Ellen Engelhardt, PhD
Aisha Langford, PhD
Deputy Editor
by Ellen Engelhardt, PhD; SMDM e-newsletter Editor

As we start a new year and leave behind 2020, a challenging year for everyone, I hope that you have had some time over the holiday season to reflect and recharge. Even though we are not out of the woods yet, the end of the pandemic may be in sight. But as we still face much uncertainty and disruption to our lives in the months ahead, my hope for this year is that we all have the strength and support we need to keep moving forward (“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” [Martin Luther King, Jr.]).

Many of you shared how the pandemic has affected you personally and professionally last year. Thank you! In this edition we report the results, please take a look. This edition’s MDM Poll was created by Davene Wright and Natalia Kunst (SMDM Digital Communications committee). SMDM is interested in knowing your views on social media platforms, also in light of issues such as misinformation, hate speech and harassment. The society is evaluating its presence on social media. Your views can help to shape the social media policy moving forward. We hope that yet again you are willing to take a couple of minutes to share your views with us!

As you may have read, the 2021 Annual Meeting will be a virtual event and the European conference has been moved to 2022, though we are also planning a short European virtual event for June of 2021. Take a look at the meeting news section for more information and a recap of last year's virtual meeting. In this edition, alongside all the Meeting and Society news, we have the following interesting columns:

  • Natasha Stout, discusses the plans and initiatives to strengthen and grow SMDM in her President’s column.
  • Lisa Prosser, SMDM’s outgoing President, reflects on the past year in her Past President’s Farewell column.
  • Aisha Langford, Deputy Editor of the newsletter, brings us another very interesting Hot Topic: After COVID, how can we use the lessons learned so far to address non-COVID health needs? Take a look and let us know what you think.
  • Eline Krijkamp reflects on 2020 and her research journey last year in this edition’s SMDM Fellows column.
  • Brian Zikmund-Fisher, incoming Editor in Chief of MDM and MDM P&P, talks about Tutorial and Explainer Articles in SMDM’s Journals as a way to teach the world about MDM.

As always, we hope you enjoy this newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, if you have an idea for a commentary. We would love to hear what’s going on in your MDM corner of the world. Please contact me ( or Aisha (, if you’d like to discuss your commentary idea.
Natasha Stout, PhD

SMDM President's Column
by Natasha Stout, PhD; Harvard Medical School

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

2020 has been a tough year for all our communities. I am hopeful that 2021 will bring brighter days ahead. I am grateful for your continued support and participation in SMDM as they are critical for our success as a Society. Despite the challenges of 2020, SMDM came together and had a productive year that included the hiring of our new Executive Director, Diane Nickolson, generous grant support from the Moore Foundation for critical COVID-19 policy modeling, and our first, very successful virtual meeting chaired by Alan Schwartz and David Meltzer! A special thank you to Past President Lisa Prosser for her steady, calm, and forward-thinking vision for SMDM and leading us through an uncertain year. 

I also want to use this first column to highlight a few plans and initiatives I hope will strengthen and grow SMDM in the year ahead. These ideas reflect your feedback and suggestions as well as a desire to prepare for challenges that we face as a Society. In particular, we will likely again face a fiscal shortfall in our budget. The good news is that the wisdom of SMDM’s past leadership has prepared us for years like this through their creation and stewardship of the reserve funds and will help us weather the COVID-19 storm. As we finalize our 2021 budget and look ahead, fiscal responsibility is a priority and we do have some tough choices. Luckily as MDMers, we excel at decision making under constraints. We can also take comfort that we have a strong well-functioning society with dedicated members and staff. These things will sustain us and allow us to adapt, rebuild and grow in the coming years.

With this in mind, what is feasible in 2021? I hope together we will tackle the following mix of inward and outward looking initiatives this year: governance, membership, and strategic planning. 

1)    Governance: With our new Executive Director and the long-time support of PMA staff, we are undertaking an update of our governance documents, processes, contracts and more. We will aim to ensure that all of the changes in structures, leadership, and new initiatives from the prior years are incorporated in our processes and procedures. Now more than ever with tight budgets, this will help streamline our activities, minimize unnecessary expense and time, and enable sustainable processes. It also will help us ensure our initiatives on inclusion, openness, and transparency are woven into our daily operations.

To that end, we are also pleased to announce that Ahmed Bayoumi and Beate Jahn will be leading the Board-initiated Special Task Force on anti-racism and diversity. This short-term task force will be launched in the new year with the goal of advising SMDM on how we can integrate and elevate these issues in our Society and expand initiatives to the outside. Thanks to all who answered our call for volunteers! We have some amazing members! We hope to engage each of you who has already volunteered and hopefully engage many more of you in the coming year to move this important work forward.

2)    Membership: Last year SMDM began rethinking member value. As the COVID-19 pandemic has left us even more challenged on time and resources, it has also given us greater pause to consider what we value about SMDM membership. The Membership Committee will be continuing the work of the Special Committee on Member Value that Lisa initiated last year to survey all of you about benefits, activities, areas of interest, and other ideas that you may have for SMDM. This survey will also help inform our strategic planning for the future (see #3!). Please stay tuned.

In addition, you may have seen the recent calls for committee volunteers. In the coming year, we hope to expand these calls by launching a micro-volunteer program that offers smaller, shorter-term opportunities for you to participate in SMDM activities and initiatives. So many of you already volunteer for SMDM in big and small ways. I’m hopeful that through a more formal volunteer program we can engage even more of you and also recognize more explicitly the work that you all are doing on behalf of SMDM to build a better sense of community.

3)    Strategic planning: As we are reaching the end of our last strategic plan, we will begin new strategic planning for our future in the new year. Despite all the uncertainty last year and this year, it will be critical that we do some self-reflection as a Society, think about our priorities, what we can accomplish, and identify new and innovative opportunities to grow SMDM members, methods, and our journals as well as our reach and impact on the world. This will help us ensure we remain methods leaders, continue to conduct clinical and policy relevant work, and develop a pipeline for the next generation of MDMers with an eye towards increasing diversity and inclusion.

We have a history of doing strategic planning routinely and some flagship initiatives have been launched over the years because of those efforts. For example, the SMDM-Moore Fellowship program grew out of our most recent 2015-2020 plan. This round, we will begin with an assessment of our progress and accomplishments with that plan and then begin the process of looking forward. Over the next few months, please be on the lookout for opportunities to get involved (like the survey in #2 above!) and have your voice heard about the future of our society.
In closing, while we will have to make some tough decisions this year, I am optimistic about SMDM’s future and am looking forward to working with all of you on the ideas above and more. During this past summer, I came across a tiny painted rainbow heart that someone had left tucked in the middle of tree stump on a path about 2 miles down from the main trail. It was a good reminder to me that little acts of kindness and joy make a difference and I hope together we can do the same for SMDM and beyond!

I would love to hear your thoughts on these initiatives, and look forward to learning more about what areas interest you and where you would like to engage in SMDM. Please send me a note!

The opinions stated in the following commentaries are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the Society for Medical Decision Making or the author's institution.
Lisa Prosser, PhD
Past President's Column
by Lisa Prosser, PhD; University of Michigan
It’s been a tremendous privilege to serve as president of SMDM this year. It certainly wasn’t the year any of us expected but this year showed without a doubt the strength and community of our society. I started the year with clear plans for my goals during the year as SMDM president. But the world had other plans, and together with the executive committee, the board, and all of our members, we came together to navigate unexpected challenges. After our longtime executive director retired suddenly, we were extremely fortunate to welcome Diane Nickolson, our new Executive Director, and her tremendous wealth of experience to our leadership team. With the arrival of Covid-19, we quickly focused on new plans for the Berlin meeting and pivoting our annual October meeting to a virtual format.
The pandemic has placed an unexpected spotlight on our field and how this work truly reflects our values and goals as a society. It has been incredible to see our members working across the globe through modeling, risk communication, and partnering with decision makers. We can also celebrate the SMDM-Moore Foundation COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative, an unanticipated milestone, as modeling has taken a prominent role in fighting the pandemic. Our strong community and collaborative spirit are evident through all of this work. I’ve seen many of our members in the media explaining concepts of decision science and many more working behind the scenes to support decisions at the national, state, provincial, and local settings. It’s the heart of what our society is about.

Unfortunately, this year also brought devastating racism and violence in the US against Black Americans and the continuing divisiveness is unspeakable. In May, we came together as a society with a statement against racism and in this coming year we will craft specific initiatives to address racism in our corner of the world.

I’m so grateful to the executive committee, the board, our special committee co-chairs, the meeting planning committees, past presidents, and other leadership for all of their contributions as we navigated these challenges throughout the year. On a personal note, my SMDM community sustained me through lock down and the following months. I’m so grateful to my friends and colleagues at SMDM. A very special thank you to Past President Heather Gold and current President Tasha Stout. In October, I was delighted to hand over the reins to current SMDM President Natasha Stout. She is already doing an incredible job leading us through another challenging year.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Alan Schwartz for his incredible work as Editor in Chief of Medical Decision Making and MDM P&P. Throughout the past 8 years, he has deftly overseen substantial growth in manuscript submissions, birthed a new journal (MDM P&P), and has advanced our society’s mission – to advance the science of MDM through high-quality and high-impact methodological publications and to train the next generation. Alan, on behalf of the Board and the entire Society, thank you so much for your incredible commitment and stewardship of the journals during these past years. We are tremendously grateful for your service.
Despite the incredibly challenging decisions that we needed to make, I was continually impressed by the collegiality and the incredible commitment of our members. It made me incredibly proud to be a member of this society as we work together to advance the field and nurture our community. I look forward to seeing all of you soon virtually, and in-person!

In partnership,
Lisa Prosser

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time." - RBG
Aisha Langford, PhD
Deputy Editor
Hot Topics: After COVID, how can we use the lessons learned so far to address non-COVID health needs? 
By Aisha Langford, PhD; Deputy Editor

To say that 2020 was an unprecedented year would be an understatement. 2020 included social unrest, political challenges, and strains on an already underfunded public health system. Most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic affected people worldwide physically, emotionally, and economically. Accordingly, an infusion of money and scientific expertise were dedicated to fighting the pandemic. This investment of financial resources and expert time paid off in many ways. We now have safe and effective vaccines to fight against COVID-19, and better ways to care for hospitalized patients with the disease.

In parallel, excess number of non-COVID deaths have been reported, potentially due to recommended delays in care, selective delays or avoidance of care by patients concerned about going back into health care settings.

Moving forward in 2021, important questions may be raised such as:

  1. How, if at all, will lessons learned from COVID benefit vaccine development for other diseases?
  2. How will health professionals convince people to resume routine care for chronic conditions with great public health significance such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cancer?
  3. How will policymakers decide which chronic disease prevention efforts should be prioritized once COVID is under control (and how will “under control” be defined)?
  4. Which, if any, other infectious diseases will have renewed interest and greater funding (e.g., HIV and viral hepatitis)?
  5. How will COVID-19 affect outcomes for “forgotten” or neglected tropical diseases?
  6. What will be the long-term, spillover effects of the pandemic for non-COVID patients?

Many people were inspired by the rapid response to the pandemic and are hopeful about the possibilities for better collaborations in the future to address non-COVID health issues. For example, will community health assessments be integrated into priority setting for non-COVID health needs? The Association for Community Health Improvement notes that 3 to 6 priorities are typically selected based on criteria such as: magnitude of problem, severity of the problem, how vulnerable populations will be affected, and availability of hospital and community resources. COVID taught us many lessons about ourselves, community, and medical innovation. Let’s hope that the lessons learned and collaborations forged during the pandemic will be implemented to improve care for people with other diseases. 
Eline Krijkamp,
PhD Student
Ruth Ndjaboue Njike, PhD
Rachel Pozzar, PhD, RN
Kyu Eun Lee, PhD Candidate
SMDM Fellows Column: “Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile” 
In previous columns, our SMDM fellows introduced themselves, talked about strategies to remain productive despite the pandemic, and suggested how to prepare for the SMDM conference. This column is about the research journey of Eline Krijkamp.  

When I applied for the SMDM fellowship, my CV included the above quote from Connor Franta which inspires me on many fronts. In research, I try to stay close to my own passion and to use my energy and enthusiasm to work towards solving health(care) issues using data-driven methods. The pandemic made me wonder if I should rather quote: “Let your research change the world, but don’t let the world change your research”.

I started 2020 planning to take courses and collaborate on a model that simulates the effect of a mind-body lifestyle intervention by assessing whether this resilience training intervention reduces perceived chronic stress and prevent burnout among (medical) students. We also planned to investigate how simulating the trial before recruiting participants could optimize the study design. Not surprisingly, the year did not go as I planned. Meanwhile, the health professionals we had hoped to serve faced many new stressors.

The pandemic motivated our team to change gears and do what we could to mitigate these stressors. I had the opportunity to work on two COVID-related research projects. In the first project, we developed a model that estimates the expected health loss due to surgical delay because of the use of operating rooms for COVID care. This measure can be interpreted as a measure of urgency and could be used to minimize population health effects in times of operating room scarcity. In the second project, we are exploring whether the value of information obtained from RCTs of COVID-19 therapies outweighs the foregone benefit due to delayed implementation. Currently, we simulate 5 drugs and try to keep up with all relevant available evidence. Our next goal is a graphical tool to communicate the results. 

Reflecting on 2020, I can say that my research path took a little detour. But the changes in the world made my smile about our field of research bigger than ever before. Therefore, I think the quote should be: “Allow the world to change your research if it makes you smile”. 
Ellen Engelhardt, PhD
Survey Poll Results:
How the past 6 months with COVID-19 restrictions/lockdowns and working from home has affected you.  
By Ellen Engelhardt, PhD; SMDM e-newsletter Editor

For many of us, 2020 was a year unlike any other. In the last poll of 2020, we asked you to tell us about how the COVID-19 restrictions/lockdowns and working from home have affected you. A total of 103 colleagues have taken the time to complete the poll. Thank you for sharing your experience! SMDM colleagues who completed the survey were predominantly from North America (75%) and most work in the SMDM subfield of Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making (35%) and Health Services, Outcomes, and Policy Research (29%).

Compared to prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns/restrictions, 43% of respondents reported that on average they worked longer hours, whilst 50% worked the same number of hours or less during lockdown/restrictions. Respondents indicated that the restrictions and working from home has impacted their lives both positively and negatively. Example quotes:

Working remotely and with a flexible schedule has been a significant improvement in my work productively, health, and life. As terrible as this pandemic is, I am almost hesitant to mention it, but this really is an unanticipated silver lining - finally pushing companies to use technology correctly to address the needs of so many to be able to work from home, at non-traditional hours

I like the number of meetings that I can attend virtually

I spent more time pretending to work, but fewer hours actually working”

“Longer hours, but lower productivity, less efficient (constant interruptions with remote school for kids)” 

Overall, 51% of respondents reported worse work-life balance, 29% feel their work-life balance is the same, and 12% report better work-life balance. Nine percent of respondents found it difficult to answer this question for various reasons. Example quotes:

Probably better [work-life balance] on the whole, but with some very intense periods”

“I have worked really hard to achieve balance and re-energize. I finally feel that I'm getting the hang of it, but it's been a rough 6 months

Difficult to evaluate as not travelling as much so home for family but more guilt to keep working without breaks, and be more attentive to children because they are home too

Looking back at the first 6 months of COVID-19 lockdowns/restrictions, 60% of respondents indicated that their level of concern about experiencing a burn-out had increased slightly to considerably. A common theme among respondents is feeling isolated and disconnected. Some respondents expressed feeling overwhelmed and depressed by the isolation, uncertainty, powerlessness and frustration with leaders and fellow citizens.

The intensity, the grief (collective and individual), the anxiety... the amplified complexity of decision making... it's all just so draining.

With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and even though it will take time, there is hope that there will be room for in-person interaction and a greater sense of normalcy in the near future.
Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD
Editor in Chief, Medical Decision Making and Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice
Teach the World about MDM through Tutorial and Explainer Articles in the SMDM Journals 
By Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD; Editor in Chief, Medical Decision Making and Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice

One of my goals during my term as Editor of the SMDM journals, Medical Decision Making (MDM) and MDM Policy & Practice (MDM P&P), is to increase the visibility and use of MDM research beyond the SMDM community. Between our meetings, short courses, and journals, I think we do a pretty good job at making sure that members of this community keep up with the latest work in our field and learn from each other. Yet, as much as SMDM is a community of people who care about advancing methodologies, I sometimes wonder whether we don’t spend enough time sharing what we know in a way that can enable others to follow in our footsteps.

It is this idea that is at the heart of the call for Tutorial and Explainer manuscripts that we recently published in both MDM and MDM P&P. What’s the difference? In Medical Decision Making, we are seeking tutorials, articles for fellow researchers and practitioners that teach them methodological best practices and cutting-edge techniques. Tutorials can be highly focused, or they can be clearly presented overviews of best practices. Have you taught a short course at SMDM meetings in the past few years? I’d be interested in seeing tutorial manuscripts that capture and share some of the great course content we see in these courses.

In MDM Policy & Practice, we are looking for explainers, which are written for a broad audience that might include practicing clinicians, policymakers, journalists, and/or patients as appropriate to the topic. As an example, see the paper by Niklas Keller and Mirjam Jenny that we recently published in MDM P&P titled “How to Determine When SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Testing Is or Is Not Useful for Population Screening: A Tutorial.” While the title says “tutorial”, this paper uses foundational MDM concepts to explain why the value of antibody testing is dependent on the current prevalence in the population, and it does so using language that any public health official or journalist could understand. I encourage everyone in SMDM to both share these explainer articles broadly within your professional networks and to consider writing some yourself.

I sincerely hope that many of you will see this call for papers as an opportunity and that we become so inundated with good tutorial and explainer articles that they become a regular feature in both journals. I just ask that you reach out to the MDM Editorial Office ( to pitch your idea and get some feedback before you submit.

In addition, I want to draw prospective authors’ attention to the other changes that were announced with the Call for Tutorials / Explainers and being implemented as of January 2021. These include double blind review (authors must submit anonymized manuscript files separate from their title pages), requiring structured abstracts for most articles, and requesting bullet point highlights and draft social medial content. Please see the journals’ policies and procedures website at for more details.
18th Biennial European Conference
Meeting co-chairs: Beate Jahn, PhD, Silke Siebert, MD, Tobias Kurth, MD, MSc, ScD, and Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD

After much deliberation and consideration with respect to COVID-19, SMDM has again decided to postpone the in-person 2021 Berlin European Meeting to 2022.

The good news is that we are planning a virtual European SMDM Spring Event. We are excited to develop new opportunities to connect with our colleagues and provide up-to-date insights into European and international medical decision making topics. Please continue to save the date of 7 June 2021 on your calendars! Details about the 2021 virtual European SMDM Spring Event and new dates for the 2022 Meeting will be sent as they become available.
SMDM 43rd Annual Meeting
Meeting co-chairs: Victoria Shaffer, PhD and Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH

The theme for the 2021 North American Annual Meeting is ‘From the Individual to Society: How Systems and Societal Factors Shape Health Care Decisions’. Although the meeting themes are typically chosen a few years in advance, 2020 has demonstrated an urgent need for research on how systemic and societal factors influence the health of individuals. In the United States, this year has brought renewed questions about how systemic racism affects the health of our citizens from access to healthcare to large disparities in COVID-19 infection rates, morbidity, and mortality. In Canada, the death of Joyce Echaquan, a member of the Atikamekw Nation who sought medical treatment for stomach pains, highlighted the systemic racism that exists towards the country’s Indigenous peoples in the publicly funded healthcare system. In Mexico, health policy measures, including stay-at-home orders, designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have been linked to a dramatic increase in the rate of female homicides or ‘femicides’. Similar cases from outside North America have demonstrated the global impact of societal factors and healthcare systems on health and well-being. The pandemic has also brought to the fore the role of individual conversations amplified by social media outlets heavily influencing health care decisions made by individuals as well as health systems. These include decisions to wear masks, and decisions about vaccination.

Our annual meetings are an outlet for research that addresses our society’s mission, to advance research in medical decision making and improve health outcomes. As an international society we work together to learn from differences in behaviors and policies from around the world. We are inviting submissions for symposia, short courses, and individual abstracts that directly address the 2021 meeting theme: How Systems and Societal Factors Shape Health Care Decisions. The call for symposia will be announced in January 2021 and symposia submissions will be due March 26, 2021. The call for abstracts and short course proposals will be released in March 2021 and submissions will be due May 28, 2021.

Given the global uncertainty around COVID-19, the 2021 Annual Meeting will be a virtual event. The conference will be held Monday October 18th through Wednesday October 20th. We are still planning a lot of the meeting details, but we are working towards a globally inclusive meeting that presents a blend of “on-demand” research presentations and “real-time” discussions and roundtables. Please be on the lookout for our 2021 call for symposia, short courses, and abstracts and begin planning your submissions now!
SMDM 42nd Annual Meeting Recap:
Meeting co-chairs: David Meltzer, MD, PhD and Alan Schwartz, PhD

We are delighted to report that there were 669 registrants for the SMDM 42nd Annual Meeting, with a record-setting 821 short course registrations. The virtual meeting format helped to expand our reach, and allowed people to take as many short courses as they wished. We had attendees from 41 countries, when typically, we have less than 20 countries represented at the live meetings. With the scholarship support offered we were able to give 47 scholarships with one year of membership to trainees and to people from Low and Middle-Income Countries.
The SMDM is delighted to be able to make accessible to everyone so many of the scientific and other informative sessions that recently were presented at the SMDM 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting. The virtual meeting was very successful, well attended and well received; and we are happy to make these sessions available to expand on the reach of the meeting and support the SMDM goals.
Sessions available include all of the keynote sessions focused on Covid-19, which began with a special address from Harvey Fineberg of the Moore Foundation, followed by panel discussion presentations of three Covid-19 decision making initiatives. Each of the symposia presented during the annual meeting are also available on-demand, as are select short courses and career development sessions. We have also included the Wakelet story via Twitter in case you missed it.
Here is the link to access these on-demand, free recordings:
2021 Call for Officer and Trustee Nominations

The Nominating Committee for the Society for Medical Decision Making is soliciting nominations for the following positions:

Vice President-Elect
3 Trustees (including 1 International Trustee)

The committee invites SMDM members to submit the names of members whom you believe would serve the Society well. Self-nominations are encouraged! The Nominating Committee will consider all submitted names. At least two nominees will be selected for each position. Upon approval of the slate by the Board of Trustees, the list of nominees will be sent to all SMDM members. Additional nominees will then be accepted by petition, as described by the Society’s Bylaws.

The deadline to submit Officer and Trustee Nominations is Friday, 19 February 2021 at 5PM US ET.

2021 Nominating Committee:
Lisa Prosser, PhD - Chair
Elizabeth Fenwick, PhD
Natalia Kunst
Heather Taffet Gold, PhD
Torbjørn Wisløff, MSc, PhD
The SMDM could not function without the many contributions of its leadership
The SMDM Officers and Board (outgoing)

  • Lisa Prosser, PhD, President (United States)
  • Natasha Stout, PhD, President-Elect (United States)
  • Heather Taffet Gold, PhD, Past President (United States)
  • Mary Politi, PhD, Vice President (United States)
  • Beate Jahn, PhD, Vice President-Elect (Austria)
  • Ava John-Baptiste, PhD, Secretary-Treasurer (Canada)
  • J. Robert Beck, MD, Historian (United States)
  • Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD, Trustee (Mexico)
  • Esther de Bekker Grob, PhD, Trustee (The Netherlands)
  • Jesse Jansen, PhD, Trustee (The Netherlands)
  • Ankur Pandya, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Victoria Shaffer, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Joanna Siegel, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Torbjørn Wisløff, PhD, Trustee (Norway)
  • Holly Witteman, PhD, Trustee (Canada)
  • Davene Wright, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Alan Schwartz, PhD, Journal Editor, ex-officio (United States)
  • Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, Newsletter Editor, ex-officio (United States)

SMDM Officers and Board (incoming)

  • Lisa Prosser, PhD, Past President (United States)
  • Natasha Stout, PhD, President (United States)
  • Olga Kostopoulou, PhD, MSc, President-Elect (England)
  • Marieke De Vries , Vice President Elect (Netherlands)
  • Beate Jahn, PhD, Vice President (Austria)
  • Ava John-Baptiste, PhD, Secretary-Treasurer (Canada)
  • Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD, Secretary-Treasurer Elect (United States)
  • J. Robert Beck, MD, Historian (United States)
  • Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD, Trustee (Mexico)
  • Jesse Jansen, PhD, Trustee (The Netherlands)
  • Ankur Pandya, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Victoria Shaffer, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Davene Wright, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Hester Lingsma, Trustee (Netherlands)
  • Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH, Trustee (United States)
  • Tara Lavelle, PhD, Trustee (United States)
  • Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, Editor Journal, ex-officio (United States)
  • Ellen Englehardt, PhD, Editor newsletter ex-officio (Netherlands)



  • Karen Sepucha, PhD (United States)
  • Torbjørn Wisløff, PhD (Norway)
  • Janine van Til, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Emmanuel Drabo, PhD (United States)
  • Aubri Hoffman, PhD (United States)
  • Jeffrey Hoch, PhD (United States)

Career Development

  • Tara Lavelle, PhD (United States)
  • Channing Tate (United States)

Digital Communications

  • Davene Wright, PhD (United States)
  • Natlia Kunst (United States)


  • Petros Pechlivanoglou, M.Sc., PhD (Canada)
  • Marieke de Vries, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Ashley Leech, PhD (United States)
  • Jeffrey Hoch, PhD (United States)
  • Beate Jahn, PhD (Austria)
  • Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD (Austria)
  • Andrew Scott LaJoie, PhD, MSPH (United States)
  • Anna Heath, PhD (Canada)
  • Mohammad Jalali (United States)                 


  • Bruce Schackman (United States)
  • Ava John-Baptiste, PhD (Canada)
  • Heather Taffet Gold, PhD (United States)
  • Natasha Stout, PhD (United States)
  • Olga Kostopoulou, PhD, MSc (United Kingdom)

Membership and Credentials

  • Ellen Lipstein, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Ying Lin (United States)
  • Van Nghiem, PhD (United States)
  • Scott B. Cantor, PhD (United States)
  • Phuc Le, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Michael Kattan, PhD (United States)
  • Mary Politi, PhD (United States)
  • James Stahl, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Bin Wu (China)
  • Ashish Deshmukh, PhD, MPH (United States)


  • Heather Taffet Gold, PhD (United States)
  • Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD (Austria)
  • Joanna Hart, MD, MSHP (United States)
  • Jesse Jansen, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Zachary Rivers, PharmD (United States)
  • Ahmed Bayoumi, MD, MSc (Canada)


  • Elisabeth Fenwick, PhD, MSc (United Kingdom)
  • Alan Schwartz, PhD, (United States)
  • Dominick Frosch, PhD (United States)
  • Tanya Bentley, PhD (United States)
  • Robert Hamm, PhD (United States)
  • Harold Sox, MD (United States)
  • Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Jennifer Elston Lafata, PhD (United States)
  • Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD (United States)
  • Jesse Jansen, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Natasha Stout, PhD (United States)


  • Alan Schwartz, PhD (United States)
  • John Clarke, MD (United States)

Meeting Chairs and Planning Committee Members

42nd Annual North American Meeting (Virtual)

  • David Meltzer, MD (United States)
  • Alan Schwartz, PhD (United States)
  • Aubri Hoffman, PhD (United States)
  • Hawre Jalal, PhD, MD (United States)
  • Jeffrey Hoch, PhD (United States)
  • Victoria Shaffer, PhD (United States)

18th Biennial European Conference

  • Beate Jahn, PhD (Austria)
  • Silke Siebert, MD (Austria)
  • Tobias Kurth, MD, MSc, ScD (Germany)
  • Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD (Austria)
  • Hilary Bekker, PhD (United Kingdom)
  • Felicitas Kühne, MSc (Austria)
  • Jef van den Ende, MD, PhD (Belgium)
  • Liz Fenwick, PhD (United Kingdom)
  • Dan Greenberg, PhD (Israel)
  • László Gulácsi, MD, MSc, PhD (Hungary)
  • Peder Halvorsen, MD, PhD (Norway)
  • Evi Hatziandreou, PhD (Greece)
  • Lisa Hess, PhD (United States)
  • Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Jesse Jansen, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Kathryn McDonald, PhD, MM (United States)
  • Javier Mar Medina, MD, PhD (Spain)
  • Beate Sander, PhD (Canada)
  • Marieke de Vries, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Torbjørn Wisløff, PhD​ (Norway)
  • Janine van Til, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Gaby Sroczynski, MPH, Dr. PH (Austria)
  • Elske van den Akker-van Marle, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen, MD, MPH, PhD (Norway)
  • Olga Kostopoulou, PhD (England)
  • Davene Wright, PhD (United States)
  • Sibylle Puntscher, PhD (Austria)

Interest Group Chairs

  • Roy Poses, MD (United States)
  • James Stahl, MD (United States)
  • Luciana Garbayo, MD, PhD (United States)
  • Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD (Mexico)
  • Kyu Eun Lee (United States)
  • Sarah Munro, PhD (Canada)
  • Eva Enns, PhD (United States)
  • William Wong, PhD (Canada)
  • Tanya Bentley, PhD (United States)
  • Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Randy Grout, MD, MS, FAAP (United States)
  • Mike Paulden, PhD (Canada)
  • Torbjørn Wisløff, PhD (Norway)
  • Muge Capan, PhD (United States)
  • Jody Lin, MD (United States)
  • Davene Wright, PhD (United States)
  • Ashley Leech, PhD (United States)

Special Committee Chairs and Members

  • Heather Taffet Gold, PhD (United States)

Awards Judges

  • Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD (Mexico)
  • Dana Alden, PhD (United States)
  • Michael Barry (United States)
  • Ahmed Bayoumi (Canada)
  • Lauren Cipriano, PhD (Canada)
  • Ashish Deshmukh, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Eva Enns, PhD (United States)
  • Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD (United States)
  • Janel Hanmer (United States)
  • Ashley J. Housten, OTD, MSCI (United States)
  • Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Ava John-Baptiste, PhD (Canada)
  • Murray Krahn, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Canada)
  • Shan Liu (United States)
  • Petros Pechlivanoglou, M.Sc., PhD (Canada)
  • Michael Pignone, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Laura Scherer (United States)
  • Victoria Shaffer, PhD (United States)
  • Dawn Stacey, RN, PhD (Canada)
  • James Stahl, MD, CM, MPH (United States)
  • Torbjørn Wisløff, PhD (Norway)
  • Holly Witteman, PhD, Trustee (Canada)
  • John Wong (United States)
  • Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD (United States)

Volunteer Mentors

  • Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD (Mexico)
  • Dana Alden, PhD (United States)
  • Anirban Basu, PhD (United States)
  • Tanya Bentley, MS, PhD (United States)
  • John Bridges, PhD (United States)
  • Scott B. Cantor, PhD (United States)
  • Jag Chhatwal, PhD (United States)
  • Jarrod Dalton, PhD (United States)
  • Ashish Deshmukh, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Mark Eckman, MD (United States)
  • Elamin Elbasha, PhD, MA (United States)
  • Eva Enns, PhD (United States)
  • Angie Fagerlin, PhD (United States)
  • Heather Gold, PhD (United States)
  • Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD (United States)
  • Robert Golub, MD (United States)
  • Robert Hamm, PhD (United States)
  • Elbert Huang, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Karen Kuntz, ScD (United States)
  • Rowan Iskandar, PhD (Switzerland)
  • Jesse Jansen, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Ava John-Baptiste, PhD (Canada)
  • Michael Kattan, PhD (United States)
  • Olga Kostopoulou, MSc, PhD (England)
  • Steve Kymes, PhD, MA (United States)
  • Neda Laiteerapong, MD, MS (United States)
  • Phuc Le, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Ellen Lipstein, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Kathryn Martinez, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Dan Matlock, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Kathy McDonald, PhD (United States)
  • Ankur Pandya, PhD (United States)
  • Ellen Peters, PhD (United States)
  • Mary Politi, PhD (United States)
  • Michael Rothberg, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Carolyn Rutter, PhD (United States)
  • Gillian Sanders Schmidler, PhD (United States)
  • Victoria Shaffer, PhD (United States)
  • Joanna Siegel, ScD (United States)
  • James Stahl, MD, CM, MPH (United States)
  • Natasha Stout, PhD (United States)
  • Joel Tsevat, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Reza Yaesoubi, PhD (United States)
  • Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD (United States)

Editors and Editorial Boards

  • Alan Schwartz, PhD (United States)
  • Rebecca J. Fiala (United States)
  • Ellen G. Engelhardt, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Aisha Langford, PhD (United States)
  • Dana (Dane) Alden (United States)
  • Lazaros (Laz) Andronis
  • Bonnie Armstrong
  • Pelham Barton, PhD (United Kingdom)
  • Caroline Bascoul-Mollevi (France)
  • Robert Böhm (Germany)
  • Wändi Bruine de Bruin (United Kingdom)
  • Kerri Cavanaugh
  • Su-Hsin Chang (United States)
  • Jagpreet (Jag) Chhatwal (United States)
  • James Codella (United States)
  • Barry Dewitt (United States)
  • James (Jim) Dolan, MD (United States)
  • Simon Eckermann, Dphil (Australia)
  • Elamin Elbasha (United States)
  • Tom Fahey, MD
  • Steffan Frosi-Stella, MD, PhD (Canada)
  • Darryl Gray (United States)
  • Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Paul Han, MD, MA, MPH (United States)
  • Janel Hanmer (United States)
  • Malek Hannouf, PhD (Canada)
  • Felicity Harper
  • Joanna Hart (United States)
  • David Hutton, PhD (United States)
  • Christopher (Chris) Jackson
  • Robert (Bob) Jayes, MD (United States)
  • Masahito Jimbo, MD, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Quang Le
  • Sarah Lillie, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Nan Luo
  • Daniel (Dan) Matlock, MD (United States)
  • Eric Meadows, PhD (United States)
  • Wendy Nelson, PhD (United States)
  • Ankur Pandya, PhD (United States)
  • Petros Pechlivanoglou, M.Sc., PhD (Canada)
  • Adam Perzynski, PhD (United States)
  • A. Simon Pickard, PhD (United States)
  • José Pinto Prades
  • Donna Rowen
  • Carolyn Rutter, PhD (United States)
  • Beate Sander, PhD (Canada)
  • Aaron Scherer (United States)
  • Laura Scherer (United States)
  • Matthias Schwenkglenks
  • Djøra Soeteman, PhD (United States)
  • Jamie Studts, PhD (United States)
  • Ben van Calster (Belgium)
  • Joost van Rosmalen, PhD
  • Andrew Vickers, PhD (United States)
  • Todd Wagner (United States)
  • Jennifer (Jenny) Whitty
  • Torbjørn Wisløff (Norway)
  • Joanne Wu, MD, MS (United States)
  • Tracey Young
  • Jessica Ancker (United States)
  • Lauren Cipriano, PhD (Canada)
  • Stefano Conti
  • Neal Dawson, MD (United States)
  • Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD (United States)
  • Mark Helfand
  • Olga Kostopoulou, PhD, MSc (United Kingdom)
  • Josephine (Jo) Mauskopf
  • Mary Politi, PhD (United States)
  • Eleanor Pullenayegum, PhD (Canada)
  • Donald Redelmeier, MD (Canada)
  • Louise Russell, PhD (United States)
  • Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Alan Schwartz, PhD (United States)
  • Paul Scuffham, PhD (Australia)
  • Victoria Shaffer, PhD (United States)
  • Ken Smith
  • Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen, MD, MPH, PhD (Norway)
  • Harold (Hal) Sox, MD (United States)
  • James Stahl, MD, MPH (United States)
  • Ewout Steyerberg, PhD (The Netherlands)
  • Mark Strong (United Kingdom)
  • Erika Waters, PhD, MPH (United States)
  • Nicky Welton (United Kingdom)
  • Feng Xie (Canada)
  • Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD (United States)
Mike Kattan, PhD, Cleveland Clinic

Mike Kattan, long-time SMDM member and Eisenberg Award laureate, is celebrating publishing a new book on medical risk prediction techniques with Thomas Gerds. If you want to learn more, go to:
Milton Weinstein, PhD; Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Milton C. Weinstein received the 2020 Frank P. Ramsey Medal for Decision Analysis from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). The award was presented at the annual (virtual) meeting of INFORMS in November. Previous recipients of the Ramsey Medal include Howard Raiffa and Daniel Kahneman who, like Professor Weinstein, are also past recipients of SMDM’s Career Achievement Award.

Ryan Suk, PhD, MS; The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health

Ryan Suk finished his PhD program in Health Economics, and graduated in December. He will be working as a Postdoctoral Fellow from January 2021 at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, focusing on HPV-associated cancer decision models (Supervisor: Dr. Ashish A. Deshmukh, PhD, MPH).

Nancy S. Bolous, MD; St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Nancy S. Bolous's abstract titled "Cost‐effectiveness of three different treatment approaches for severe hemophilia B" has been published by Haemophilia Journal as one of the late breaking abstracts for year 2020.

What Are You Working On?
Connect and collaborate with your fellow members on their latest projects:

Alistair Thorpe, PhD; University of Utah

I recently joined the University of Utah as a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Drs. Angela Fagerlin and Elissa Ozanne.

I have general research interest in understanding how people estimate, judge, and make choices about health-related decisions. From these findings, I aim to develop and test interventions to help people make judicious decisions and improve public health and wellbeing.

My current research projects are on:
  • Factors influencing inappropriate antimicrobial behaviour and interventions to promote prudent use of antibiotics.
  • Public health communication regarding COVID-19.
  • Parents’ experiences following a diagnosis of congenital heart disease for their fetus or neonate.
  • Physicians’ interpretations of predicted atrial fibrillation risk and RCT evidence on direct oral anticoagulants.

Here are the most recent job opportunities since our last newsletter. SMDM members can stay current on the newest opportunities in the Resources Section of SMDM Connect.
The SMDM Lifetime Contributors list acknowledges the SMDM members who have made contributions to the Annual Fund and acknowledges donations and in-kind donations, received from October 2005 - December 31, 2020. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone who has supported our Society!
Netherlands Cancer Institute
Deputy Editor
New York University Grossman School of Medicine