We hope you enjoy the Fall edition of the Society for Medical Decision Making Newsletter
SMDM Newsletter


From the Editor
by Joshua A. Hemmerich, PhD
From the President
by Scott Braithwaite, MD

SMDM Meetings

SMDM Meetings

2013 North American Meeting
2014 Asia-Pacific Meeting
2014 European Meeting



Washington is Crazy: Continuing Government Shutdown and Debt Default Possible by Mark Liebow, MD, MPH

ISPOR-SMDM Joint Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force Draws Substantial Web Traffic by Shikhar Shah, BS, and Louise B. Russell, PhD

The Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine by Louise B. Russell, PhD

In Memoriam: Jane Weeks by G. Scott Gazelle, MD, PhD

Other News

Society Updates

Election Announcement
SMDM Connect
Publications Committee: Editors Welcome

In Every Issue

In Every Issue

Medical Decision Making
Members News
Other News
Recognition of Lifetime Contributors

Events and Opportunities

Be sure to take advantage of all of the events and opportunities SMDM has to offer.
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Renew Your Membership for 2013
Opportunities to Volunteer
2014 ESMDM Call for Abstracts  
Job Postings
Support SMDM
Join SMDM on Facebook
Contact Us



Joshua A. Hemmerich, PhD, Editor-in-chief, The University of Chicago
Donald A. Brand, PhD, Senior Editor, Winthrop University Hospital


Mark Liebow, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic
Shikhar Shah, BS, University of Illinois at Chicago
Louise B. Russell, PhD, Rutgers University
G. Scott Gazelle, MD, MPH, PhD, Harvard Medical School

Additional Contributing Authors

Scott Braithwaite, MD, New York University School of Medicine
Heather Taffet Gold, PhD, New York University School of Medicine
Elena Elkin, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Jeff Van den Ende, MD, PhD, Institute of Tropical Medicine
M.G. Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD, Erasmus University Medical School
Lisa Prosser, PhD, University of Michigan

Joshua HemmerichFrom the Editor

by Joshua A. Hemmerich, PhD, Editor-in-chief, The University of Chicago

I greet you as the new Editor-In-Chief of the SMDM Newsletter. Our team is pleased to present the Fall 2013 issue which comes with great anticipation, and a useful primer, for the 35th Annual North American Meeting in Baltimore later this month. This year’s meeting has the timely theme “Bench, Bedside and Beyond: Medical Decision Making and Public Policy" and includes the keynote address from David Eddy, MD, PhD, ‘From Classroom to Chaos: How to (Try to) Influence Healthcare Policy’. As well, we look ahead to the 15th Biennial European meeting in Antwerp Belgium coming up in June of next year, with the abstract submission opening on October 20th.

Several contributors have made this an especially useful newsletter issue to long-time and new readers alike by illuminating the importance of the work done by SMDM members to the healthcare world today. As the United States is in the midst of a politically tumultuous time regarding healthcare, Mark Liebow, MD, provides a well-timed article about health policy.   Additionally, there is a report on a collaboration between SMDM and ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) known as the ISPOR-SMDM Joint Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force. Also included is a report about the Second Panel on Cost-effectiveness in Health and Medicine, which was awarded an AHRQ Conference Grant (R13) to support a second convention in the spring of 2014. SMDM President Scott Braithwaite, MD, weighs in on the ongoing mission of the Society and its new generation of leadership.

This quarter’s issue also illustrates how SMDM is utilizing current technology to provide new ways to connect members of the Society around the world via its new social networking site, SMDM Connect.

We also take pause with Scott Gazelle MD, PhD, a close friend and colleague, to remember the life of Dr. Jane Weeks, a pioneer of cancer outcomes research at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and long time SMDM member. Dr. Weeks passed away on September 10, 2013 after a long illness.

This fall is also a time of transition for the newsletter, as we thank Scott LaJoie, PhD, for his excellent service as the Editor-in-Chief over the past two years. We also seek to find a new Senior Editor to take over from Donald Brand, PhD, after more than two years of stellar service on the newsletter staff.  

As I enter into the position as the Editor-in-Chief of the SMDM Newsletter, I extend an invitation to you to contribute an article for the newsletter to make important announcements, share your thoughts and expound upon shared interests with its readership throughout the year. Please feel free to contact me directly at with your ideas. If you are not a member of SMDM, I warmly welcome you to join the Society and take part in an exciting organization of enthusiastic and passionate professionals, students and trainees.

I look forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

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Scott BraithwaiteFrom the President

by Scott Braithwaite, MD, New York University School of Medicine

The title of my address at the North American Meeting is:

SMDM – meeting = ?

As a perk for those reading the newsletter, I will give a sneak peak at the answer:


This is necessary for us to stay vital and relevant, particularly as the founding generation of the society is passing the torch to the second generation of society leaders.

Here are some other “coming attractions” from the address. Please think about these issues, stop me at the meeting, and give me your personal thoughts and insights. Or you can just heckle anonymously (this is a joke).
  • First of all, this development would not be possible without the forethought of previous presidents who have started us on the path to being structured as a truly professional society, and to the tireless efforts of Jill Metcalf in the continuing efforts to realize this vision. Second, this discussion would not be possible without  the process that set 5-year strategic objectives for SMDM, stewarded by Jill and led by Hal Sox.
  • This year has brought an unprecedented (for SMDM) emphasis on setting goals and trying to achieve them, particularly through reinvigoration of certain committees (policy, membership, development) and through creation of select new ones (methods concierge, networking). Goals derive from strategic objectives, which are revisited in systematic fashion by Board and external advisors every 5 years. Committee chairs have goals and achievement of these goals are reviewed at leadership and Board meetings, on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
  • This year has also brought an unprecedented effort, led by Anne Stiggelbout, towards SMDM becoming a truly international society. Important structural changes in the organization’s working have been made, including ensuring international representation on the Board and Committees. Now, what happens next is up to you (I am speaking here to international members). Are these changes merely words on a page, or will genuine change occur? Increasing the size and importance of the European meeting and exploration of meetings in other settings (such as the Singapore meeting in January) will be important drivers of this process
  • This year has brought an unprecedented systematic effort to (1) define what SMDM needs to get out of strategic partnerships with other organizations in order for the time/effort/hassle to be worthwhile, and (2) conduct a systematic effort to identify partner organizations that meet these criteria, and for whom there are “win/win” efforts. More on this at the address.
  • For SMDM to evolve, SMDM NEEDS YOU! Please find your favorite committee and give ONE HOUR EACH WEEK.

Baltimore is beautiful in late October. I expect to see you all there!

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North American Meeting Update

Bench, Bedside and Beyond: Medical Decision Making and Public Policy

by Co-chairs, Heather Taffet Gold, PhD, New York University School of Medicine and Elena Elkin, PhD, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Gold and ElkinThe 35th SMDM Annual Meeting being held October 19-23, 2013, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, includes innovative and engaging sessions related to all aspects of medical decision making. Topics range from comparative effectiveness research to the theories of shared decision making, and from health technology assessment to studies in cognitive psychology.

This year’s meeting theme is Bench, Bedside and Beyond: Medical Decision Making and Public Policy. While traditional scientific sessions will include presentations of original research in areas spanning the range of topics in medical and public health decision making, several special symposia will address the dissemination of research findings beyond the confines of academia and the use of those findings to inform and shape health care policy. Underscoring this theme, Dr. David Eddy, Chief Medical Officer Emeritus of Archimedes, Inc. and former professor at Stanford and Duke Universities, will give the keynote address, reflecting on his long and distinguished career in health policy, sharing his experiences, insights and lessons learned along the way.

The meeting’s theme will be highlighted in four additional unique sessions. A symposium planned by the SMDM Policy Committee will bring together analysts from the US and UK to discuss modeling methods used in government agencies for forecasting and policy development. In another session, experts in aging and decision psychology will discuss innovative applications of decision science to promote informed decision-making among older adults. A third symposium will feature science and health journalists from print and broadcast media discussing strategies for disseminating research results to the press and the public. And in this year’s pre-meeting dinner symposium, US and Canadian researchers and leaders of the American Cancer Society and the American Society of Clinical Oncology will discuss strategies for influencing policy and practice in cancer care.

As always, the SMDM Annual meeting will offer oral and poster sessions showcasing original research in medical decision making, a variety of half- and full-day short courses including SMDM core courses and special invited courses new for 2013, and opportunities for networking and career development. Informal networking will continue at a unique social event Monday night at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum and at dinners with medical decision making experts held at local restaurants. Baltimore’s Inner Harbor District and Oriole Park at Camden Yards provide a fun and scenic backdrop for the meeting.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s North American meeting and hope you take advantage of the wide range of offerings and activities.

2013 Annual Meeting Planning Committee:
Meeting Co-chairs: Elena Elkin, PhD, ( and Heather Taffet Gold, PhD, (
Scientific Review Committee Co-chairs: Eran Bendavid, MD, and Tanya Bentley, PhD
Short Course Committee Co-chairs: Stacey Sheridan, MD, MPH, James Stahl, MD, MPH
Career Development co-chairs: Natasha Stout, PhD, and Beate Sander, PhD

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Registration is now open for the SMDM Inaugural Asia-Pacific Conference January 6-8, 2014

Registration is now open for SMDM’s inaugural Asia-Pacific Conference, Informing Health Care Decision-Making with Evidence. This conference will join the annual SMDM meeting held in North America and the biennial SMDM-Europe conference as venues to promote medical decision making principles and skills internationally, to delve deeply into region-specific priority areas, and to build a regional and international network of colleagues working in this area. The Early Bird Deadline is December 16th. Click here to register now!

Conference Highlights include:
  • Five of our highly regarded short courses taught by world-renowned faculty
  • Keynote address featuring the Honorable Chih-Liang Yaung, PhD, Chair Professor of the Department of Health Administration at Asia University, Taiwan
  • Plenary panel symposium to discuss institutional innovations and barriers to improving Patient-Centered Care/Shared Decision Making in the Asian region
  • Health policy round showcasing and debating responses to the challenges of dementia in the Asia-Pacific region
For full information on the program, click here.

The inaugural SMDM-Asia meeting represents the first step in a long-term strategic commitment on the part of SMDM to building stronger connections with the medical and health policy and decision making, research, and education communities located in the Asian region.

We hope you will join us in Singapore!

Meeting co-chairs: Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD, and Anirban Basu, PhD
Meeting Committee: Dana Alden, PhD, Eric Finkelstein, PhD, Sun-Young Kim, PhD, Yee Wei Lim, PhD, David Matchar, MD, Scott Ramsey, MD, and Mark Roberts, MD.

SMDM Asia-Pacific Conference

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Biennial SMDM-Europe Conference in Antwerp, June 2014

by Jeff Van den Ende, MD, PhD, Institute of Tropical Medicine and M.G. Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD, Erasmus University Medical School, Meeting Chairs

Antwerp Meeting ChairsThe Society for Medical Decision Making, the faculty of medicine of the Antwerp University, the Brussels Knowledge Center and the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine are honored to host the forthcoming biennial SMDM-Europe conference in Antwerp, June 2014.

The venue is a superb old monastery, where posters are set up and coffee and meals will be served in a century-old ward of infectious diseases. The social event will be held in a historical store house in the harbor, in front of the eye-catching new museum. Moreover, Belgium is the heart of Europe, and in that position it has borrowed the best of all qualities of countries: cuisine, oenology, and culture. After intellectual highlights during the day, these values will be available at night. 

The special focus will be: “clinical decision making in the era of personalized medicine’’. Clinical decision making got a great boost in the seventies, with the famous publications by Pauker and Kassirer. After a few decades of relative silence, interest in this discipline is again rising, especially in personalized medicine, shared decision making and undergraduate training. The threshold concept they conceived has been proven a cornerstone in clinical practice. Apart from the special focus, the broad field of medical decision making will be addressed in symposia, workshops, pre-conference courses, presentations and poster sessions.

Conference Highlights:
  • Five of our highly regarded short courses taught by world-renowned faculty
  • Plenary panel symposia to discuss ageing, threshold concepts and training in clinical decision making.
  • The organizers want to continue the trend of increasing quality of European MDM congresses, and hope you will join us in Antwerp.

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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.

Washington is Crazy: Continuing Government Shutdown and Debt Default Possible

by Mark Liebow, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic

Mark LiebowOnce upon a time, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate each spent the first nine months of a year passing a dozen or so appropriations bills to pay for the activities of the Federal government. The bills were reconciled in conference committee when needed. Once the House and Senate had agreed on a single version of a bill, it was sent to the President for signature by October 1, the start of the Federal fiscal year. Occasionally the House and Senate couldn't come up with a bill both could pass by that date, so they would pass a continuing resolution to sustain the agencies covered in that bill, usually at the the previous year's funding levels, then later work out a bill they could pass.

That isn't what happens any more. Instead, most of the government is funded by continuing resolution, and this year none of the appropriations bills have passed and gone to the President. What's worse, the House and the Senate originally differed by billions of dollars on how much a continuing resolution should allow the government to spend and the House tried to defund the Affordable Care Act, a tactic the Senate would not support. This legislative gridlock led to the partial, but substantial, government shut down that occurred on October 1. The Senate chose to accept the House’s funding level for its version of the continuing resolution needed to fund the government, so that even if the government had stayed open agencies such as the National Institutes of Health would take a cut in real terms, thus making grants smaller and harder to get while this continuing resolution would be in effect. With the government shut down, no grants will be processed or grant submissions reviewed. Many Federal government employees have been furloughed and, aside from active-duty military employees, almost none of those working are being be paid during the shutdown. Mandatory spending will continue, including Medicare, Medicaid, and most of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions.

It is not clear when the shutdown will be resolved, and in late October we will face another legislative crisis, when the U.S. Government debt will hit the limit previously set by Congress. Traditionally, this situation has provided an opportunity for legislators who do not belong to the President's party to complain about mismanagment and incorrect policies of the Executive Branch before raising the limit. Recently, however, legislators have viewed this as an opportunity to achieve otherwise unattainable policy objectives in exchange for raising the limit. President Obama has insisted he will not negotiate over the debt limit, while some Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act as part of raising the limit. If the debt limit is not raised, the U.S.will default on its debt (or not be able to meet in current obligations), and there may be devastating economic consequences, perhaps throwing the economy back into recession. This scenario would also not be good for researchers, teachers, or clinicians.

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Change in Leadership at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

by Mark Liebow, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic

In August, Carolyn Clancy, MD, stepped down after more than a decade as Director of the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to become Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health, Quality, Safety and Value, Veterans Health Administration. She is being replaced by Richard Kronick, PhD, who also gets the AHRQ Director's seat on the Board of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Since 2010, he had served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, overseeing the Office of Health Policy. His academic career was in health services and health policy research. It's unclear what he thinks about the kind of work SMDM members typically do.

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Report of the ISPOR-SMDM Joint Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force Draws Substantial Web Traffic

by Shikhar Shah, BS, University of Illinois at Chicago and Louise B. Russell, PhD, Rutgers University

shaw and russellSimulation models have become essential tools for evaluating health technologies. Last fall, Medical Decision Making co-published, with Value in Health, seven articles that report the results of a collaboration between SMDM and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) known as the ISPOR-SMDM Joint Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force. The first article in the series describes the work of the Task Force and summarizes its 2012 recommendations. Subsequent articles explain the conceptualization of a model, state-transition modeling, discrete event simulation models, dynamic transmission models, estimation of model parameters and handling of uncertainty, and validation of models and concerns for transparency.

Each of these articles (listed below the figure) has drawn a lot of traffic to the MDM website ( During the first month of publication, the overview article was viewed by 983 people and, during the first year, the Task Force articles averaged 223 unique views per article per month, compared with 66 for other MDM articles.

These seven articles have already begun to be cited in the literature. For example, as of August 2013, the overview article had been cited 19 times and the other six articles each averaged nine citations.

Online Readership of ISPOR-SMDM Task Force Articles

Task Force Articles
  1. Caro JJ, Briggs AH, Siebert U, Kuntz KM. Modeling Good Research Practices – Overview: a report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force – 1. Med Decis Making. 2012;32(5):667-677.
  2. Roberts M, Russell LB, Paltiel AD, Chambers M, McEwan P, Krahn M. Conceptualizing a model: a report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force – 2. Med Decis Making. 2012;32(5):678-690.
  3. Siebert U, Alagoz O, Bayoumi AM, Jahn B, Owens DK, Cohen DJ, Kuntz KM. State-transition modeling: a report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force – 3. Med Decis Making. 2012;32(5):690-700.
  4. Karnon J, Stahl J, Brennan A, Caro JJ, Mar J, Möller J. Modeling using discrete event simulation: a report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force – 4. Med Decis Making. 2012;32(5):701-711.Pitman R,
  5. Fisman D, Zaric GS, Postma M, Kretzschmar M, Edmunds J, Brisson J. Dynamic transmission modeling: a report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force – 5. Med Decis Making. 2012;32(5):712-721.
  6. Briggs AH, Weinstein MC, Fenwick EAL, Karnon J, Sculpher MJ, Paltiel AD. Model parameter estimation and uncertainty analysis: a report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force – 6. Med Decis Making. 2012;32(5):722-732.
  7. Eddy DM, Hollingworth W, Caro JJ, Tsevat J, McDonald KM, Wong JB. Model transparency and validation: a report of the ISPOR-SMDM Modeling Good Research Practices Task Force – 7. Med Decis Making. 2012;32(5):733-743.

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Louise RussellThe Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine

by Louise B. Russell, PhD, Rutgers University

In 1993, the U.S. Public Health Service convened a panel of 13 non-government scientists and scholars to review the developing field of cost-effectiveness analysis. In 1996 the panel published a book that provided recommendations for the use and conduct of cost-effectiveness analyses in health and medicine (Gold et al., 1996). The book quickly became a standard reference in the United States and internationally and has been cited more than 6,000 times. 

Cost-effectiveness analysis has advanced significantly since 1996, and in 2011 a group of leaders in the field began planning to update the book. In consultation with the members of the First Panel, they developed a process and structure that allows interested members of the First Panel to work together with the new Second Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine. The goals of the Second Panel are to reaffirm concepts that have not changed, modify those that have, and expand the book into new areas. Since October 2012, the Leadership Group, which organizes and facilitates the Panel’s work, has had weekly conference calls. (Members of the Second Panel and the Leadershop Group are listed below.)  The new Panel has convened and completed chapter outlines, with full-panel conference calls occurring every six weeks since January 2013.

The first face-to-face meeting of the Second Panel is scheduled for October 2013 in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making.  The Panel has been awarded an AHRQ Conference Grant (R13-HS022824) to support a second in-person meeting in the spring of 2014.

Reference: L. Marthe Gold, Joanna Siegel, Louise Russell, and Milton Weinstein, editors, Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Panel Members

Anirban Basu, Associate Professor in the Departments of Health Services, Pharmacy, and Economics, University of Washington, Seattle.
Dan Brock, Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine Harvard Medical School .
David Feeny, Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB Canada.
Kevin Frick, Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Murray Krahn, Director of THETA (Toronto Health Economics and Technology Assessment Collaborative), the F. Norman Hughes Chair in Pharmacoeconomics at the Faculty of Pharmacy, and Professor, Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Toronto.
Karen Kuntz, Professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota.
David Meltzer, Director of the Center for Health and the Social Sciences and Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Economics, and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
Peter Neumann, Panel Co-Chair and Director of the Center for the Evaluation of Value and Risk in Health, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center, and Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine.
Doug Owens, Associate Director of the Center for Health Care Evaluation at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Director of the Center for Health Policy and of the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research, Stanford University.
Lisa Prosser, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Medical School, University of Michigan.
Josh Salomon, Professor of Global Health, Harvard School of Public Health.
Gillian Sanders, Panel Co-Chair and Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Assistant Professor in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University.
Mark Sculpher, Professor of Health Economics at the Centre for Health Economics and Director of the Programme on Economic Evaluation and Health Technology Assessment, University of York, UK.
Tom Trikalinos, Associate Professor of Health Services, Policy & Practice, Brown University.

Leadership Group

Theodore Ganiats, Executive Director of the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Health Services Research Center and Professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, UCSD School of Medicine.
Peter Neumann,  Panel Co-Chair (see above)
Louise Russell, Distinguished Professor, Institute for Health, and Department of Economics, Rutgers University
Gillian Sanders,  Panel Co-Chair (see above)
Joanna Siegel, Senior Research Scientist, Center for Outcomes and Evidence,  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

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Jane WeeksIn Memoriam: Jane Weeks

by G. Scott Gazelle, MD, MPH, PhD, Harvard Medical School
It is with a sense of profound sadness that I inform you of the death on September 10, 2013, of Dr. C. Jane Weeks, after a long battle with cancer. One of the true intellectual pillars of the Harvard Medical and Cancer Outcomes Research communities, Jane was a Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. She was also Director of the McGraw-Patterson Center for Population Sciences, Chief of the Division of Population Sciences within the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and program leader for Outcomes Research in the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Jane was known as an extraordinarily brilliant and incisive thinker, a highly successful and caring mentor, and an investigator who literally helped shape the field of cancer outcomes research. She was the recipient of numerous mentorship awards including the Clifford A. Barger Award for Outstanding Mentoring and the William Silen Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring Award at the Harvard Medical School, and the Casty Family Achievement in Mentoring Award at DFCI.  In characteristic fashion, she used the proceeds from the Silen award to establish a fund, in her name, that will support research by junior faculty and trainees. 

Jane graduated from Harvard College in 1974 with a degree in philosophy, and from Harvard Medical School in 1984. In 1991, she received a master’s degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health. She formed many close and lasting friendships within and outside of the clinical and academic worlds in which she worked, and her wisdom, both scientific and administrative, was sought all over the world.  All whose lives have been touched by such a remarkable human being will mourn the loss of a good friend and esteemed colleague.
Jane is survived by her husband, Barrett Rollins, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Chief Scientific Officer and Faculty Dean for Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Those wishing to honor Jane’s legacy may make a donation to the Jane C. Weeks, M.D., MSC Junior Population Science and Clinical Investigator Endowment Fund at DFCI.

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Election Announcement

We congratulate our newly elected Board of Trustees and thank them for offering their time and expertise to SMDM.

SMDM Board of Trustees
They are (pictured above clockwise): President Elect, Ahmed Bayoumi, MD, MSc, Associate Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; Vice President Elect, Angie Fagerlin, PhD, Associate Professor, Director, Center for Bioethics and Social Science in Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, VA; and 3 Trustees: David Bruce Matchar, MD, FACP, FAHA, Director and Professor, Program in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Singapore & Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA; Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, Assistant Professor of Health Behavior & Health Education and Internal Medicine, University of Michigan; and Olga Kostopoulou, MSc, PhD, Associate Professor in Medical Decision Making, King's College London.

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SMDM Connect

SMDM is proud to announce its Social Networking and Resource Site ‘SMDM Connect’ available for free to all society members. The site will enable members to experience a whole new way of connecting with colleagues as SMDM Connect brings a custom edge to the popular model of social networking platforms, providing a simple and comprehensive place to grow your professional network online.

This site allows you to create your own professional profile and build a network of connections with other SMDM members. You can post resources, syllabi, CVs and other relevant materials. SMDM Connect enables you to participate in topical discussions in the SMDM Member Forum.

Committee and Interest Group conversations can continue outside of meetings, as SMDM Connect features a virtual workspace designated for each group to post resources, discussions, events, and announcements. The committee groups feature has privacy settings to allow members to securely conduct business. *Committee members please contact your chair or to be added to a committee group.

Don’t wait for the Annual Meeting to start networking! All registrants of SMDM’s North American, Asia-Pacific and European Meetings will have access to the event networking group. Interact with your colleagues, connect with session speakers, and share valuable expertise as you prepare for an exciting event.

SMDM Connect is FREE to all SMDM members and meeting attendees. If you’re not a member of SMDM, why not join? There’s never been a better time to be a part of this exciting society and get to know a diverse group of experts from around the world. Log in under the Member Portal dropdown on the homepage or use the link below to begin.

Username: your primary email address
Password: same as the Member Portal
Forgot your password? Click here

View the SMDM Connect demo now
Please contact with any questions or comments. Enjoy!

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The SMDM Newsletter Seeks Senior Editor, Deputy Editor, and Contributors

Lisa Prosserby Lisa Prosser, PhD, Chair, SMDM Publications Committee

We’re looking for:

Senior Editor: offers guidance regarding the direction of the Newsletter and suggests potential topics, authors, and editors.
Deputy Editor: assists Editor in coordinating the components of the Newsletter. The Deputy Editor is positioned to move into the Editor role in future years.
Associate Editors / Writers: responsible for announcements or short articles (1-3 paragraphs) each quarter.

We are looking for people interested in writing or finding others to write brief 1 – 3 paragraph articles in the following areas:
  • Policy
  • International Relations
  • Decision Psychology
  • Humorist / Cartoonist / Puzzles
  • Your area of expertise! If you want to be involved in another area, suggest a role in your area of expertise we are open to suggestions for expanding the scope of articles in the newsletter.
Your contribution will be far reaching -- the newsletter has been published since 1999 and has established an international readership. All 1000+ SMDM members receive the SMDM Newsletter quarterly; in addition, it is posted on the website and is now made accessible to non-members. Editors have the opportunity to participate in SMDM Board meetings, which provides a great opportunity for exposure to the Society’s leadership. Whether you’re a new member or an “experienced” member of the Society — there could be a great role for you!

We need your ideas and participation! 

Interested in learning more? Contact Lisa Prosser

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October Journal Available

We hope you enjoy the latest issue of our journal

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Other News

Modeling Approaches for HTA: a Practical Hands-On Workshop

The University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology (UMIT) is pleased to announce their sixth 3-Day Certificate Course “Modeling Approaches for HTA: a Practical Hands-On Workshop”, June 5-7, 2014, to be held in Antwerp, Belgium as a pre-workshop for Antwerp SMDM meeting.The workshop combines theoretical concepts with practical hands-on exercises comprising five different modeling techniques applied in Public Health and HTA. Real-world case examples from different acute and chronic diseases will be discussed. This Practical Hands-On Modeling Workshop was developed and will be held in collaboration between the PATH Research Institute at McMaster University, Canada and the Department of Public Health, Medical Decision Making and HTA at UMIT, Hall i.T., Austria. Detailed information about the course and study program is available at, via e-mail or by phone +43 (0)50 8648-3901.

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Member News

Kee Chan, PhD, has been selected by the Yale Alumni Association School of Public Health as the recipient of the 2013 Eric Mood New Professional Award. This award recognizes the career of an alumnus/a who is a promising new professional in the field of public health. .The ceremony will take place on October 11th, 2013, on Yale Alumni Day Celebration in New Haven, CT. Dr. Kee Chan is an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at Boston University and is the Director of Genomics and Decision Sciences Laboratory. Her research focuses on developing medical decision making for infectious diseases management and genomic healthcare. Dr. Chan is a molecular biologist with an interest in public health and implementation sciences. Dr. Chan is also the co-developer of the newborn screening genetic test for severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), which is currently being implemented in half of the U.S. States. She is also an adjunct research investigator at the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and focused her research on cost-effectiveness analysis and budget impact analysis of HIV testing, hepatitis medication and genomic research.   Visit her research website: 

Aubri Hoffman, PhD, received the Alvin Tarlov and John E. Ware Postdoctoral Research Award in Patient-Reported Outcomes for her work developing an online patients' decision aid for long term care planning in Alzheimer's care. Aubri and her husband Derek are also delighted to announce the birth of their first son, Luke. Baby Luke is a healthy, active boy, growing fast this summer. Aubri returned to her work at the Dartmouth Centers for Health and Aging in September.

The Institute of Health Policy and Development Studies (IHPDS) of the Philippine National Institutes of Health is proud to announce the appointment of Hilton Y. Lam, MHA, PhD, as its newest Director. Dr. Lam is an Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, at the University of the Philippines Manila. The IHPDS wishes to invite international institutions and researchers for research collaboration or event hosting.

Shan Liu, PhD, is starting as an assistant professor in the department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Washington this fall.

News from Richard Martin, MD, MA, Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine: I wanted to share this article which we just published in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.  It is a part of our patient safety, quality and health equity research thread applied to rheumatoid arthritis. In the manuscript we explore how race, mood, and cognition influence decision making and how this might explain the underutilization of “effective care” in this instance disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. We evaluated the determinants of risk perception (RP) in 1009 RA patients and predictors of their willingness to take a proposed DMARD (DMARD willingness). The overall survey response rate was 71%.  Regression models demonstrated that health literacy, independent of low educational achievement or other demographic (including race), was a common predictor of both RP and DMARD willingness. There was partial mediation of the effects of HL on DMARD willingness through RP. Depression and happiness had no significant effect on RP or DMARD willingness. RP was influenced by negative RA disease and treatment experience, while DMARD willingness was affected mainly by perceived disease control. From these results we concluded risk aversion may be the result of potentially recognizable and correctable cognitive defect. We recommend heightened clinician awareness, formal screening for low health literacy or cognitive impairment in high-risk populations, may identify patients could benefit from additional decision support. The full text, open access manuscript is available at

Gordon D. Schiff, MD, Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Patient Safety Research, has published 4 recent articles and editorials in BMJ Quality and Safety related to diagnostic error in medicine. Also, Gordy has written Piece of My Mind in the 9/25/13 issue of JAMA about the issue of profession-patient boundaries and descisionmaking regarding weighing the risks and benefits of various extended caring acts.

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SMDM Lifetime Contributors

SMDM extends its heartfelt appreciation to members for their charitable contributions over the years. Donations received Oct. 2005 – August 31, 2013. Bold indicates a new donor or a donor who has advanced their level of recognition in 2013.

Pareto Level
(Contributions total $1,000 or more)
Michael Barry (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10)
John Clarke (13)
Dennis Fryback (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13)
Mark Helfand (’05, ’07, ’10, ’11)
Joseph King (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11)
William Lawrence (’06, ’10, ’11)
David Rovner & Margaret Holmes-Rovner (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’13)
Uwe Siebert ('11)
Frank Sonnenberg (’06, ’09)
Harold and Carol Sox (’10, ’11, ’13)
Sankey Williams (’06, ’07, ’08)
John Wong (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)

Edwards Level
(Contributions total $750 - $999)
David Meltzer (’07, ’09)
Stephen Pauker (’06, ’09)
Marilyn Schapira (’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)
Joel Tsevat (’06, ’09, ’10)

Tversky Level
(Contributions total $500 - $749)
Robert Beck (’07)
Scott Cantor & Lisa Stone (’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)
Kate Christensen (’09)
Nananda Col (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09)
Neal Dawson (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13)
Kathryn McDonald (’07, ’09, ’10)
Jill Metcalf (’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)
David Paltiel (’07, ’09)
Mark Roberts (’08, ’09)
Bruce Schackman (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11)
Seema Sonnad (’06, ’07, ’09, ’12)

von Neumann-Morgenstern Level
(Contributions total $250 - $499)
Ahmed Bayoumi (’06, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13)
Dena Bravata (’06, ’09, ’10, ’11)
Randall Cebul (’06, ’08, ’10)
Mark Eckman (’06, ’09)
Arthur Elstein (’06, ’07, ’09, ’10)
Peder Halvorsen ('11, ’12, ’13)
Sara Knight (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)
Karen Kuntz (’09, ’11)
Steven Kymes (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’12)
James Stahl (’06, ’09, ’10, ’12)
David Sugano (’07, ’09, ’10, ’11)

Markov Level
(Contributions total $100 - $249)
Dana Alden (’12)
Amber Barnato (’05, ’07, ’08, ’11, ’12)
Cathy Bradley (’07)
Scott Braithwaite (’09)
Linda Canty (’12)
Phaedra Corso (’06, ’07, ’08)
Elena Elkin (’07)
Alan Garber (’10)
Heather Taffet Gold (’08, ’11)
Robert Hamm (’06, ’08)
Myriam Hunink (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)
Esther Kaufmann ('11)
Miriam Kuppermann (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’12)
Curtis Langlotz (’12)
Lisa Maillart (’10)
Richard Orr (’05, ’06)
Brian Rittenhouse (’07)
Allison Rosen (’07)
Alan Schwartz (’07, ’10, ’12, ’13)
Joanne Sutherland (’08, ’09)
Thomas Tape (’10, ’11)
John Thornbury (’05)
George Torrance (’05)
Jef Van den Ende (’10)
Robert Wigton (’10, ’11)
Brian Zikmund-Fisher (’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13)

Bayes Level
(Contributions total up to $100)
Hilary Bekker (’12)
Eran Bendavid (’11)
Denise Bijlenga (’08)
Kimberly Blake (’09)
Rowland Chang (’06, ’07)
Carmel Crock (’09)
James Dolan (’09)
Arna Dresser (’10, ’12)
Ted Ganiats (’05)
Lee Green (’07, ’09)
Amit Gupta (’06)
Michael Hagen (’10)
David Howard (’09)
Michael Kattan (’13)
David Katz (’08)
Job Kievit (’09)
Kerry Kilbridge (’05, ’07, ’08)
Sun-Young Kim (’07, ’08, ’09)
Ivar Sonbo Kristiansen (’10)
Joseph Ladapo (’12)
Andrew Scott LaJoie (’10)
Andreas Maetzel (’09)
Daniel Masica (’08)
Evan Myers (’12)
Thomas B. Newman (’10)
Jesse D. Ortendahl ('11)
Jane Pai ('10)
George Papadopoulos (’08)
Lisa Prosser (’08)
Michael Rothberg (’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)
Gillian Sanders (’07)
Jha Saurabh (’09)
Ewout Steyerberg (’06, ’09, ’11)
Anne Stiggelbout (’06)
Carol Stockman (’05)
Danielle Timmermans (’07)
Hugues Vaillancourt (’11)
Milton Weinstein (’09, ’11)
Robert Werner (’08)

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