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SBM Outlook Spotlight - Membership Council - Summer 2009

Brent Van Dorsten, PhD, Membership Council Chair

The Society of Behavioral Medicine's Membership Council is one of the five permanent councils and is charged with recruitment and retention of members. In accordance with the SBM mission statement, this is a multi-dimensional task focused on recruiting interdisciplinary members involved in a variety of clinical, research, administrative and educational pursuits. Additionally, this council is responsible for the evaluation of applications for membership, establishment of appropriate criteria for membership, for reviewing allegations of unethical conduct of members, and for recommending members for the status of Fellow subject to board approval. The current Membership Council is composed of the following members: Brent Van Dorsten, PhD (Chairperson), Lora E. Burke, PhD, MPH, FAHA, FAAN (Past Chair), Viktor E. Bovbjerg, PhD, MPH (Past Chair), Dean G. Cruess, PhD, Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD (Cancer SIG), Barbara Resnick, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP (SIG CHAIR), Robert Motl, PhD (Physical Activity SIG), Marcella H. Boynton, MA (Multiple Health Behavior Change SIG), Jeffrey L. Goodie, PhD, ABPP (Integrated Primary Care SIG), Sasha Fleary, MS (Student SIG) and Christina Psaros, MS (Women's Health SIG). The Membership Council attempts to represent multiple professional specialties and a subset of prominent Special Interest Groups (SIGs) among its members.

At the SBM annual meeting, the Membership Council sponsors a New Member Breakfast to provide orientation to new members regarding the myriad of opportunities available within the organization and to familiarize them with the array of SIG activities. The Membership Council also staffs a membership information booth to facilitate membership application for non-member meeting attendees. The Membership Council looks forward to collaborating with the SBM Program Committee and Executive Committee to develop creative strategies to increase local professional attendance at SBM's 31st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions in Seattle and retain the attendees as members.

In the current turbulent financial times being faced by academic, medical and practitioner professionals, the Membership Council requests the assistance of all SBM members to encourage our colleagues to remain members and to attract new members to serve our collective mission.

Call to Action:

  1. In conjunction with the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council, the Membership Council will participate in efforts to recruit new members via collaborative interactions with other professional organizations who share SBM's vision and initiatives.
  2. A "grass roots" recruitment effort is being designed to increase membership via asking current SBM members to send emails or call 2-5 personal colleagues who are not current SBM members to encourage them to renew membership or join anew. It is EVERY SBM member's challenge to recruit a colleague who might benefit from involvement to sustain our membership numbers and national visibility.
  3. The Membership Council will continue to investigate effective strategies to retain student members and post-doctoral fellow members as they transition from trainee to autonomous professional.