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Accelerating Innovations in Behavioral Medicine Science, Practice, and Policy:
An Update on the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council

Sara J. Knight, PhD, SPLC Chair

Central to the mission of the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council (SPLC) is the development of collaborative relationships between SBM and other scientific and professional organizations. A central SPLC function is to identify those organizations where the mutual goal is to accelerate innovations in behavioral medicine through science, practice, and policy. The SPLC currently has in its portfolio more than fifteen organizations, including the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM), the American Pain Society (APS), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), the National Communications Association (NCA), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and Computer Human Interaction (CHI).

The SPLC serves SBM and its members in several ways. Collaborations often lead to symposia, seminars, and special panel discussions that are presented at the SBM Annual Meeting. Other collaborations have contributed to joint policy briefs and publications. The SPLC has established new professional networks for SBM members, particularly through enhancing communication between SIGs and external societies or agencies. Also, the SPLC has supported newly emerging SIGs within SBM such as Health Decision Making (Society for Medical Decision Making) and Military and Veterans' Health (Department of Defense, Veterans Health Administration). Whenever possible, SPLC members work closely with the SIGs to accomplish their goals.

  • Dr. Martin Cheatle has promoted strong linkages between the Pain SIG and the American Pain Society through annual meeting events and programs.
  • Dr. Suzanne O'Neill and the Health Decision Making SIG have collaborated on Cross-Talk Sessions held alternately at the SBM and the SMDM annual meetings. This series brings together leading scientists from the two societies to share complementary theories, knowledge, and research methods that together have greater potential to accelerate innovations in health decision making than would either group alone.
  • Dr. Julie Wright is leading an effort to expand opportunities for SBM members to build knowledge and expertise in informatics through the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and Computer and Human Interaction (CHI).
  • Dr. David Goodrich has served in a foundational role to organize activities between SBM and organizations, such as the American College of Sports Medicine, where physical activity is a common interest.

One of the SPLC's most important activities is the mentoring of SBM members in the skills needed to develop and nurture liaison relationships. Monthly meetings of the SPLC provide a forum to discuss liaison activities and to seek advice from other SPLC members on the challenges of establishing organizational relationships. SPLC often engages with organizations where there is substantial overlap in membership with SBM. While these are often exciting liaisons, they can be challenging because of the many competing activities going on at once. Sometimes the SPLC member actively develops collaborative products, such as conference sessions and publications. Other times, the SPLC member supports the ongoing collaborative activities of other SBM members though providing guidance on negotiation with the leaders of the other society or by facilitating linkages with the SBM Board of Directors, the Program Committee, or a relevant SIG.

Learning about the council is easy. Please feel free to contact SPLC members including Martin Cheatle, Mary Driscoll, Alan Glaros, David Goodrich, Sara Knight (Chair), Suzanne O'Neill, and Julie Wright. In New Orleans at the SBM 2012 Annual Meeting, we hosted a "Dinner with the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council" to invite SBM members to become involved in council activities. If you are interested in the SPLC, please join us at our "Dinner with the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council" during the SBM Annual Meeting in March 2013 in San Francisco. We look forward to seeing you there.