Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
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SBM Connections: An Update from the SPLC

Sara J. Knight, PhD, Scientific and Professional Liaison Council Chair

The SBM Scientific and Professional Liaison Council (SPLC) aims to build and nurture the relationships that Society of Behavioral Medicine develops with external organizations. SPLC liaisons include those with government agencies, academic organizations, and scientific and professional societies, such as the American Medical Informatics Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Pain Society, and the National Cancer Institute.

Council members represent some of SBM's most significant relationships. Each council member takes responsibility for working on initiatives with one or more SBM liaison organizations. Monthly conference calls serve to support council members as they develop new relationships or deepen existing connections. In each emerging relationship, council members consider the interests of the broader SBM membership and the relevance of the collaboration to SBM and its mission.

SPLC contributions in 2011 include the development of policy initiatives with the American Heart Association and scientific sessions with the American College of Sports Medicine. Also, the SPLC has substantially strengthened its partnership with the VA. The SBM/VA collaboration has supported the formation of a VA Special Interest Group (called the Military and Veterans' Health SIG), the presentation of invited and contributed sessions representing VA research at the SBM 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, and a special issue of Translational Behavioral Medicine (TBM) with Dr. Robert Kerns, an Editor of the special section, focusing on the Veterans Health Administration.

Council members often collaborate closely with SBM SIGs to build connections with organizations that can enhance SIG goals. Dr. Suzanne O'Neill's work with the SBM Health Decision Making (HDM) SIG and the Society of Medical Decision Making (SMDM) is an outstanding example of this type of collaboration. Dr. O'Neill and the HDM SIG have developed several highly successful scientific sessions for SBM and SMDM annual meetings. The 2011 SMDM annual meeting in Chicago will feature a joint SBM/SMDM session that brings behavioral medicine perspectives to an area of controversy in medical decision making: the departure of many health decisions from the rational decisions and behaviors predicted by normative models of decision making. This session features eminent basic and applied scientists in behavioral medicine and medical decision-making who will explore evidence-based strategies to understand "real" patient decisions.

Several exciting new liaisons under development will be featured in future 2012 Outlook articles. Also, the SPLC is looking for new members to support emerging SBM outreach efforts. If interested, please ask an SPLC member about her or his work on the council. Current SPLC members include Nicole Bereolos, PhD, MPH; Martin Cheatle, PhD; Molly Ferguson, MPH; Alan Glaros, PhD; David Goodrich, EdD; Sara Knight, PhD, (Chair); Suzanne O'Neill, PhD; Kimberly Sibille, PhD; and Julie Wright, PhD. New and established SBM members will find the SPLC to be a welcoming place, and a group that encourages creativity and innovation in building connections that advance the science and practice of behavioral medicine.