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

The SMDM 42nd North American Meeting, redesigned as a virtual conference, is only days away. The virtual format is an opportunity to participate in a meeting that you might otherwise not have been able to attend. This new format allows flexible attendance; however, this can limit our ability to interact with each other. There are many opportunities to connect with each other in the meeting schedule (take a look!), but interaction will require a bit more planning than usual to get the most out of the conference. I also want to call out the SMDM fellows’ column, where they give great tips to maximize learning at the meeting. Let’s be creative and find new ways to make meaningful connections!

In this issue, alongside all the Meeting and Society news, we have the following interesting columns:

  • Lisa Prosser, writes about how gender bias can impact the results of cost-effectiveness analyses.
  • Lisa Prosser, Gillian Sanders Schmidler and Kathy McDonald, discuss the selection process and introduce the COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative grant recipients. Congratulations to all!
  • Aisha Langford, brings us another very interesting Hot Topic: Show me the numbers!
  • Eline Krijkamp, Ruth Ndjaboue, Rachel Pozzar and Kyu Eun Lee, discuss the challenges of attending virtual conferences and how to prepare for a virtual conference.
  • Aisha Langford, presents the results of the Hot Topics Poll: Do SMDM members have a fiduciary duty to be ‘first responders’ to COVID-19 misinformation?

We hope that yet again you are willing to participate in a quick Poll. This time we are focusing on how the past 6 months of COVID-19 restrictions/lockdowns and working from home have affected you. Please take 2 minutes and share your experiences with us!

Visit the Society news section to meet the newly elected SMDM Officers and Trustees and the winners of the SMDM awards. Congratulations to all! Do you have pictures taken at past SMDM meetings? Please consider sharing them with us to help celebrate the rich history of the society. Take a look at the call for pictures in the Society News section for more information.

As always, we hope you enjoy this newsletter. 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.
Lisa Prosser, PhD
SMDM President's Column: Gender bias and cost-effectiveness analysis
by Lisa Prosser, PhD; University of Michigan

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to work on programs that promote inclusiveness and diversity, especially for women in STEM fields, in the academic setting. These programs have aimed to address disparities in salaries, job roles and responsibilities; enhance leadership opportunities for faculty through education; and implement new systems designed to reduce disparities.

How does this relate to cost-effectiveness analysis? Over the years, I have noticed several potential areas for gender bias in cost-effectiveness analysis including wage rates for time costs, household production, and informal caregiving, described below. SMDM has always been at the forefront of innovations in methodology and guidance for the conduct of cost-effectiveness analysis. I hope that as a professional society we can be a leader in considering how assumptions may unintentionally contribute to different types of bias in our analyses.

Time costs. Many analyses will include separate cohorts for men and women if disease progression varies by this characteristic. It might feel natural then to also stratify wage rate by gender. However, it’s important to consider what might be driving the differences in wage rates as here in the US, women’s wage rates are on average lower than men’s. Including stratified wage rates can bias the results of a CEA in unanticipated directions. For example, if there are substantial patient time costs associated with treatment, then using a stratified (lower) wage rate for women will result in a more favorable ratio if the intervention is equally effective for men and women. On the other hand, for analyses that include productivity loss associated with poor health, the analysis would result in less favorable ratios for women compared to men.

Household production. When considering time costs, economists will typically segment productivity into ‘market’ and ‘non-market’ activities, with some analyses accounting only for ‘market activities’ (employment that is paid a formal wage). However, a substantial part of our economy consists of household production (for a lengthy treatment of this topic, see: Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? A Story About Women and Economics, by Katrina Marcal), most often provided by women, and these non-market activities can be similarly interrupted by illness and treatment as market activities. Ignoring these costs can unintentionally bias an analysis.

Informal caregiving. The costs associated with informal caregiving typically provided by a family member represent a staggering amount of time each year. The majority of this care is provided by women, but trends are changing, and more men have become involved in informal caregiving over the past 10 years. Ignoring these costs can unintentionally bias an analysis. In this column, I have focused on costs, but quality of life adjustments could also contribute to potential bias.

It’s important to recognize that data are not always readily available for some of these parameter inputs, especially informal caregiving costs. So, for next steps I’d suggest considering these items when developing or reviewing a CEA, and at a minimum acknowledging and discussing these items even if they are not included. I look forward to SMDM addressing questions of potential bias in our research methods and applications as we continue to lead the field of health decision making forward.
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
Gillian Sanders Schmidler, PhD
Kathy McDonald, PhD
SMDM COVID-19 Modeling Special Committee and Partnership with Moore Foundation to Impact Real-Time Decisions through the COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative
by Lisa Prosser, PhD; University of Michigan, and by the SMDM COVID-19 Modeling Special Committee Co-Chairs Gillian Sanders Schmidler, PhD; and Kathy McDonald, PhD
In March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, modelers seeking to share data to parameterize COVID-19 simulation models initiated the COVID-19 Model Repository jointly supported by Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, and SMDM. Following the launch of this resource, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation approached these organizations with an opportunity to partner to provide grant funding for COVID-19 decision models: the COVID-19 Decision Modeling Initiative (CDMI). This unique initiative was designed to quickly provide funding support to projects catalyzing innovation in COVID-19 response decision models for rapid uptake and impact, recognizing the critical need to connect evidence-based decision models to diverse decision makers. The ultimate goal is to provide decision models that will inform clinical, health services delivery, and policy decision making related to the COVID-19 pandemic with results prior to December 2020. This collaborative effort was stewarded by the CDMI leaders with longstanding ties to SMDM – Drs. Kathy McDonald (Johns Hopkins), Lisa Prosser (University of Michigan), and Gillian Sanders Schmidler (Duke University). Crucial input was provided by multiple SMDM members who served as reviewers and study council members as well as research team members from our 3 institutions, Angela Rose, Susanna Young, Lauren Kimmel, Ethan Borre, Hilary Campbell, Kevin Pignone, Megan Knauer, and David Anderson.

This exciting collaboration draws on the unique strengths of SMDM in modeling and decision making as well as the incredible commitment of its members to quickly come together to contribute to increasing knowledge that will assist efforts to control this pandemic.

The CDMI Request for Applications received more than 60 submissions from multiple countries. A study section of expert reviewers was quickly assembled from a group of SMDM volunteers who generously donated their time and vast expertise to the selection process (see below). The study section met 5 times during June and July and selected 9 recipients based on their responsiveness to the initiative’s vision and rigor of their research methods. The amount committed totaled almost $350,000 towards projects over the next 4-6 months to drive their decision models and related research forward.

While their project focus areas are varied, the grant recipients all share a common goal of using decision modeling techniques to aid policy makers and others in decision making for better outcomes in the face of the pandemic’s devastating effects. Their work will build a knowledge base to inform timely and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are excited that the recipients of CDMI funding will be highlighted at the upcoming SMDM Virtual Meeting on the first day of the meeting in the Keynote Symposium. This symposium will be prefaced by a keynote presentation from Harvey Fineberg, MD, President of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Past President of SMDM, and Chair of the newly-formed Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This keynote symposium plenary session will feature presentations and panels from the grant awardees. Three live panel discussions will highlight the decisional, methods, or application context of CDMI funded projects. In each panel, grantees will provide brief 5-minute lightning round presentations summarizing their project followed by a moderated panel discussion with open Q&A with all virtual attendees able to submit questions, in real time and in advance. Conference participants will also have the opportunity to meet and network with the individual CDMI teams in a smaller group setting during breakout sessions moderated by SMDM special committee members.
Fernando Alarid-Escudero, Ph.D., Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas
Project title: Establishing a Dynamic Decision-Making System in Real-Time on the COVID-19 Pandemic in Mexico City

Jagpreet Chhatwal, Ph.D., Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard University
Project title: Informing State-level COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing Using the COVID-19 Simulator

Lauren Cipriano, Ph.D., University of Western Ontario and Eva Enns, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Project title: Community-tailored Adaptive Strategies for Managing the Health and Economic Consequences of COVID-19

Erica Gralla, Ph.D., George Washington University
Project title: Discrete Event Simulation for COVID-19 Testing: Identifying Bottlenecks and Supporting Scale-Up

Myriam Hunink, MD, Ph.D., Erasmus Medical Center
Project title: Emerging Therapies for COVID-19: The Value of More Clinical Trials vs. Implementation

Beate Jahn, Ph.D., and Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology – Austria
Project title: Targeted COVID-19 Vaccination Strategies: An Agent-based Modeling Evaluation Considering Limited Vaccination Capacities (TAV-COVID)

Ava John-Baptiste, Ph.D. and Shehzad Ali, Ph.D., MBBS, MPH, University of Western Ontario
Project title: Covid-19 Models and Social Determinants of Health: Evaluating Evidence to Inform Policy Decisions

Shan Liu, Ph.D., University of Washington
Project title: Optimizing Societal Reopening Plans and Vaccine Distribution Strategies under COVID-19 using Simulation Optimization Modelling Tools

Lauren Meyers, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Project title: Coupling COVID-19 Social Distancing with Influenza Vaccination to Manage Healthcare Surges
Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD, Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, CONACyT
Robert Beck, MD, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University School of Medicine
Lauren Cipriano, HBA, MS, PhD, Ivey Business School, Western University: London, ON
Gordon Hazen, MS, PhD, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University
Mark Helfand, MD, MPH, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University
David Hutton, PhD, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Harold Lehmann, MD, PhD, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University
Ben Linas, MD, MPH, School of Medicine, Boston University
Kathy McDonald, PhD, MM, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, Johns Hopkins University
Ankur Pandya, MPH, PhD, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Petros Pechlivanoglou, MSc, PhD, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
Lisa Prosser, PhD, Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center, University of Michigan
Beate Sander, PhD, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto
Gillian Sanders Schmidler, PhD, Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy, Duke University
Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD, School of Public Health – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Michael Stefanek, PhD, Department of Population Health, University of Mississippi Medical Center
Torbjørn Wisløff, MSc, PhD, Department of Community Science, Arctic University of Norway
John Wong, MD, School of Medicine, Tufts University

Study Council Members: Kathy McDonald, Lisa Prosser, Marilyn Schapira (School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania), Gillian Sanders Schmidler, John Wong
Aisha Langford, PhD
Deputy Editor
Hot Topics: Show me the numbers!
By Aisha Langford, PhD; Deputy Editor

There have been a lot of COVID-19 related numbers presented in the news lately, which has the potential to create confusion for the general public and policy makers. For example, modeling new COVID-19 cases, deaths, and children going back-to-school scenarios may differ drastically depending on the inputs and assumptions used. Moreover, it can be challenging to communicate COVID-19 risk information to the general public when what’s known about the novel coronavirus is constantly evolving.

Some SMDM members think about numbers often, whether it be related to numeracy, graph literacy, blood pressure data visualization, genetic risk, or pictographs/icon arrays. However, it’s not every day that absolute risk and relative risk are widely discussed in major media outlets. During a press conference on Sunday, August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD tried to explain the meaning of a 35% reduction in mortality. The specific quote was, “So, let me just put this in perspective. Many of you know I was a cancer doctor before I became FDA commissioner, and a 35 percent improvement in survival is a pretty substantial clinical benefit. What that means is — and if the data continue to pan out — 100 people who are sick with COVID-19, 35 would have been saved because of the administration of plasma.”

His explanation of a 35% reduction in mortality was widely criticized by scientists and medical professionals who noted that it was misleading and inaccurate. The widespread criticism prompted a quick response from Commissioner Hahn on Twitter where he acknowledged that absolute risk reduction -- not relative risk -- should have been presented.

Understanding and explaining numerical information is not only challenging for consumers, it’s also challenging for many health care professionals. Luckily, there are many published papers on how to best present quantitative information and why absolute risk is preferred over relative risks in most cases. Do you need to consult with a numeracy or risk communication expert for an upcoming project? Well, you’re in luck! There are many SMDM members with expertise in these areas. Be sure to connect with them at the 2020 virtual meeting and beyond.
Eline Krijkamp,
PhD Student
Ruth Ndjaboue Njike, PhD
Rachel Pozzar, PhD, RN
Kyu Eun Lee, PhD Candidate
SMDM Fellows Column: How can we learn the most out of the virtual SMDM conference?
SMDM redesigned the in-person meeting in Chicago to a virtual meeting. Although virtual conferences allow for flexible attendance, we may miss some learning opportunities that require in-person interaction. In this column, we discuss the challenges of attending virtual conferences and how to prepare for a virtual conference.

We will miss the conference rooms filled with inquisitive audiences and the intersession breaks with fresh coffee. One of the best parts of attending conferences in person (especially SMDM meetings) is that we have a chance to network with other scholars in the field. Despite the challenges of attending a virtual conference, we believe that by taking some initiative, we can make the most of this new normal. 

First, we recommend planning ahead and approaching the conference as though you are attending an in-person meeting. Study the conference program and secure time to attend the live sessions rather than aiming to watch them later. Attending live sessions allows us to ask questions and engage in real-time discussion. The virtual SMDM meeting is scheduled every Tuesday in October, which should make it easier to attend consistently. In addition, setting a goal for this year’s meeting will help you orient yourself to the many virtual sessions. Your goal may be to introduce yourself on the job market, connect to at least one new person, or attend a session outside your research field.

Virtual social activities and social media can facilitate networking and real-time discussions. Consider scheduling an after-session dinner (with a fancy restaurant for a virtual background) with your colleagues. In a virtual coffee-break room where people come and go between sessions, you can have post-session discussions with other attendees or introduce yourself to new members of the society. Live discussions can happen on social media platforms such as Twitter (#SMDM20) and instant messaging applications such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

Prior SMDM meetings have thrived because of members’ inspiring and innovative research and interdisciplinary networks. The meeting this year will prosper with members’ commitment to fully participating, sharing ideas, and finding new ways to connect during a virtual meeting. 
Aisha Langford, PhD
Deputy Editor
Survey Poll Results:
Do SMDM members have a fiduciary duty to be ‘first responders’ to COVID-19 misinformation?
By Aisha Langford, PhD; Deputy Editor

In the last newsletter, we conducted a poll about how, if at all, SMDM members feel they should be involved in responding to COVID-19 misinformation. This question was raised in light of the ‘COVID-19 infodemic’ as reported in outlets such as the Lancet, Journal of Medical Internet Research and Pew Charitable Trusts.

Overall, 54 SMDM members from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Norway, Romania, and the United States participated in the survey (Thank you!). People who responded to this survey work in the SMDM subfields of Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making (21/54); Health Services, Outcomes, and Policy Research (15/54); Applied Health Economics (9/54); Quantitative Methods and Theoretical Developments (5/54); and Patient and Stakeholder Preferences and Engagement (4/54).

For the question, “When, if ever, do you personally try to combat COVID-19 misinformation,” approximately 17% (9/54) reported always, 37% (20/54) reported usually, 37% (20/54) reported sometimes, and 2% (1/54) reported never. Write-in answers included:

“Initially, all the time, but I admit to have been beaten down and saw a lack of utility.”
“When I am in the role of a health care professional.”
“It depends. Combating misinformation is only one axis of changing behavior and thoughts. The methods of HOW the misinformation is combated is as if not more important than just calling it out. More harm than good could occur from entering a discussion unprepared to handle the backlash.”

For the question about who should take responsibility for ensuring that high-quality information is reaching the public, approximately 94% of respondents said that health professionals and government health agencies (51/54, respectively), followed by the media at 82% (44/54) and charitable organizations at approximately 40% (21/54).

Finally, regarding strategies for potentially dealing with COVID-19 misinformation, approximately 80% of survey participants (43/54) said that the Society should publish tips on finding and vetting health information and 56% (30/54) said that the Society should have a speakers bureau available as needed to speak about misinformation.
42nd Annual Meeting
Relationships in Medical Decision Making
Tuesdays in October | Virtual Meeting
Meeting co-chairs: David Meltzer, MD, PhD and Alan Schwartz, PhD

The virtual 42nd Annual North American Meeting will be held on four Tuesdays in October 2020 in order to encourage a flexible attendance schedule. Program content will include a COVID-19 modeling panel, symposia, short courses, individual abstracts with asynchronous discussion, and a career development panel. The virtual platform will allow for innovation and flexibility: convenient e-poster sessions and on demand program content are some of the positive changes attendees will experience. Please note that Lee Lusted Student Prizes will be included as part of the virtual meeting format.
42nd Annual Meeting Schedule
In addition to the keynote, the rich scientific program includes panel discussions, symposia, short courses, and individual abstracts with asynchronous discussion. Many sessions will be pre-recorded and available throughout the month of October to registrants, and the sessions that occur live will also be available after the presentation for the rest of the month. Click the button below to check out the meeting schedule.
42nd Annual Meeting Short Courses
SMDM short courses provide a great opportunity to learn something new from leaders in the field and offer personalized, hands-on learning with 10-30 participants per course. You may register for short courses with your Annual Meeting registration.
42nd Annual Meeting Abstract Information
Full abstracts and information will be provided to registrants in the meeting app. Oral and poster abstract presentations will be pre-recorded, and available to registrants throughout the entire month of October 2020.

  • Applied Health Economics
  • COVID-19
  • Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making
  • Ethics Research
  • Health Services, Outcomes and Policy Research
  • Infectious Disease Modeling
  • Patient and Stakeholder Preferences and Engagement
  • Pediatrics
  • Quantitative Methods and Theoretical Developments
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

We are delighted to announce that the new dates for the 18th Biennial European Conference to be held in Berlin, Germany will be 6-8 June 2021. While we were missing seeing you all this summer, we are excited to be focusing our efforts on the development of the conference program and events in 2021, including COVID-19 driven research and new insights that we all will benefit from after the crises. Abstract submission will open November 2020.

Updated information about the conference will be posted on the 18th Biennial European Conference homepage. The Meeting Co-Chairs encourage you to download the conference flyer and post it in your university and scientific or decision maker community to help alert others to our conference.

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin 6-8 June 2021!
2020 SMDM Awards

SMDM is pleased to announce the winners of its 2020 Awards:
Pictured above
(l to r): Karen Kuntz, Ahmed Bayoumi, Holly Witteman, Milton Weinstein

The Career Achievement Award recognizes distinguished senior investigators who have made significant contributions to the field of medical decision making. The 2020 recipient is Karen Kuntz, ScD
The SMDM Award for Distinguished Service recognizes service to SMDM in terms of leadership, role in the operations of the Society, and contributions to the scientific and educational activities of the Society. The 2020 recipient is Ahmed Bayoumi, MD, MSc
The John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Decision Making Research recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated sustained leadership in translating medical decision making research into practice, and that has taken exceptional steps to communicate the principles and/or substantive findings of medical decision making research to policy makers, to clinical decision makers, and to the general public. The 2020 recipient is NCI’s Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET).

The Young Investigator Award is presented annually for the best paper published by a trainee or junior faculty member. Holly Witteman, PhD is the 2020 recipient.

Milton Weinstein, PhD, is the 2020 recipient of the Lee B. Lusted sub-award in Applied Health Economics (AHE) category and will have the sub-award named after him for five years for the period 2020 - 2025.

These individuals and organizations will be honored at the upcoming meeting. Please join us in congratulating all of the winners and thanking the Awards Committee for its work.
2020 - 2021 Officers and Trustees

Congratulations to the newly elected Officers and Trustees of the Society for Medical Decision Making!
Pictured above: Top row from left to right:
President-Elect: Olga Kostopoulou, PhD, Imperial College, London, UK
Vice President-Elect: Marieke de Vries, PhD, Radboud University, The Netherlands
Secretary-Treasurer Elect: Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD, Stanford School of Medicine, California, USA

Pictured above: Bottom row from left to right:
Hester Lingsma, PhD (International Trustee), Erasmus Medical College, The Netherlands
Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH; MD, MPH, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra University, New York, USA
Tara Lavelle, PhD, Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts, USA

Thank you to everyone who voted and especially to those who were willing to serve. Your contributions make the Society stronger! Please feel free to reach out to our new slate of Officers and Trustees to welcome them and become more involved in the Society's activities.
Call for Conference Photos

The SMDM would like to gather pictures taken during the SMDM Annual and European Meetings of attendees, scientific sessions, poster sessions, receptions, karaoke night, short courses, the expo, etc. We hope that you can take a few moments to send us any pictures you have of past meetings that we can use to recognize and celebrate the rich history of the society and its gatherings.

Please send your photos to the main SMDM email box,, and if you could, please indicate the meeting at which the picture(s) were taken. In sending the photos, you are giving us permission to use them on the website, in meeting apps, the e-newsletter, to show at future meetings, etc. If the pictures are too large to email, please let us know as we can work with you to find other ways to get them to us.

Thank you in advance for helping us gather these photos. It’ll be great to show the collegiality, friendliness and welcoming spirit that exists at the SMDM Meetings – and to share the memories at future events!
Dawn Stacey, RN, PhD, FAAN, FCAHS, University of Ottawa; Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

Annette O'Connor PhD emeritus professor, University of Ottawa

Ottawa Decision Support Framework - updated with 20 years of evidence. Annette O'Connor took a break from retirement to work with us as the senior author on updating the framework. Evidence was from >250 studies, >100 different decisions, >50,000 patients, and 18 countries covering 5 continents. All decisional needs categories and decisional needs remained (n=45 studies), baseline Decisional Conflict scale sub scores indicated clinically relevant decisional needs, and 11 new manifestations were added. Decision support interventions were superior to usual care (patient decision aids, decision coaching, counselling). Decisional outcomes continue to focus on decision quality, resolution of decisional needs, and fewer secondary outcomes that are sensitive to change across a range of decisions. The updated framework is ready to use and research priorities identified. Annette O'Connor is being inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for her pioneering research in actively engaging patients in their own treatment and supporting them in shared decision making with physicians and caregivers.

The Article is available at:

Nicole Fowler, PhD, MHSA, Indiana University and IU Center for Aging Research

Dr. Nicole Fowler was granted promotion to Associate Professor and tenure at Indiana University School of Medicine. (
Pete Wegier, PhD, Humber River Hospital

Pete Wegier started his appointment as the Humber River Hospital Research Chair in Optimizing Care Through Technology in September 2020. (
Bruce R. Schackman, PhD, MBA, Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Population Health Sciences, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY

Benjamin P. Linas, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded the Center for Health Economics of Treatment Interventions for Substance Use, HCV and HIV (CHERISH) a five-year grant to continue the Center’s activities as a national center of excellence under Center Director and SMDM Member Bruce Schackman, PhD. CHERISH was founded in 2015 as a multi-institutional center for health economics research in the substance use field, with an initial emphasis on addressing the needs of integrated healthcare systems. The renewed funding will continue this work and will broaden the Center’s focus to evaluating intervention outcomes for individuals, systems, and communities. SMDM Member Benjamin Linas, MD, MPH, Director of the HIV Epidemiology and Outcomes Research Unit at Boston Medical Center, serves as the CHERISH Population Data and Modeling Core Director. Dr. Schackman was also recently appointed Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.

Stephen Downs, MD, MS, Wake Forest University

Stephen M Downs, MD, MS, long time SMDM member, former secretary/treasurer, and recipient of the 2019 John Eisenberg award has moved from Indiana University to Wake Forest University where he is a Professor of Pediatrics, the Vice-chair for Learning Health Systems, and Associate Director of the Wake Forest Center for Biomedical Informatics.

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

Tanya Bentley, MS, PhD, UCLA; Health and Human Performance Foundation

I'm designing a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a slow-breathing program on stress and anxiety among high school students. We are starting with a pilot to explore the program's feasibility using 3 different breath protocols, and will then move on to a larger trial in multiple schools.

A poster describing a similar pilot program from last fall can be found here.

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 - September 19, 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