Outlook: A Quarterly Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
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Update on Aging SIG Activities

Senaida Fernandez, PhD, Aging SIG Co-Chair
Loriena Yancura, PhD, Aging SIG Co-Chair

The Aging SIG has been working to bring greater visibility to research that explores the ways in which older adults, particularly older adults with chronic illnesses, can alter their behavior to promote health and quality of life.

In the past year we have instituted a student research award, the SBM Aging SIG Award for Outstanding Student Research Abstract in Aging. This award recognizes exemplary graduate student research in aging and provides free registration to the SBM Annual Meeting. More information regarding this award will be provided in the coming months via the SBM listservs.

We are pleased to announce that members of the Aging SIG will present a seminar on the impact of research on policy titled "Changing Behavior in Older Adults to Optimize Health and Quality of Life: Using Research to Impact Policy" at the 2011 SBM Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The seminar is designed to highlight current research findings and their potential utility for influencing policy, to describe the ways in which our messages can be disseminated, and to address how researchers can influence policy makers.

The first section of the seminar includes a group of papers demonstrating effective health behavior interventions with policy implications delineated. The second section provides examples of how to disseminate findings and continue to advocate for the health of older adults. Specifically, we will describe the role of older adults as the disseminators of policy messages and the use of evidence to advocate for policy initiatives around training as well as access to services. The third section of the seminar will be conducted by a nationally recognized lawyer and political advocate with expertise in health care, particularly as it relates to older adults. She will address how we move from our findings to next steps for influencing policy makers. Specifically, she will review the process of identifying "the ask", getting to the table, using our local and national impact as members of a larger organization, and being attuned to appropriate timing of our messages. Participants of this seminar will gain new insight into the translation of research into policy and can network with others who may be doing similar research and have similar policy related interests and agendas.

We encourage you to attend this session to learn more about the many interesting ways in which research can impact public policy. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC (http://www.sbm.org/meeting/2011/)!