Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
Winter 2015 Return to Outlook main page »

SBM Building Meaningful Relationships with Other Organizations

Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, Scientific and Professional Liaison Council chair

Scientific research is a collaborative endeavor, which is why many Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) members who make SBM their primary professional home also engage with other societies with missions that overlap with SBM’s. This overlap offers rich opportunities for inter-organizational relationships, and SBM’s Scientific and Professional Liaison Council (SPLC), chaired by Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, is tasked with developing and mining these connections.

SPLC members are continuing to build liaisons that advance the science of behavioral medicine. These relationships aim to bring mutual benefits to SBM and other scientific and professional groups as follows.

They help plan and present co-sponsored sessions with other scientific and professional organizations at SBM’s 2015 Annual Meeting:

  • SPLC member Sara J. Knight, PhD, has fostered a scientific liaison between SBM and the Public Health Law Research (PHLR) group, which has led to a Wednesday seminar (Advancing the State of the Science for Evaluating the Behavioral Health Effects of Law). Among other topics, seminar leaders will discuss how researchers and interventionists can use activities related to legal issues to “scale up” behavioral medicine interventions. The six-hour seminar will include hands-on training in measuring law using PHLR’s Law Atlas software; the software also allows for conceptualizing and modeling the behavioral impact of laws. PHLR is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dedicated to funding and otherwise facilitating scientific evaluation of the health effects of laws and legal practices.
  • Doing double duty as SBM special interest group (SIG) chairs, several SPLC members designed Annual Meeting sessions that span not only their SIGs’ interests but those of other stakeholders and societies. SPLC member Erika A. Waters, PhD, MPH, who co-chairs the Health Decision Making (HDM) SIG, will co-present during a Wednesday course (What is a ‘Good’ Medical Decision? Perspectives from Multiple Stakeholders). The course is co-sponsored by SBM’s HDM SIG and the Society of Medical Decision Making. SPLC member David E. Goodrich, EdD, MS, MA, chair of the Military and Veterans' Health SIG, and Dr. Sheinfeld Gorin are partnering with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Physical Activity SIG (Beth Lewis, PhD, LP, co-chair) to cosponsor a symposium entitled, Technology, Exercise, and Health Care: Using Exercise in Medicine, on Friday. Dr. Goodrich and ACSM are also co-sponsoring a Thursday symposium (Exercise Promotion in Community Mental Health Settings: Translating Findings from Clinical Trials). 
  • Dr. Sheinfeld Gorin and SPLC member Julie A. Wright, PhD, are co-chairing a Thursday symposium with bioinformaticians and leaders of the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) entitled, Transforming Primary Care through Bioinformatics and Behavioral Medicine. The symposium demonstrates SPLC’s and SBM’s interests in building connections among the ever-expanding number of researchers exploring technology-based interventions for improving health care. Drs. Wright and Sheinfeld Gorin are also partnering with SBM’s newly established Digital Health Council (chaired by Ellen Beckjord, PhD) to further relationships with the American Medical Informatics Association, including presentations at annual conferences.
  • An interactive midday meeting on Friday (Translating Cochrane Reviews into Research, Clinical Practice, and Policy) reflects the shared interests and planning efforts of SPLC, the Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine SIG, the Cancer SIG, and the Cochrane Collaboration. The aim of the session is to guide attendees in developing, producing, and implementing Cochrane reviews.

SPLC fosters other supportive relationships with scientific and professional societies:

  • At the request of SPLC member Paul B. Jacobsen, PhD, the SBM Board approved SBM’s endorsement of the 2015 Joint American Psychosocial Oncology Society/International Psycho-Oncology Society Conference. In turn, Dr. Sheinfeld Gorin has asked both societies to endorse and promote the 2015 SBM Annual Meeting among their respective members.
  • SPLC member Martin D. Cheatle, PhD, is exploring scientific liaison possibilities with the American Pain Society, while SPLC guest Catherine (Katie) L. Davis, PhD, is furthering our liaisons with The Obesity Society. SBM was a Level 3 partner of last year’s Obesity Week, by endorsing the program. Julie E. Volkman, PhD, SPLC guest, is exploring connections with several professional communication societies, and SPLC guest, Miho Tanaka, PhD, MPH, is seeking to enrich collaborations with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

While building scientific and professional alliances has been the main focus of SPLC, and developing products (co-authored papers and presentations) from these liaisons is a recent emphasis, SBM is also stepping up its efforts toward influencing health policies. As a member of the newly established Health Policy Council, Dr. Sheinfeld Gorin and others are looking to secure endorsements of SBM policy briefs from other societies, which will open up new dissemination channels and heighten the briefs’ impacts.

As the important work of SPLC continues to grow, Dr. Sheinfeld Gorin welcomes your ideas and input! You can reach her at sherri.gorin@gmail.com.