Dear colleagues and friends,

Thank you all for a fabulous European SMDM meeting in Berlin, especially our co-chairs Drs. Beate Jahn, Silke Siebert, Tobias Kurth and Uwe Siebert! With just under 250 attendees from every continent except Antarctica, more than 30 countries were represented – a truly international meeting. The energy at our first in-person European SMDM meeting since 2018 in Leiden was palpable.

Continuing with positive vibes, a couple of updates:

Many of you attended the Town Hall in April. Thank you! This was a first and the feedback was very positive, so we may do this again!

The Finance Committee, led by Dr. Ava John-Baptiste, supported by Secretary Treasurer Dr. Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, and Secretary Treasurer Elect Dr. Scott LaJoie, has developed an updated 2023 budget reducing predicted deficit from USD200,000 to USD 165,000, which was approved by the Board in March 2023. While we had hoped to achieve a budget with a net loss of USD75,000 or less, many of our expenses are “locked in” for this year (e.g., meeting venues) and some revenue increases will only materialize in the next year (e.g., membership fee increases). Key revisions in the 2023 budget are: we reduced predicted loss for ESMDM meeting and planned for a break-even North American SMDM meeting by removing hybrid elements and other reductions (e.g., Food and Beverage budget, honoraria), replaced our usual in-person board meeting in 2023 with several shorter virtual board meetings, deferred website renewal, projected increased membership fees (5% increase), and projected increased revenue from educational activities. Thank you, Education Committee under the leadership of Dr. Petros Pechlivanoglou! Finally, we have started to renew our efforts to secure grant funding.

The Finance Committee has also been charged with reviewing our investment policy to guide our investment portfolio and asset mix.

Overall, I think we are on the path to long-term financial health. Thank you everyone for your contributions!

I am delighted to report that our transition of SMDM management responsibilities to ADG
Communications is completed. Please join me in welcoming ADG Team members Elyssa Ciresi (Team Lead, Conferences), Shamila Tahir (Finance) and ADG President and CEO Kathleen Van De Loo (Governance and Strategy)! Our Executive Director, Diane
Nickolson, is working with ADG Communications staff to orient and train them on our processes and activities. Our immediate priorities for ADG are to focus on the Annual Meeting production, communications, and supporting our committees. They have quickly stepped up and are already contributing.

Our 45th North American meeting, co-chaired by Drs. Bob Beck and Joanna Hart, is themed “Innovation in Decision Making: Thinking to Tools” and will be held October 22-25, 2023 in Philadelphia. We are excited to announce the keynote speaker: Dr. Roy Rosin, MBA, Chief Innovation Officer, University of Pennsylvania. The Social Event will be held at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, home to the oldest medical society in the U.S. and the renowned Mütter Museum. Contribute to shaping the content of our meeting by submitting your abstracts, short courses, and symposia presentations here.

Our call for SMDM 2023 Awards Nominations is open until June 30. Please nominate a person (or persons) you feel should be recognized. SMDM Awards include The Career Achievement Award, SMDM Award for Distinguished Service, John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Decision Making Research, Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator, and The Sandy Schwartz SMDM Young Scholars Award. Thank you for all the work by the Awards Committee led by Dr. Jeffrey Hoch! SMDM is committed to supporting science that is inclusive of all people. The DART Committee, under the leadership of Drs. Heather Gold and Beate Jahn, is working on the operational approach on how to best integrate activities to advance anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion with those of other committees and activities within SMDM. Thank you for everyone’s openness to change how we do things and patience as we work through it! For this year’s Awards Nominations, please consider nominees who reflect the diversity of our society and, as appropriate, the nominees contributions to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, or anti-racism in their research or practice.

Finally, our elections for Officers of the Society are coming up. The slate has been presented by the Nominating Committee, led by Past President, Dr. Olga Kostopoulou, to the Board, was approved by the Board and has been communicated to the membership. Thank you to all who volunteered! Keep an eye out for the invitation to vote.

As always, I love to hear your ideas and thoughts and am always happy to chat! Please reach out ([email protected])!

All my best,
IN MEMORIAM: Dr. Randall Cebul
Randall D. Cebul, MD (1950-2023)
Randall D. Cebul, whose medical career focused on improving the quality of care for populations most in need, died on March 16, 2023. A past-president of the Society, we have lost a true champion for those whose voices often go unheard.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Randy received his undergraduate degree from Denison University and an MD from Yale. He trained in general internal medicine and epidemiology at Penn, and stayed on the faculty as an assistant professor. He was the Program Chair for the Third Annual Meeting of the Society (Philadelphia) in 1981. 

Joining the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) faculty in 1987, Dr. Cebul led the division of general internal medicine at MetroHealth System and was deeply committed to mentorship and training. In 1994 he became the founding director of the MetroHealth and CWRU Center for Healthcare Research and Policy, which works to improve and inform health policy and practice.  

Randy will be remembered as a thought leader and innovator who championed fair and accessible community health. His vision to improve the health of people in Northeast Ohio led to the development of Better Health Greater Cleveland (now called Better Health Partnership). This program led to multiple improvements in care quality in the region by prioritizing collaboration over competition among healthcare systems in a highly competitive healthcare market.

Dr. Cebul was a change-maker and a natural collaborator who worked to break down silos to achieve an equitable healthcare system. This was evident when he was able to bring together 44 physician practices from competing health systems to agree to collect process and outcomes data, to share that data publicly, to identify inequities and other opportunities to improve care, and then work together successfully to improve care. Through this work, the region was able to eliminate disparities in diabetes care, among other activities to improve health and from 2007 to 2017, the 44 initial practices grew to over 90 participating practices.

Randy loved to say, "you can't improve what you don't measure," and his commitment to data was always about finding the best ways to help the people and communities at the heart of his life's work. 

Dr. Cebul authored over 100 publications demonstrating effective translation of programs and policies to improve health outcomes and advance health equity, one of which was a pilot Medicaid waiver program that contributed to Medicaid expansion in the state of Ohio. 

In addition to his work as Program chair in 1981, Randy served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Society from 1990-92, and President from 1995-96, during which time the Annual Meeting was held in Toronto for the second time. Primary care and health equity were high among his interests in Society leadership.

Randy was also committed to building a pipeline of health services researchers. From 1993 to 2005, Dr. Cebul directed a T32 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality training program and served as a mentor for the NIH Roadmap career development training grant program (known as the KL2).

Recognizing his leadership, research and dedication to improving the health of all populations, Dr. Cebul received numerous awards and honors, including the prestigious Mount Sinai Health Care Foundation Maurice Saltzman Award in 2009, the American Red Cross Hero Award in Cleveland in 2010, the Health Center Hero Award in 2015 and the Crain’s Innovation All-Star Award also in 2015. 

Randy loved to have a good time, and we will miss his boundless and rebellious energy, his love of rock n' roll and Cleveland sports, and his infectious gusto for life.  
Please consider nominating a person you feel should be recognized for one of the following SMDM Awards.

  • Career Achievement Award
  • SMDM Award for Distinguished Service
  • John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Decision Making Research
  • Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator
  • The Sandy Schwartz SMDM Young Scholars Award

Nominations are being accepted through TODAY.

Guidelines for submitting along with past winners and descriptions can be found here.
SMDM Mid-Career Mentoring Opportunity
Seeking senior-level mentors for the new SMDM Mid-Career Mentoring Program. We are specifically interested in identifying mentors who can advise mid-career mentees (late Assistant to Associate level) in the areas of:

  • Tenure and promotion
  • Moving from mentored research (e.g. K award) to independent principal investigator (e.g. R01 award)
  • Moving into leadership

Minimum time commitment is one-hour virtual meeting per quarter for one year. Mentors and mentees will be matched by the committee based on fit of interests and needs. This is a great way to pay it forward and to build the next generation of SMDM leaders!

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please contact Katie Martinez at [email protected] or Ryan Suk at [email protected] for more information or to sign up.
In the last issue of Hot Topics, Aisha Langford discussed the joys and pains of using electronic health records (EHRs) for MDM research. She also highlighted papers by SMDM members and other colleagues that focus on different aspects of EHR-based research. Read more

We want to hear from you! Please join the discussion by filling in the Poll here, and share how, if at all, you have used EHRs in your work, and what lessons you have learned?
Virtual Meetings and Webinars

Join us October 22-25 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Don't miss this great opportunity to connect with your peers and attend interesting and informative sessions.

You are sure to enjoy the "City of Brotherly Love" Philadelphia, PA. A city rich in America's history
of Independence.

The deadline for Abstracts is July 13.
The 18th Biennial European SMDM Conference took place from May 21-23, 2023, in Berlin. After four years of planning and preparation, the four co-chairs, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Beate Jahn, Dr. Silke Siebert and Prof. Dr. Uwe Siebert from UMIT TIROL, Austria, and Prof. Dr. Tobias Kurth from Charité, Berlin, were delighted to welcome 250 participants from 30 countries to the Langenbeck Virchow House on the Charité Campus in Berlin.
It was incredibly exciting for everyone to finally have an in-person European meeting again. The atmosphere in the historic building was fantastic, not only during the sessions but also during the coffee breaks and in the hallways, where discussions, networking, inspiration, and laughter filled the air. The venue was set-up professionally and tailored to our conference and, as always at our SMDM meetings, newcomers were immediately integrated into the SMDM community. Seven sponsored travel grants supported the participation of researchers with diverse backgrounds from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), Eastern European countries, and early-career researchers.
With 11 pre-conference short courses, 57 oral presentations and 10 issue panels presented in four parallel tracks by different stakeholders, 126 posters, 4 invited plenary symposia, and one career development panel, the scientific content of the conference was diverse, inclusive, excellent, and inspiring. The keynote speaker, Wolfgang Gaissmaier, captivated the audience with his talk titled "When Emotion Trumps Evidence: Challenges for the Public Understanding of Risk." His thought-provoking presentation ignited discussions about risk communication and personal behaviour across all SMDM areas, leaving a lasting impact on our attendees.
The evening social networking event at the Reinhard Bär Restaurant was wonderful, with fantastic weather and delicious food. At the opening, giant soap bubbles filled the air, and the night concluded with an energetic dance party. Additional social activities encouraged networking and enjoyment, such as visiting the German Parliament (Reichstag), guided bicycle or kayak city tours, and relaxing at a beer garden by the river.
This year, we took the first steps towards organizing a sustainable conference, which included providing only vegetarian meals at the venue, avoiding plastic packaging for meals and drinks, fresh flowers replaced by creative multi-country decorations and reducing the size of the printed program overview.
Overall, the conference was an overwhelming success and also another step towards
a truly international society. We are looking forward to the next meeting!
Beate Jahn, Silke Siebert, Uwe Siebert
SMDM JOURNALS - Call for Papers Underway

Due October 1, 2023

Visit the MDM and MDM P&P Journals’s website for information about the scheduled Editors and Abstracts Hours. There is currently a Call for Papers on the Interface Between Human Users and Machine Learning Models in Medical Decision Making, take a look!

In this Call for Papers, MDM is seeking original research manuscripts presenting work at the interface between ML models in MDM and the people who might need to use those models to improve decisions and health outcomes. Relevant research may consider any decision maker, including clinicians, patients, policy makers, and/or the public more generally, as well as how to make predictive models more useful to those decision makers.
Did you know Editors and Abstracts Hours are hosted online monthly?

MDM Journals Editor-in-Chief Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher and Deputy Editor Lauren E. Cipriano encourage any interested author of medical decision-making research to drop in to the call. They will ask people to share their abstract with whoever attends and provide feedback both on the abstract and on what they look for in submissions to Medical Decision Making and MDM Policy & Practice. No cost, no obligation. Just an opportunity.

Note: If you are planning to attend, please email the journal office at [email protected] to let them know. They will appreciate the notice!

The upcomming calls are:
  • Friday, July 7, 2023
  • Friday, August 4, 2023

12:00 noon Eastern, 09:00 Pacific, 17:00 GMT/UTC, 18:00 CET

Professor Jane Kim Appointed Interim Dean of Harvard School of Public Health
Jane Kim, professor of health economics, has been appointed as the interim dean of the Harvard School of Public Health while the search for a permanent dean continues. Kim, currently serving as the dean for academic affairs, will assume the role on July 1. Kim has been praised for her leadership and contributions to the school, including expanding knowledge of health policy issues and fostering partnerships with prestigious organizations. She is a respected researcher and has focused on evaluating women's health policy through mathematical models.

Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert has been appointed to the PCORI Methodology Committee
Congratulations to Jeremy, SMDM’s Secretary-Treasurer, with his appointment to the PCORI Methodology committee. The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit research organization that seeks to empower patients and others with actionable information about their health and healthcare choices. PCORI is the leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research in the United States. The Methodology Committee works to develop and update methodological standards for patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR), and to develop a translation framework to guide the choice of study designs for specific research questions.
Want to be featured in the SMDM Newsletter? Our next newsletter is scheduled for September 2023, let us know if you have anything to share.

  • Have you...
  • ·    ...been in the news lately?
  • ·    ...published a timely and interesting article?
  • ·    ...had any personal news (e.g. promotions, moves, awards, childbirths, etc...) of interest?

Let us share your news with your peers.

What Are You Working On?

This column is designed to encourage networking among SMDM members. It's a great opportunity to share your activities, peak interest among members, and identify potential collaborations. 

Submissions should be brief (300 words or less) and focused on current and future programs rather than present findings. Click here

Graduating SMDM Members, Introduce Yourselves! 
The newsletter will have a section listing graduating students. Click 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.

Netherlands Cancer Institute
Deputy Editor
New York University Grossman School of Medicine