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Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement Added to 2015 SBM Awards

Laura L. Hayman, RN, PhD, FAAN, Awards Committee chair

The Society of Behavioral Medicine’s (SBM) Awards Committee is honored to open the 2015 call for awards with the addition of the Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement.

Jessie Gruman
Jessie Gruman

Jessie Gruman, PhD, was an SBM fellow and this year, just before her passing, her colleagues created SBM’s Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement to annually recognize an individual or organization that has made a pivotal contribution to research, practices, and policies that have advanced the understanding of patient engagement. Dr. Gruman was presented with the inaugural award during SBM’s 2014 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Gruman fought tirelessly as a health behavior advocate and, unfortunately, understood all too well the struggles of dealing with serious illnesses. She battled several cancers during her lifetime and, all the while, remained committed to describing and improving the health care experience for patients like herself.

“Gruman moved beyond her individual experiences to search out and categorize lessons learned by others,” Douglas Kamerow, MD, MPH, wrote in The BMJ article, “Lessons from a Fallen Hero.”

Dr. Gruman authored several significant books on patients and their engagement, and she created useful tools and guidelines for patients. In 1992, she founded the Center for Advancing Health (CFAH), a nonpartisan, Washington-based research institute that strengthened the evidence for patient engagement. Dr. Gruman served as the organization’s president until her death.

The Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement will carry on Dr. Gruman’s legacy through continual recognition of individuals and organizations working toward the advancement of patient engagement. Recipients of the award will be invited to deliver a master lecture in Dr. Gruman’s honor during future annual meetings.

To apply for the Jessie Gruman Award for Health Engagement please visit SBM’s call for awards Web page.

For further information on Dr. Gruman and her impact on health engagement, please read her biography on the CFAH website.