webinar page>, our journals <link here to the journals page>, and of course the Special Interest Groups (SIGs). If you missed any of the live webinars, they are available in recorded format, and I highly recommend that you check out the three webinars on reproductive justice. We were extremely lucky to hear from three preeminent scholars in the field, and our own former SBM President, Dr. Sherry Pagoto, engaged each one in truly illuminating discussion. We heard from Dr. Khiara Bridges, professor of law at UC Berkeley, Dr. Monica McLemore, professor of nursing at University of Washington, and Dr. Mary Ziegler, professor of law at UC Davis.
SBM also offers some truly transformative career development opportunities, including the mid-career and leadership diversity institutes <insert link here> as well as positions of leadership within all of our councils: the Scientific Education Council, the Advocacy Council, the Development Council, the Publications Council, the Professional Advancement Council, and the Membership Council. If you have any interest in serving on any of these councils, or their nested committees, please contact the relevant council chair <link to leadership page of the SBM website>.
In particular, I would like to highlight the Positions Statement Committee, which sits within the Advocacy Council. In terms of translating science to impact, this committee sits at the heart of our efforts. This year, we have released the following position statements: Support Policies to Increase Nutrient-Dense Food Access Across Federal Food Assistance Programs; Increase WIC’s Cash Value Benefit; Protect Abortion Rights; Fund IBT to Reduce CVD Disparities; Improve CBT For Insomnia; and Support Child Nutrition Programs. This is a lot of impact! If you have an interest in joining the Positions Statement Committee, and helping to influence policy and legislation, contact SBM staff member Sarah Gilbertson.
SBM2023 is right around the corner, so start making your plans now, but don’t stop there. Explore some of the many other resources available to you through your membership. Now more than ever our professional community offers you a means of magnifying the reach and impact of your research, gaining inspiration from your colleagues, and sharing your experience with the next generation. See you soon!