FROM THE EDITOR
Ellen Engelhardt, PhD
Editor
Aisha Langford, PhD
Deputy Editor
by Ellen Engelhardt, PhD; The Netherlands

In my little corner of the world, it’s summer and hopefully you’re able to take some time to relax and read the new issue of the SMDM newsletter! In this issue, we mark the passing of Sandy Schwartz, SMDM past president and valued colleague and mentor to many in the Society. SMDM friends and colleagues share cherished memories of Sandy in the In Memoriam section. May his memory be a blessing.

With fascination, I watched pilot Wally Funk, one of the so-called Mercury 13 group of women who trained to become NASA astronauts in the early 1960s, realize her lifelong dream of going to space. After a week/month/year full of sad disconcerting news and thwarted plans, the infectious joie de vivre of this accomplished 82-year-old woman was uplifting and a poignant reminder of the adage when life gives you lemons, make the best lemonade you can. And speaking of creating new opportunities out of adversity, in her Hot Topic Aisha Langford (Deputy Editor), explores pros and cons of virtual conferences. What’s your take, should SMDM go fully virtual beyond the pandemic or not? Let us know by completing this edition of the Issues in MDM poll (only takes 2 minutes).

In this issue, you’ll also find exciting updates/announcements about the upcoming meetings and Society news. Natasha Stout highlights a few educational events that SMDM members have organized the past year in her President’s column. Ruth Ndjaboue talks about change, transformation and recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic in this edition’s inspiring SMDM Fellows Column.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to recruit volunteers for a new section of the newsletter. SMDMers come from across the world, and we want to reflect that diversity. Starting in 2022, we would like to include a commentary from an international colleague in each issue to learn what’s going on in their MDM corner of the world. Being one of our international correspondents means you will be asked to contribute one commentary (300-400 words) a year. If you’d like to be part of our team, get in touch for more information (without obligation attached).

We hope you enjoy this newsletter. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, if you have an idea for a Commentary or want to apply to be an international correspondent Ellen (e.engelhardt@nki.nl) or Aisha (Aisha.Langford@nyulangone.org). 
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Natasha Stout, PhD
SMDM President
by Natasha Stout, PhD; United States

We are sad to mark the passing of Sandy Schwartz, a longtime member, past president, and thought leader in our field. In addition to his intellectual contributions to the field, we will cherish the memories of his collegiality and dedication to mentoring. Although I never had the chance to formally work with Sandy, he always had words of insight and encouragement when he visited one of my posters or I saw him in the hallways at an Annual Meeting. His generosity and kindness were some of the qualities that made him the special person that he was. We will miss him.

While many SMDM activities have been paused because of limited volunteer time and resources over the past year, I want to highlight a few of the educational events that SMDM members have organized. A big thank you to the volunteer organizers as well as to Diane Nickolson, our Executive Director, who have been instrumental in the success of these activities.

In a free webinar in April, the Moore-funded COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative grantees shared policy impact and lessons learned from their projects. The webinar ended with a neat and thoughtful “open mic” session where other SMDMers were also able to contribute their insights. Check out the recordings! I hope we can do more of these to increase collaboration and sharing of research between meetings.

The free European Spring Virtual Event in June expanded on the April discussion about pandemics with words of wisdom from key policy makers including the Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The Special Committee on COVID-19 Risk Communication conducted a hands-on workshop on risk communication to help increase our skills and inspire our work. We look forward to more opportunities to expand SMDM’s reach in this scientific area. The Spring Event also included a fun online mingling event where we all had the opportunity to catch up with colleagues. In case you missed it, the scientific portions are available on our website for viewing and sharing

I look forward to all of us coming together again at our Virtual Annual Meeting on Oct 18 - 20. The Co-Chairs and their team have been designing a conference packed with science and networking opportunities as they note later in the Meeting News section of this newsletter issue. You can also find the latest information about the meeting on our website. And SMDM is working on more activities beyond the meeting for this fall.

A renewed initiative this year is the SMDM Certificate Program. Individuals who take all 4 of the core introductory methods short courses are eligible for an educational certificate from SMDM, free upon request. In July and August, SMDM is offering all 4 Core short courses. We hope you will encourage your students and colleagues who are new to SMDM or who may want a refresher on the latest innovations to sign up for these courses. For those of you who are already versed in these topics, the SMDM Education Committee is working on an advanced certification program too—let us know what options you would like included by emailing info@SMDM.org!
 
In addition, SMDM leadership has been meeting regularly to develop our next strategic plan and we expect to release it later this year. We have been sharing what it means to be an SMDMer and what we value about our Society. Being part of a community filled with scientific camaraderie, intellectual rigor, collegiality, and members like Sandy Schwartz are truly what makes our Society special. Those sentiments also came through in the outreach to all of you we conducted to help inform the plan (e.g., the focus group discussions with key member constituencies, the member value survey this spring and from informal discussions with many of you). Opportunities to strengthen and expand SMDM’s intellectual and collegiate community, increase engagement and collaboration, and make SMDM even more special are active items in the development of the strategic plan.
 
Lastly, I was amazed and excited for the future by the slate of dedicated and passionate candidates running for officer and trustee positions this year. They all have some really great ideas for improving the SMDM community. Please take a moment to review the candidates’ statements and cast your ballot before the deadline of Saturday, August 21. Email info@SMDM.org if you haven’t yet received your ballot information. Please vote and make your voice heard!

As always, if you have ideas for SMDM activities, including thoughts about strategic priorities, or you would like to get involved in SMDM projects, please don’t hesitate to reach out (natasha_stout@hms.harvard.edu)! I would love to hear from you.
IN MEMORIAM
J. Sanford “Sandy” Schwartz, MD
Past President
In Remembrance of J. Sanford “Sandy” Schwartz, MD
By Bob Beck, MD; United States

On behalf of the Board of Directors I write with sadness to note the passing of J. Sanford “Sandy” Schwartz, M.D. on June 24, 2021. Sandy was a giant in our field, making seminal contributions in several areas within medical decision making. He received an A.B. in History from the University of Rochester in 1970, and his medical doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974, where he subsequently trained in Internal Medicine and spent his entire career. At the time of his passing, Dr. Schwartz was the Leon Hess Professor of Medicine, Health Management and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School, Senior Fellow at Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute (LDI), and Senior Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. He served as the LDI's Executive Director from 1989–1998.

Sandy focused on health services research, policy issues, as well as cost-effectiveness analysis and general topics in clinical decision making. He advised federal and international agencies, corporations, regulatory agencies, and numerous nonprofit organizations. In service to the field, Sandy was the founding Director of the American College of Physicians’ Clinical Efficacy Assessment Project, founding editor of the American Journal of Managed Care, and had editorial positions with the Journal of General Internal Medicine and Medical Decision Making. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2008 and served the Academy in numerous ways during his tenure.

For the Society, Sandy served as a two-year Trustee from 1984-86 and the three-year Presidential term from 1987-90. He received the Society’s highest award for Career Achievement in 2010, and the John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Applications of Medical Decision Making in 2014.

To many students, trainees, and younger members of the Society, Sandy was a mentor, teacher, and source of academic and professional encouragement. Many of today’s leaders in health services research and decision science benefited from his active help. For me, he was a warm and gracious colleague, always learning and quick with wise ideas and suggestions.

A fuller In Memoriam is forthcoming in an SMDM publication. This issue of the Newsletter offers other tributes to Sandy. We will all miss him terribly.
By Donald Berwick, MD; United States

I find it impossible to think of Sandy Schwartz without smiling. In decades of work in clinical care, academic medicine, and public policy, I have encountered no other colleague with a combination of grace, humor, and warmth equal to his. I recall not a moment of arrogance, not a hint of win-lose stakes, and, incredibly, not a word of meanness toward anyone else. His jokes were endless (and very funny) but always gentle. He was a true scholar, immensely perceptive, with enormous curiosity and a bias toward fresh thinking. But, notwithstanding my boundless respect for Sandy, the professional, my memory returns over and over again to a different theme: that Sandy was fun to know and fun to be with – a devoted friend and an encouraging presence. That kind of comfort – optimism, humor, and warmth – in our troubled world may seem like a superficiality, but it is not. It is at the core of what made Sandy so special, such a source of good will, and such a gift to us all.  
By Arthur Elstein, PhD; United States

Sandy and I met at the very first SMDM meeting in 1978. Later, in Spring 1984, he was an active and constructive participant in a seminar I convened on clinical judgment and decision making, while on a short sabbatical at Penn. Sandy had many outstanding qualities. He was outstanding for informality.  In a group of men who wore coats and ties at SMDM meetings, he memorably appeared with sleeves rolled up and without a tie.  Sandy had a keen intelligence and a very good heart. He will be sorely missed.
By Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH; United States

Sandy and Sue Schwartz are some of my dearest friends. I had known and looked up to Sandy since my earliest days in SMDM but first got to know Sandy and Sue on a more personal level during our European SMDM meeting in Tyrol, Austria, in 2010. I remember us all enjoying Austrian beer and asparagus salads (it was asparagus season) in a lovely indoor-outdoor local restaurant. When I moved to Philadelphia in 2012, Sue and Sandy warmly welcomed me to the community and we have been close friends ever since. It’s hard to convey how closely connected people from this community are to Sandy, Sue, and their family. He was known for valuing everyone’s perspective and ideas, going out of his way to spend time with people (he commonly would ask mentees to join him for a car ride while running errands to discuss papers, grants, and family), his generosity to the community, and how humble he was about his accomplishments. He was a special person and we were so lucky to have him as a leader, colleague, mentor and friend within SMDM.
By Hal Sox, MD; United States

Fine mind, big heart. Sandy always understood that, in the end, it’s about everyone else. It’s a lesson usually learned late in life, but he was always a quick study. On the other hand, he had a just in time approach to deadlines. The older among us share the memory of Sandy, late for his presentation at a scientific meeting, entering the room as the discussion period for the preceding talk was winding down, thrusting his slides into the hands of the projectionist, and taking his seat just in time to stand back up, walk to the podium, and deliver a brilliant talk.
By Heather Taffet Gold, PhD; United States

I was terribly sad to hear of Sandy Schwartz’s passing in late June. I often referred to him as my “work uncle” – he was a kind and generous mentor and always a cheerleader, for which I am ever grateful.

I joined SMDM as a doctoral student and attended my first meeting in 1998, followed by my first poster presentation in 1999, where Sandy came up and discussed the study with me. I reflect back now and realize he was probably a judge for the Lee Lusted student prize, which used to be more secretive, but then I was merely flattered he was paying any attention to my work, a class project. In 2000, I had my first oral presentation accepted and was quite anxious. Early in the meeting, Sandy and I recognized each other and started talking; I told him how nervous I was, and he suggested I run through the presentation with him. We found a quiet corner in that Cincinnati, Ohio, hotel, and with a printout of my slides, I practiced the talk. The study focused on problems I had identified with how the DEALE (declining exponential approximation of life expectancy) “behaved” in low mortality scenarios, and I cited the original work by Beck and colleagues.* I still remember Sandy saying, “Bob Beck will be in the audience; you have to be careful how you talk about this.” Sandy helped me with the language to ensure I was constructive without sounding critical. I will never forget the time he spent with me as a new and very junior colleague (still a student!), with such thoughtfulness and generosity.

Our interactions continued over the years at meetings and beyond. As I matured as a researcher, Sandy invited me to Penn to give a seminar and meet his colleagues to gain deeper insights for a grant proposal I was developing. He knew I didn’t have access to the experts I needed, and he created and facilitated the networking that helped me succeed. He often would ask to read my grant critiques and provide additional feedback. We also worked together on the 2008 Philadelphia SMDM meeting, where he was meeting co-chair and I was scientific review co-chair. He actually drove me bonkers with his “interesting” organizational skills, but by then I had come to know what to expect: Sandy’s heart was big, and he always took on too much.

Sandy and I had lunch together when he visited New York, and as I transitioned to New York University School of Medicine in 2011, Sandy insisted I have a meeting with his friend, the chair of the Department of Medicine at NYU. Professional networking truly was Sandy’s forte, and no one was too important for an introduction.

One final treasured memory about Sandy was that he always asked after my husband and kids and even remembered their names. He didn’t expect that my life was compartmentalized into “work” and “non-work”; he knew both were important. I truly appreciated our sweet and thoughtful conversations touched with his humor. (Sandy always had a joke at the ready.) Sandy’s wisdom, guidance, generous spirit, and caring approach will stick with me as a model and a buoy.

*Beck JR, Kassirer JP, Pauker SG. A convenient approximation of life expectancy (the "DEALE"). I. Validation of the method. Am J Med. 1982 Dec;73(6):883-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(82)90786-0. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7148881/

Beck JR, Pauker SG, Gottlieb JE, Klein K, Kassirer JP. A convenient approximation of life expectancy (the "DEALE"). II. Use in medical decision-making. Am J Med. 1982 Dec;73(6):889-97. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(82)90787-2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6983298/
By Joel Tsevat, MD, MPH; United States

If I had to describe Sandy in a few words, they would certainly include “great mentor,” “mensch,” “all-around great guy,” and “very invested in SMDM.” But a few words wouldn’t do him justice. He will be sorely missed.
By Milton Weinstein, PhD; United States

I knew Sandy since the early days of SMDM in the early 1980s, when he was a student/trainee of John Eisenberg’s at Penn. Four things about Sandy stand out in my memory. First, everybody has experienced or observed his friendly, welcoming demeanor toward all SMDM members, from seniors and contemporaries to students and trainees. He was everybody’s friend and colleague. Second, he was passionately committed to making health better through better policies. He served on committees and panels, authored position papers, and did everything in his power to influence government and the medical profession to do the right thing. Third, he was a champion of decision science and evidence-based analysis, not only in his scholarly work but also in his service to medicine and public policy. Finally, he was committed to his trainees and took pride in their accomplishments. For me, seeing Sandy at SMDM meetings has been a highlight of those meetings for me. I will miss him.
COMMENTARY
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.
Aisha Langford, PhD
Deputy Editor
Hot Topics: The Future of SMDM Conferences: Are Hybrid Meetings the Answer?
By Aisha Langford, PhD; United States

The COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives in different ways. People in non-essential jobs were largely able to work from home. Many children and their parents adjusted to remote learning. Postdoctoral fellows navigated the job market without the usual in-person opportunities to network at conferences. And, due to social distancing recommendations, almost all in-person conferences were cancelled and replaced by virtual meetings.

While great efforts were made to make the virtual conference environment more interactive, it was difficult for some people to feel fully engaged. Some people missed the opportunity to travel to new cities and grab coffee with colleagues from other institutions. Other people missed the opportunity to get career advice from peer and senior scholars who were all in the same place.

Despite its challenges, the virtual conference environment of 2020 also had benefits. People who might not have been able to travel due to financial burden, disability, or another issue were able to participate in the SMDM virtual meeting. Notably, there was a jump in SMDM conference registrations in 2020. A snapshot of the North American conference registration numbers from the past five years are as follows: 500 registrants in 2016 (Vancouver), 562 registrants in 2017 (Pittsburgh), 509 registrants in 2018 (Montreal), 512 registrants in 2019 (Portland), and 669 registrants in 2020 (completely virtual).

In 2020, we also had the largest number of conference participants from low-and middle-income countries in five years (N=44). Another benefit of the virtual environment was that short courses were available to more people. Total short course registrations were 281, 294, 254, 270, and 821 in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.

Naturally, there are tradeoffs between in-person and virtual conferences. In-person conferences can be exhausting due to the back-to-back nature of programming, while completely virtual conferences can contribute to ‘Zoom fatigue'. Perhaps a hybrid conference where sessions are in-person and simultaneously livestreamed or recorded for later viewing will provide the best of both worlds. What do you think?
Eline Krijkamp,
PhD Student
SMDM Fellow
Ruth Ndjaboue Njike, PhD
SMDM Fellow
Rachel Pozzar, PhD, RN
SMDM Fellow
Kyu Eun Lee, PhD Candidate
SMDM Fellow
SMDM Fellows Column: Change, Transformation and Recovery during COVID-19 Pandemic  
By Ruth Ndjaboue, PhD; Canada

COVID-19 has impacted my life and my research in many ways. When the pandemic was declared, I was recruiting people involved in diabetes care for human-computer interaction lab tests. My study aimed to assess their emotional responses to patient-led learning video modules, as part of my postdoctoral project aiming to improve risk communication in diabetes care. Being unable to conform to COVID-related restrictions in the lab (e.g., 2-meters distancing), we stopped the study, and were challenged to think outside the box. We met with clinician-teachers and contacted the Research Ethics Committee to develop an innovative way to redesign that phase of my project. As a result, the initial in-person study plan with people living with diabetes and health professionals was transformed into an online experiment with health professions trainees. These changes were time-consuming and I got very frustrated at one point, particularly because I missed the opportunity to share results at the SMDM 2020 Conference. Thanks to our amazing mentors in SMDM, I changed my perspective and kept working and believing in my research and dreaming of a potential academic career. Efforts and perseverance paid off as I learned to develop health education intervention and to collaborate with clinicians. I am now ready to share my results and to publish my work. 

The COVID-19 period has also been an incubator for developing my own research program, strengthening my network of collaborators and mentors, and applying to faculty positions. I particularly felt fortunate to meet frequently with other SMDM fellows and with amazing guests to our meetings to discuss research-, life- and COVID-related issues and strategies to perform in spite of all my challenges. Additionally, I was able to collaborate on one COVID-related grant that got funded and to co-author papers with other SMDM colleagues. Best of all, I was offered a tenure-track faculty position starting August 1st at Université de Sherbrooke (Québec, Canada) and also secured a prestigious 5-year federal career award (a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Inclusivity and Active Aging) to develop and launch my research program.

Looking back to this rollercoaster ride as a postdoctoral fellow during COVID-19, I appreciate the opportunity I had to reflect on my values and preferences in research and to discover my capacity to cope in a stressful research environment. I now contemplate my future contributions to SMDM as an independent researcher in decision science.  
MEETING NEWS
Victoria Shaffer, PhD
2021 Annual Meeting Co-Chair
Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH
2021 Annual Meeting Co-Chair
SMDM 43rd Annual Meeting
2021 Annual Meeting Co-Chairs:
Victoria Shaffer, PhD; United States
Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH; United States

We have a terrific line-up of Symposia and Educational Activities ready for our virtual Annual Meeting being held October, 18-20, 2021!
 
Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Monica McLemore. Her talk, scheduled for Monday, October 18, is entitled, “Complex Considerations when Weighing Shared Decision Making in the Context of Health Equity”. The keynote address will support our Society’s ongoing efforts to promote inclusivity in both membership and scientific content and will be a wonderful start to what is shaping up to be a stellar conference.
 
The call for abstracts, short courses and symposia have ended. We are working on scheduling these various sessions in a way that is sensitive to different time-zones so as many members as possible can come together for the sessions. Although the scientific sessions will be recorded and available for 3 months after their live presentations, the ‘magic’ happens when we come together and engage with the presentation material. Our new virtual platform will allow for innovative methods of interaction, and we are incorporating many lessons learned from other conferences. Please do make every effort to come together in what will hopefully be our last virtual virtual annual meeting. Speaking of coming together – many members have expressed interest in local watch parties where members can come together around one screen to attend the conference. Reach out to members in your area if this sounds appealing.
 
Based on what we learned last year, we will be offering the short courses before and after the meeting spread over a period of several weeks. This will allow people to take multiple short courses and minimize the amount of consecutive virtual screen time. The core short courses have been scheduled for July and August. The remaining topical courses will be offered during the months of September, October, and November, with 2-3 courses offered per week.
 
Please continue to check the SMDM website for details on the Annual Meeting as we finalize the schedule. If you have suggestions or comments, please feel free to email the Conference Co-Chairs at info@SMDM.org. We welcome your ideas and are thankful for your support of our Society as we work hard to implement an interactive and stimulating virtual conference experience.
 
We look forward to “seeing” you in October!
Beate Jahn, PhD
2022 European Meeting Co-Chair
Silke Siebert, MD
2022 European Meeting Co-Chair
Tobias Kurth, MD, MSc, ScD
2022 European Meeting Co-Chair
Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD
2022 European Meeting Co-Chair
Mark your calendar for the 18th Biennial European Conference!
2022 European Meeting Co-Chairs: 
Beate Jahn, PhD; Austria
Tobias Kurth, MD, MSc, ScD; Germany
Silke Siebert, MD; Austria
Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD; Austria

We are delighted to report the dates for the 18th Biennial European SMDM Conference are now confirmed for 29-31 May 2022 and the conference will be held at the Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus- in Berlin, Germany. This stunning, historic venue was built in 1913 to host medical conferences and educational events, and will be the perfect place to host our 2022 event with the theme “Linking Research to Evidence-Based Action for Patients, Providers and Policy Decision Makers”.
 
We will be distributing a call for symposia, abstracts and short courses, so please begin thinking of compelling topics that can be considered. Watch the website page for more information as it becomes available. We are looking forward to hosting this in-person European Conference again, and hope to see you in 2022 in Berlin.
SOCIETY NEWS
SMDM 2021 Board of Trustees Election: Voting is Now Open!

All SMDM members in good standing as of 1 June of 2021 are eligible to vote for the 2021 Board of Trustees. Instructions for voting along with candidate biographies were e-mailed to all SMDM members in good standing. Reminder voting e-mails will be sent to all members who have not voted throughout July and August until the voting deadline on August 21. If you have any questions regarding voting, please contact info@smdm.org.

This year, SMDM members are electing one (1) President-Elect, one (1) Vice President-Elect, and three (3) Trustees, one of whom will be designated as an International Trustee.

The process for electing the International Trustee is as follows:

  • Among the nominees for the three Trustee positions, the Nominating Committee has selected two candidates who are eligible for the International Trustee position as identified on the ballot. Of the two nominees, the nominee with the most votes will be elected to that position.
  • Of the remaining nominees, the two nominees with the most votes will be elected as Trustees of the Board.

2021 SMDM Slate of Officer & Trustee Candidates

President-Elect (3-year term; 1 to be elected)
Beate Jahn, PhD (Austria)
Beate Sander, PhD (Canada)

Vice President-Elect (2-year term; 1 to be elected)
Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD (Mexico)
Victoria Shaffer, PhD (United States)

Trustees (3-year term; 3 to be elected, including 1 international trustee)
Emily Burger, PhD, International Trustee (Norway)
David Chartash, PhD (United States)
Ellen G. Engelhardt, PhD, International Trustee (The Netherlands)
Jeffrey Hoch, PhD (United States)
Aubri Hoffman, PhD (United States)
Aisha Langford, PhD, MPH (United States)

An important benefit of your membership in SMDM is the privilege to vote for leaders to represent YOUR Society. Your participation helps to build and enhance the Society now and into the future. Results will be announced via e-mail to the membership the following week after voting closes.

Voting closes on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 5:00 PM EDT | 9:00 PM UTC/GMT. Email info@SMDM.org if you need your member ID to vote!
Matthew Rysavy, MD, PhD
Congratulations to Matthew Rysavy, MD, PhD, for completing the Core Course Curriculum in Medical Decision Making.

The SMDM Core Course Curriculum is an initiative of the Society with the goal of having a set of introductory level Core Courses in foundational aspects of medical decision making. This effort serves the core mission of the Society to educate its members in key content areas. This year SMDM Core Courses are offered in July and August!
MEMBER NEWS
Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS; United States

Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS, the Susan J. and Richard M. Levy Distinguished Professor in Health Care Delivery, has been named Director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She began her new role on July 1, 2021. In her new role, Dr. Barnato will lead a diverse group of scholars, researchers, clinicians, students, and administrators as they strive to advance The Dartmouth Institute’s mission of working in partnership with individuals and organizations locally, around the country, and throughout the world, to improve population health, reduce disparities, and create high-performing, sustainable health systems (amber.barnato@dartmouth.edu).
Erika A. Waters, PhD, MPH; United States

Erika Waters was promoted to Professor at Washington University School of Medicine.

Ryan Suk, PhD, MS; United States
Ryan Suk accepted an Assistant Professor position in Health Economics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health. She will be starting her position in mid-July.

Kianté Fernandez, MS, Doctoral Student; United States
After being awarded his MS this past Spring from Drexel University (studying Psychology and Biostatistics), Kianté Fernandez has accepted an offer to start his PhD at Ohio State University in the Psychology Department. He will be joining Dr. Ian Krajbich’s Neuroeconomics and Decision Neuroscience lab studying, how people, using their brains, make value-based decisions.

Pål Gulbrandsen, MD PhD; Norway

Pål Gulbrandsen, professor of health services research at the University of Oslo, received in April, the 2021 EACH International Association of Communication in Healthcare Teaching Award. (pal.gulbrandsen@medisin.uio.no)
Jeffrey Hoch, MA, PhD; United States

Professor Jeffrey Hoch received a Distinguished Mentoring Award from the University of California at Davis. Distinguished Mentoring Awards recognize the vital role mentoring plays in the academic and professional development of graduate students and postdoctoral scholars at UC Davis.

Rachel Pozzar, PhD, RN; United States

SMDM Fellow Rachel Pozzar, PhD, RN was selected to receive a Kornfeld Scholars Program Award from the National Palliative Care Research Center.

JOB POSTINGS
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.
2021 ANNUAL FUND GIVING
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 - July 2, 2021. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone who has supported our Society!
EDITORIAL STAFF
Editor-in-Chief
Netherlands Cancer Institute
Deputy Editor
New York University Grossman School of Medicine