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President's Message: Drivers of Health Care Change, and the Opportunities They Create

Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD, SBM president
Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD, SBM President

Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD, SBM president

The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) 2016 Annual Meeting is almost here. Our Program Committee has organized a powerful session lineup that centers around one key word: change.

Whether you work in an academic, government, clinical, industry, or other setting, you know that health care and how we conceptualize the prevention and treatment of chronic care are changing faster than ever. We must adapt. As behavioral medicine professionals, we must also work to make sure these changes move us forward-creating better research, better interventions, and better patient outcomes. I sincerely believe the Annual Meeting will help us do that.

Meeting sessions will examine drivers of change (e.g., policy and advocacy, health care reform, technological advancements, funding landscape changes) and the opportunities those changes create (e.g., expanded access to health care, use of digital tools to impact health, partnerships with channels that were traditionally "not health"). The meeting will broaden how you think about your research, your career, and the translation of behavioral medicine evidence.

In particular, our keynote speakers will examine digital health and non-traditional ways of improving health.

  • Opening keynote presenter Sean Duffy, CEO and co-founder of Omada Health, will share results from Omada Health's online diabetes prevention program, which is based on the national Diabetes Prevention Program and engages patients in 16 weeks of interactive sessions.
  • Keynote presenter Jeanette Betancourt, EdD, senior vice president of community and family engagement for Sesame Workshop, will explain how Sesame Street programming is specially designed to teach children and families about healthy lifestyle habits.
  • Keynote presenter Jody Heymann, MD, PhD, dean of UCLA's School of Public Health, will discuss bridging the gap between research and policymakers by translating research into policies and programs that improve individual and population health worldwide.
  • Keynote presenter Andrew Hoffman, PhD, will speak about why academics must make themselves heard in public and political spheres. He will explain how academics can inspire action and help society make wise choices.

As SBM president, I will also deliver a keynote address. I will be talking about changes that put behavioral scientists at a crossroads, where many need to forge new research and career directions.

I hope you can join us. This year's meeting is being held in Washington, DC, from March 30 to April 2. If you have not already registered for the meeting, be sure to do so before the end of this month so you pay the discounted, early-bird rate.

I am saddened that my presidential year will come to an end at the Annual Meeting–but I can think of no higher note on which to leave my post. Looking forward to seeing you in DC!

All my best,

Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD
Society of Behavioral Medicine