Several Penn State researchers participated in the Society of Behavioral Medicine 43rd Annual Meeting, held recently in Baltimore.
The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) is a non-profit organization that brings together multiple independent disciplines – from nursing, psychology, and medicine to public health – to provide new perspectives and progress on human behavior, health, and illness.
According to SBM President David Conroy, professor of kinesiology, human development and family studies and public health sciences, the meeting was a magnificent showing of Penn State’s interdisciplinary strength. “Presenters from Penn State represented at least four different colleges, and there were 41 abstracts submitted from a total of 88 unique authors and co-authors from Penn State.”
As SBM president, Conroy worked with the program chair and Penn State alumnus Dr. Ellen Beckjord, vice-president for population health and clinical optimization, UPMC Health Plan, to organize the meeting, as well as present the presidential keynote, “The Urgency of Adaptation in Behavioral Medicine.”
“It was a call for the field to be responsive to the health impacts accrued from generations of systemic racism, decades of the climate crisis, and years of the pandemic. Despite the incredible vulnerability that many of us feel at the moment, it is also a moment of incredible opportunity for social and behavioral scientists,” said Conroy.
“Our work on behavior change is more relevant than ever as people experience emergent threats to their health. The experts in behavioral medicine specialize in developing solutions to improve health and I called on them to adapt their work to improve our science, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and society broadly.”
Additionally, Conroy had the honor of presenting Dr. Kathryn (Katie) Schmitz, distinguished professor of public health sciences at Penn State, with the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society.
Among the Penn Staters who participated were several SSRI cofunded faculty members, including Jennie Noll, Jennifer Savage, Hannah Schreier, Joshua Smyth, and Chad Shenk. SSRI Assistant Director Danielle Symons Downs also participated in the event.
The meeting included over 1600 people from 15+ countries with more than 150 sessions and 970 posters over four days. Additionally, 14 million Twitter users were reached by tweets about the meeting.
The call for submissions to present at the 2023 SBM Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ (April 26-29, 2023) will go live over the summer at www.sbm.org/meetings.