As cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among adults worldwide, we believe it is overdue for the Society of Behavioral Medicine to have a Special Interest Group (SIG) dedicated to CVD. Many of us who are strongly committed to CVD research belong to multiple SIGs that focus on CVD risk factors, but not on CVD itself. Risk factors, such as diet and exercise, are clearly relevant to CVD, but they are also relevant to the primary and secondary prevention of many other conditions. Without a CVD SIG, secondary prevention of CVD is especially likely to be neglected, as this work does not currently have a clear “home” within SBM. Without a CVD SIG, we miss an opportunity to gather many extraordinary professionals and dedicate a space to collaborate and share CVD research and clinical expertise so that we can inform policy, design research, and better serve CVD patients as well as individuals at high-risk for CVD.
So about a year ago we launched a CVD SIG-in-formation. Our SIG-in-formation will collaborate with the existing SIGs who have done so much for our patients and organizations. Leading in accordance with their example, we hope to organize content at the SBM Annual Meeting that applies to CVD researchers and providers as well as to those who serve patients and communities who are most vulnerable. A more targeted focus on CVD within our organization will strongly contribute to fight for health equity considering, for example, that nearly half of non-Hispanic black adults have some form of CVD. We are proud to be a member of an organization aggressively striving for health equity, and are excited to use this new SIG to bolster our efforts. The complexity of adequate CVD self-management requires special attention within behavioral medicine so that we can meet patients', families', communities', and health systems' needs.
The current CVD SIG-in-formation leadership consists of Dr. Matthew Whited (Chair), Dr. Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher (Co-Chair), Dr. Carly Goldstein (Membership Director), Dr. Andrew Busch (SBM Meeting Activity Coordinator), Dr. Emily Gathright (Communications Director), and Dr. Allison Gaffey (Trainee Member). As a SIG-in-formation we are strongly focused on growing our SIG membership to demonstrate the high the level of interest in CVD research existing among SBM members. If you are interested in joining the conversation, please join our listserv by emailing Andrew Schmidt (email@example.com).