Better Health through Better Decisions
View this email in your browser


Events and Opportunities

Stay connected by taking advantage of these opportunities SMDM has to offer.
Join or Renew Your Membership
Opportunities to Network
Job Postings
Support SMDM
Join SMDM on Facebook
Contact Us

From the Editor

by Dana L. Alden, PhD, Editor-in-chief, The University of Hawaii

Welcome to the Summer 2015 issue of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) Newsletter! In this issue, Society President, Ahmed Bayoumi, gets the ball rolling by offering insights into what distinguishes our Society from other academic and research associations. As Ahmed’s letter demonstrates, SMDM’s organizational culture is truly and positively unique on multiple fronts.   

We also take time to remember two SMDM members (Josh Hemmerich and Seema Sonnad) whose untimely passing this spring was a great loss to their families, friends and colleagues as well as our Society. While we are saddened by their passing, we celebrate their many contributions and their amazing passion for life. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to read their tributes below.

The 2015 SMDM Annual Meeting is going to be outstanding. As Co-Chairs James Stahl and Scott LaJoie note in their preview, the implementation conference theme focuses on one of the most challenging aspects of our profession – taking our research findings to the clinical setting in a positive and sustainable manner. Have a look at the exciting program including Keynote speaker, symposia, and plenary sessions which are already in place.    

And, in line with the Society’s internationalization initiative, the 2nd Biennial Asia-Pacific Conference, to be held in Hong Kong in January 2016, is moving forward. Co-chairs Kat Tsang and Huso Yi and SMDM Trustees David Matchar and Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert are organizing, in cooperation with the Chinese University of Hong Kong, an exciting program with a highly relevant emphasis on the challenges of policy and clinical decision making regarding ageing and end-of-life care in Asia-Pacific. You can find out more about the Conference in this issue. 

Finally, although still a year away, a preview of the 16th Biennial European Meeting (London) with its focus on improving diagnosis is offered along with a “save the date” notice.   

Shifting gears, a report from the SMDM-Society for Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Crosstalk Committee follows. Comprised of members from both Societies, the Crosstalk Committee has been very active. At the April 2015 annual SBM meeting in San Antonio, a panel of representatives from four key stakeholder groups addressed the very difficult question, “What is a ‘good’ medical decision?” In the spirit of “crosstalk,” a similar symposium is scheduled for SMDM’s annual meeting in St. Louis. Please read about this important initiative in your Newsletter. 

Voting for 2016 SMDM Officers and Trustees opens in late-July. The slate of candidates can be found in this issue. Sincere thanks to all who were involved in the nominating and election process. Special thanks to the nominees who agreed to stand for election and took the time to express the goals and objectives of their candidacy. Committee and Interest Group updates are also available in the Newsletter, including: helpful information on Career Development Opportunities at the 2015 Annual Meeting; goals and collaborative activities of the Pediatric Interest Group; and tips on successful grant applications from your Networking Committee.  

In the Society Member News section, you’ll find the latest on the educational and career achievements of your fellow SMDM members and colleagues. Please also note the inclusion of a new Newsletter section that invites you to describe current projects that are either in the formative stage or underway. The idea is to enable all of us to learn more about the ongoing activities of our Society and to potentially connect members with like interests on a regular basis – after all, there are only so many coffee breaks at our annual and regional meetings! Please consider submitting news about projects in the idea stage as well as those that are  ongoing  to this section and if you are looking for collaborators or advice in a specialized area, don’t hesitate to include that information in your submission. 

Last, if you would like to write a piece for the Newsletter, or are interested in joining our Editorial Team, please don’t hesitate to contact me. In particular, I’m hoping one of you will volunteer to serve as Deputy Editor. This is a great way to give back to our Society while developing lifelong relationships with our members. With our fantastic SMDM staff, the workload isn’t onerous. It’s actually fun and offers an enjoyable break from the daily grind. I hope to hear from you soon.   

I’m looking forward to seeing you all in St. Louis!

Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

From the President

by Ahmed Bayoumi, MD, MSc, University of Toronto

I see some recurring themes when reading the statements from the candidates for various SMDM board positions. People repeatedly refer to SMDM as their primary academic society. Many note that they have attended almost every meeting or that they haven’t missed a North American meeting in decades. Very often, candidates write that SMDM is their intellectual home.

Those are not sentiments that one might expect sharp-minded decision scientists to use, but they speak to something about SMDM that is, I think, exceptional. SMDM’s founders were prescient in labeling our group as a society rather than an association or organization. We clearly do associate with each other and we strive to be organized! But we are a society unlike other academic groups that I know in terms of the camaraderie, friendship, caring, and support that SMDM members give each other. I can count many people whom I consider close friends whom I have only met through SMDM; people with whom I have shared meals, joys, sorrows, and confidences. I know that my experience is not unique. 

These sentiments have resonated particularly strongly with me recently after hearing about the deaths of two members of our extended SMDM family, Josh Hemmerich and Seema Sonnad. A tribute to each has been published in this newsletter and on our website. But what’s not captured in these tributes is how we, as a society, responded – the large number of emails expressing concern for their families and asking what we can do as a society, the spontaneous offers to help with writing and contacting others, the strong desire to make sure that everyone who would want to know was notified, and the need to share the grief and the very personal sense of loss at the passing of a friend. We are discussing now what we can do to honor Josh and Seema further at the annual meeting.

As part of our strategic planning exercise earlier this year, we asked people to tell us what they perceived that SMDM does well and where we could do better. The new strategic plan will be launched shortly and will focus on a few areas where there is real potential for us to grow as a society. However, it would be unfortunate if we didn’t take a minute to reflect on what we are already doing well and should continue to emphasize as core activities. Here are three questions that we asked and the most common responses:

What are the top 3 categories that we currently are doing very well and that bring value to the field, to our members, or to the society?
  • Scientific advancement, listed as one of the top 3 by 86% of respondents
  • Education (65%)
  • Networking (57%)
  • Helping other SMDM members in their careers through promotion, publication, grants, support, etc. (35%)

What are the top 3 categories that differentiate SMDM from other organizations?
  • Scientific advancement (84%)
  • Education (63%)
  • Helping other SMDM members in their careers through promotion, publication, grants, support, etc. (34%)

What are the top 3 categories that you feel most passionately about?
  • Scientific advancement (77%)
  • Education (53%)
  • Helping other SMDM members in their careers through promotion, publication, grants, support, etc. (45%)

Despite the non-scientific nature of the survey, I think these are still striking findings. After science and education, what we are passionate about as a society and what we think is special about SMDM, is the creation of a space where our members can network with each other and where they can support each other in their careers. That’s worth recognizing and celebrating and continuing to nurture. Many have commented that we are an awkward size for generating a lot of revenue or growing rapidly, which I think is true. But we are a perfectly sized society for getting to know and support each other and for welcoming new people. Both Seema and Josh devoted countless hours to exactly those sorts of activities through their service to SMDM and we remember them for that alongside all of their other achievements. 

Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home
Meeting News

37th Annual North American Meeting:

October 18-21, 2015, St. Louis, Missouri

by James Stahl, MD, CM, MPH, Co-Chair, North American Meeting

We are looking forward to seeing you all at this year’s meeting in St Louis! Abstracts and courses have been submitted, speakers selected, symposia chosen and registration is now open!

This year’s theme is implementation - a perfect theme for the “Show Me” state. The theme was chosen because we all recognize that decision making has direct effect on the real world and the process of decision making encompasses the whole arc from conception, through exploration to application.

The invited speakers, symposia and special sessions will explore how both decision making methods and the act of decision making influences policy and outcome and how medical decisions can be translated into the real world.

Keynote Speaker

Our Keynote speaker Dr Pierre-Gerlier Forest, pictured here, will speak on the international applications and impact of the ACA. He is Director of the Institute for Health and Social Policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is the former head of the PE Trudeau Foundation, a Canadian institution supporting policy innovation and the dissemination of actionable research results as well as former Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Scientist for Health Canada and one of the architects of the Public Health Agency of Canada.


Symposia and Plenary Sessions

Six symposia and plenary sessions are being planned for the North American Meeting.

The topics are: 
  • Implementing patient preferences in regulatory decisions with regard to medical device innovation - sharing the experience of regulatory agencies such as the FDA and others
  • The use of decision aids in the real world
  • Health decision making among vulnerable populations
  • A joint “crosstalk” session with the Society for Behavioral Medicine
  • A plenary on the ACA including academics and government officials actively involved in its real world implementation
  • A symposium on Ethics and Implementation exploring the intersection of Decision Science and Bioethics

It will be an exciting program, in a great city. We look forward to seeing you there!

Meeting Co-Chairs:
Scott LaJoie, PhD, MSPH (Twitter: @aslajoie)

James Stahl, MD, CM, MPH (Twitter: @jstahl11111)
 Tweet #SMDM15

Join the North American Meeting Mailing List Here
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

2nd Biennial Asia-Pacific Conference:
January 8-10, 2016
Hong Kong 


Last call for Abstracts!
Deadline: July 31, 2015

The Society for Medical Decision Making, in conjunction with the faculty at the Jockey Club School of Public Health, will hold its second biennial Asia-Pacific conference on January 8 – 10, 2016, at The Chinese University Hong Kong. The conference, Making Difficult Clinical and Policy Decisions: The Example of Ageing and End of Life Care in Asia‐Pacific, will join the annual SMDM meetings, held in North America, and the biennial SMDM-European conferences, as venues to promote medical decision making principles and skills internationally, to delve deeply into region-specific priority areas, and to build both a regional and international network of colleagues working in this area. 

The deadline for abstract submissions is July 31, 2015. Click here for more information or to submit an abstract. 

Hotel Reservations open in July

Registration opens in October

Join the Asia-Pacific Mailing List Here
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

16th Biennial European Meeting:
June 12-14, 2016
London, UK


16th Biennial European Meeting

Special Focus on Improving Diagnosis

The Society for Medical Decision Making and the Centre for Patient Safety and Service Quality at Imperial College London are proud to host the 16th Biennial SMDM-European Conference in London, 12-14 June 2016.

The meeting will be held at 30 Euston Square, the home of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). This is an award-winning venue with excellent conference facilities, some on-site accommodation, and is within walking distance from a number of hotels and restaurants. It is in the heart of London, next to Euston station and 5 minutes from St Pancras station (Eurostar terminal).

The meeting’s special focus is on “Improving Diagnosis”, with a special symposium on reducing cancer diagnostic delays. The meeting’s keynote speaker is Professor Ralph Hertwig, Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Our aim is to bring together high-quality, oral and poster presentations from psychology, epidemiology, health economics and other scientific disciplines involved in the study of medical decisions.

Call for Abstracts opens January 2016
Registration opens April 2016
Hotel reservations coming soon

Chair: Olga Kostopoulou (Imperial College London),
Co-chairs: Anne Stiggelbout (Leiden University Medical Center) and Elisabeth Fenwick (ICON Health Economics)
Join the European Meeting Mailing List Here
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

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.

Joshua Arden Hemmerich

Josh was born on April 2, 1975, in Berea, OH, and attended Olmsted Falls High School '93'. He received a B.A. in psychology, with a minor in neuroscience from Baldwin Wallace College '96' and completed his PhD work in cognitive psychology with a secondary focus in statistics, methods and measurement at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Josh was a Cognitive Scientist and medical researcher on the Faculty of the University of Chicago. He regularly published in geriatric, cancer and psychology journals such as the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Journal of Vascular Surgery, Medical Care, and Applied Cognitive Psychology.

Josh was also a very active member of SMDM. We note, in particular, his outstanding contributions to the Society as Deputy Editor of the e-Newsletter from 2011 and Editor-in-Chief since 2013. He was always helpful and welcoming to others and provided high quality feedback to e-Newsletter contributors during the course of his editorship.

Josh attended every North American meeting in recent years and presented numerous abstracts from 2007 on. Josh was also a member of the Clinical Research Integrity Interest Group and served on the Publications Committee.

Josh will be very much missed. On behalf of the Society, we extend our deepest condolences to Josh’s family, friends and colleagues. His family has asked that donations in Josh's memory be made to the Olmsted Community Church in Olmsted Falls, Ohio or to your favorite charity.


Personal Reflections on Joshua Hemmerich as a Colleague and Friend

by William Dale, MD, PhD, University of Chicago

Joshua Hemmerich, PhD, was the first project manager I hired following receipt of my first grant after joining the faculty at the University of Chicago in 2004. He was recommended to me by Julie Goldberg, PhD, a member of the Society of Medical Decision Making with whom Josh had worked at the University of Illinois-Chicago. As a cognitive psychologist with significant training in statistics, Josh was a perfect fit for my research agenda on the role of emotions in medical decision making for older cancer patients. Over the next decade, we became well-matched research colleagues as well as close friends.

Over that decade we co-authored 25 papers and successfully competed for several grants. We also shared innumerable conversations about life growing up in small towns in the Midwest, especially about playing sports under the demanding eyes of tough-love fathers. Over the years, we attended many SMDM conferences together, and we even managed to attract one of the Founding Fathers of the field, Arthur Elstein, PhD, to join us as a mentor and a collaborator. We both marveled at our good-fortune to get to know such an important scholar who is also a very supportive mentor. We continued to build our respective careers, with Josh becoming the Research Manager for our Section of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine, and then joining our Faculty as our first PhD-only hire, an unusual ascension for a staff member. When I became the Section Chief, we continued to expand our research, as Josh began building his own independent career, including as the Newsletter Editor for SMDM. Although we had increasingly less time to share on non-work-related discussions, we both looked forward to contributing more to the field of medical decision making.

With his untimely passing, coming as a shock to us all, I will deeply miss having Josh around, both personally and professionally. In many ways, I am still struggling to figure out how to move our shared agenda ahead without him. He was a uniquely gifted person, combining the insights of a psychologist with the acumen of an excellent statistician. And for such a talented person, he was very down-to-earth and friendly, quick to tell a joke or shoot the breeze about the latest in Cleveland versus Chicago sports.

One thing many may not know about Josh was his love of books. When I stopped by his office to chat, I always admired his eclectic collection of books on a wide range of topics from statistics to cancer to history, psychology, and (of course) decision making. To honor Josh’s memory, we have gathered the books he left behind and created the Joshua Hemmerich Memorial Library, which now lives for all to enjoy in our section conference room. Contributions in support of the Memorial Library are welcome. For more information please contact me via email:

Seema Sonnad

It is with great sadness that we announce the recent death of our dear friend and colleague Seema Sonnad, an active SMDM member and leader since 1992, who died of a cardiac arrest while running an ultramarathon outside Seattle on Saturday, May 23. We extend our deepest condolences to all who knew Seema, especially to her husband, Henry Glick, also a long-time active SMDM member.

Seema was a tireless and devoted volunteer for SMDM. She served as an SMDM trustee (2009 to 2012) and co-chair of the 30th North American Meeting in Philadelphia in 2008. Seema was extraordinarily committed to SMDM, which she considered to be her academic home, because of the quality of the science and the camaraderie of the annual meeting. Her first official role with SMDM was as a student member of the education committee. In 1993, the committee asked her to redesign the short course evaluation form and she created the form that we use to this day. She was an almost continuous member of the education committee, reviewed abstracts for most annual meetings, reviewed Lusted prize candidates for several years, was a member of the development committee from 2000-2002, served as short-course co-chair in 2005 and 2006, was a member of the executive director search committee, was an elected member of the nominations committee in 2007, and was a symposium co-chair for the 2009 meeting. She was a dedicated member who contributed significantly to every committee on which she served. In short, whenever SMDM required her assistance, Seema was there, enthusiastically helping in every way possible and always cheerfully and reliably.

Seema was originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was a highly accomplished clinically-oriented health services researcher with over 130 peer-reviewed publications. Seema earned her PhD in Health Services Research and Policy Analysis from Stanford University. Before completing her doctoral degree, Seema co-founded a medical diagnostics start-up company and worked in business development for Stanford University Hospital. Seema was an expert in guidelines design and implementation and technology assessment, especially diagnostic technologies, including diagnostic meta-analysis. She was particularly interested in how individuals and organizations make decisions about new technology and surgical interventions. She also had a passion for promoting women in academic medicine.
After completing her formal training, Seema became a faculty member in the department of surgery at the University of Michigan, where she helped to establish the Consortium for Health Outcomes, Innovation and Cost-Effectiveness Studies. In 2003, she moved to the University of Pennsylvania, where she established and, for many years, served as director of outcomes research for the department of surgery and was an active Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, Penn’s university-wide, multi–disciplinary health services and policy research institute. In 2012, she was appointed Director of Health Services Research of the Value Institute at Christiana Care in Delaware, one of the United States’ largest healthcare systems. This position allowed her to champion pragmatic implementation research in a real world setting, reflecting her leadership skills, her desire to ensure that her research made a difference in improving people’s lives, and her exceptional commitment to mentoring. She especially took pride in mentoring women, sharing career advice, and helping them to successfully advance their research.

Seema was also an enthusiastic mentor for young trainees and an exceptional teacher. She designed and taught courses on introductory statistics for clinicians, successful publication strategies for academic physicians, and outcomes research for devices and diagnostics. She was always one of the first and most enthusiastic members to volunteer for SMDM mentoring activities (Seema and Henry hosted several fantastic “Dinners with Experts,” a program at the annual meeting that she helped to initiate).

Seema had many passions outside of her research. She had a deep love for horses and will be remembered by the equestrian community for her dedication to event riding, training competition horses, judging of equestrian events, and philanthropic activities for the riding community. She also had broad-ranging interests in sports, arts, and music. She was an associate editor for the American Journal of Managed Care and was a member of the Advisory Panel on Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment Options for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

Seema embraced life and everything she did with vitality, enthusiasm and panache and touched the lives of all with whom she came into contact. With the news of her passing, SMDM members have remarked that she was “a phenomenal colleague” and a “major force within the society.” Seema Sonnad will be very much missed. On behalf of the Society, we extend our deepest condolences to Henry and to Seema’s other family, friends and colleagues.
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home


Update on Crosstalk Efforts between SMDM and the Society of Behavioral Medicine

by Jada G. Hamilton, PhD, MPH

The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) are both dedicated to understanding and improving people’s health-related decision making. Given these shared interests, members of SBM (Jada Hamilton, Megan Oser, Christine Rini, Erika Waters) and SMDM (Dana Alden, Laura Scherer, Erika Waters) have worked together over the past year to foster crosstalk between the societies. To this end, the “Crosstalk Committee” has developed a pair of complementary sessions for the SBM and SMDM annual meetings. These sessions are designed to address a long-standing question that has challenged researchers and clinicians alike: What is a “good” medical decision? 

The first of these sessions, co-sponsored by the SBM Health Decision Making Special Interest Group, was held at the SBM annual meeting on April 22, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas. The session was designed as a highly-interactive, cross-disciplinary, 150-minute pre-conference short course. The session featured representatives of four key stakeholder groups that are invested in identifying and promoting optimal medical decision making: physicians (Robert M. Jacobson, MD, Mayo Clinic), patients (Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, University of Michigan), insurance companies (John Baleix, MD, MPH, Hawaii Medical Service Association), and decision scientists (Ronald E. Myers, DSW, PhD, Thomas Jefferson University). 

Each of the presenters provided a brief overview of his area’s primary considerations when evaluating the process and outcomes of decision making. These remarks were followed by a discussion of three case scenarios involving complex, contemporary medical decisions: the management of uncertain incidental findings identified through genomic sequencing; end-of-life decision making with surrogate decision makers and complicated family dynamics; and the cessation of colorectal cancer screening in older patients. Discussion between the presenters and audience highlighted a number of important themes relevant to the pursuit of optimal shared and informed decision making. These included a call for research to examine the role of emotions and gut-level intuitions in decision making; relationships between patients and healthcare providers, between healthcare teams, and among families; and the challenges of applying existing standards and metrics of decision making quality to culturally diverse populations. The discussion also touched upon the potential benefits of interventions aimed at developing provider communication skills and integrating novel sources of decision support into the delivery of healthcare.      

These crosstalk efforts will continue at the 2015 SMDM annual meeting with a symposium entitled, “What is a "good" medical decision? Perspectives from multiple stakeholders.” The Crosstalk Committee looks forward to this opportunity to hear the SMDM community’s perspectives regarding how we can achieve consensus for conceptualizing, measuring, and ultimately helping people achieve “good” medical decisions. 

Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook

Return to Home

SMDM Elections: Slate Announced

SMDM is pleased to announce its slate of candidates for the coming year. Our sincere thanks to all who were involved in the nominating and election process. Special thanks to the nominees who agreed to stand for election and took the time to express the goals and objectives of their candidacy. Watch for complete statements and bios along with your ballot in the coming weeks and be sure to vote!

Angie Fagerlin, PhD
Uwe Siebert, MD, MPH, MSc, ScD

Vice President-Elect
Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD
Lisa Prosser, PhD

Trustees (3-year term; 3 to be selected)
Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH
Jeffrey Hoch, PhD
Beate Jahn, PhD
Ava John-Baptiste, PhD
Jane Kim, PhD
Jef Van den Ende, MD, Phd
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

Pediatric Interest Group Update

by Ellen A. Lipstein, MD, MPH

The Pediatric Interest Group was founded four years ago and continues to be an active group of researchers. This group was established to connect researchers focused on child health within any of area of decision sciences. 

By bringing together researchers from across SMDM, we aim to address the challenges that are similar in all our fields. Such challenges include: the family context of pediatric decision making, whether related to utilities assessment or clinical decision making; a relatively limited pediatric evidence-base; or the ways the dynamic development of children impacts both policy and clinical decision making. The interest group seeks to develop collaboration among participants, as well as improve the understanding of pediatric decision sciences among the general SMDM membership. To that end, members of the group co-wrote a review published in MDM in August 2014 ( 2014/08/20/0272989X14546901.abstract). Our next joint project is going to be a manuscript focused on decision modeling and use of utilities in pediatrics.

In addition to meeting at the SMDM annual meeting and staying connected via e-mail and SMDM Connect, many of us see each other at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting held each spring. This year, at least 12 members of the group presented abstracts and we had a lively interest group meeting, as well. We are always open to including new researchers and trainees. If you are a pediatric researcher or considering some research focused on pediatrics, please contact us via SMDM Connect or by e-mailing Ellen Lipstein (  
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

Career Development Opportunities at the 2015 Annual Meeting

by Fernando Alarid-Escudero, Career Development Committee

The SMDM Career Development Committee is excited to offer a range of career development activities. Be on the lookout for more announcements in the upcoming months!

One-to-One Mentoring Program Sign-up

The Career Development Committee facilitates the matching of mentees to mentors based on research interests. It is a great opportunity for students, trainees, junior faculty, and new members of SMDM to meet individually and informally with long-standing members of the Society. Online registration for One-to-One Mentoring at this year’s Annual Meeting will open soon! Contact information for matched mentors and mentees will be sent prior to the conference. For more information please contact Fernando Alarid-Escudero (, or Hailey Saunders (

Mentoring Meet-and-Greet (mix and mingle)

Mentoring Meet-and-Greet provides a unique opportunity for new meeting attendees, trainees, junior faculty, and others to meet with each other and get advice from established members of the Society in an informal group setting. The purpose of this event is to establish new networks of colleagues. This is an excellent opportunity for attendees to gain exposure to a broad group of experts and others with similar research interests. For more information please contact Fernando Alarid-Escudero ( or Hailey Saunders (

Trainee Luncheon 

This is a wonderful opportunity for trainees (graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and clinical fellows) attending the meeting to meet and talk informally with each other and with senior members of the Society. The lunch is held on the first day of the meeting so that these conversations can continue over the course of the meeting. You can sign up for the trainee lunch with conference registration for an extra fee. For more information please contact Fernando Alarid-Escudero ( or Hailey Saunders (

Call for CVs and Job Announcements!

If you are on the job market or have a job announcement, we welcome your submission to the Annual Meeting’s CV/Job book. The book will be available for prospective job seekers and employers at the meeting and will also be emailed electronically one week before the conference to all conference attendees. The submission deadline is October 4th!  For more information please contact Djora Soeteman ( or Jesse Ortendahl (

Dinners with Experts

Continue your career development over dinner!  We invite you to attend informal group dinners hosted by senior members of the Society. Many of the dinners will be topical to career development issues. Dining opportunities are planned for Sunday October 18th and Tuesday October 20th. All meeting attendees are invited to sign up. The dinners are self-pay. Be on the lookout for dinner options and sign-up information prior to the conference. For more information please contact Beate Sander ( or Praveen Thokala (

Career Development Panel: Early career development - How to launch your career in academia

How do you choose a research area and establish independence? What types of mentors will you need? Should you write a career development grant? In this year’s career panel discussion, SMDM senior and mid-career experts will share their insights and experiences on beginning an academic career. Introductions from panelists will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. The viewpoint of clinician and non-clinician academics will be represented. This career panel will be most interesting to junior scientists and faculty as well as those who mentor junior scientists/faculty. For more information please contact Ava John-Baptiste ( or Natasha Stout (
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

Networking Committee:
Grant Application Resources

The SMDM Networking committee's webinar entitled, ‘Dissemination and Implementation: Tips for Successful Grant Applications’ was held May 13, 2015. Speakers shared their expertise and provided pointers on everything from developing dissemination and implementation research to completing the dissemination and implementation sections of your next grant application. SMDM Networking Committee Chair, Mary C Politi, PhD, served as the moderator.

If you missed the webinar we've posted some great resources to help you with your next application. 

Tips from Successful Grant Applications

Slides and Resources available from Webinar…
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

Member News

In May 2015, Anirban Basu, PhD, was named the next Stergachis Family Endowed Professor and the Director of Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research & Policy Program (PORPP) in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Washington, School of Pharmacy.

Jag Chhatwal, PhD, moved to Boston and joined the faculty of MGH Institute for Technology Assessment and Harvard Medical School in Summer 2015.

In March 2015, Denny John, MBA, MPH, Capita India Pvt. Ltd, was elected as Chair-Elect (2015-17) of ISPOR Asia Consortium Young Professionals Group.

Shellie Ellis, MA, PhD, University of Kansas School of Medicine, recently published an article in Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases and highlighted in Healthy Living Magazine which identifies characteristics of urologists who are more likely to provide poorer quality prostate cancer care. Urologists in solo practice and those without medical school affiliations were more likely to administer Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists as primary treatment to patients with low-risk prostate cancer, a therapy that is not guideline recommended. This work helps us better understand which physicians to target to reduce overuse of GnRH agonists which remains a problem despite efforts in the last decade to discourage overuse. It also leads to my current efforts to better understand how urologists make treatment decisions for men with low-risk disease, particularly identifying barriers to the use of active surveillance.

Angie Fagerlin, PhD has been promoted to Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan.

Elisabeth Giesenhagen recently presented in the panel session “Enhancing the Value of HTA through Structured Dissemination of International Reports “ at HTAi2015 in Oslo, Norway. She also made a presentation about Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at an in-house training.

Sarah T. Hawley, PhD, MPH, has been promoted to Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan.

Mary C. Politi, PhD, has been promoted to Associate Professor, Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine.

The Emmi® Breast Cancer Decision Aid Program was recognized at the National Press Club with a ClearMark Plain Language Award for Multimedia. Geri Baumblatt served as editorial director of the program and Dr. Nananda Col was a key member of the advisory team. The ClearMark Awards recognize communications written for consumers in English and Spanish by government, private companies and non-profits. The breast cancer decision aid program utilizes conversational language, compelling visuals and empathetic narration to help women consider their treatment options, values and preferences. The web-based program can be shared with family and friends, guiding individuals to have meaningful conversations about their treatment with all involved in the process.
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

What Are You Working On?

Mary Politi: I am currently working on a project funded by the NIMHD (R01 MD008808-01) developing a decision support tool to facilitate enrollment in the Affordable Care Act marketplace plans. We are testing our tool compared to the platform this fall during open enrollment. This work builds on results from our earlier study (1R21-HS020309) recently published in Medical Decision Making where we found that the uninsured's decision needs differ from older adults making decisions about Medicare or those with experience making private insurance decisions. These individuals need clear, plain language education, particularly about complex health insurance terminology and details. They might not value features such as choice of providers if they do not have a primary provider, but overall cost information beyond just the premium cost is necessary to help facilitate informed choice. Please reach out if you have similar projects or are interested in talking about these ideas.


We Want to Hear from You!

This new section of the Newsletter invites you to describe current projects that are either in the formative stage or underway. The idea is to enable all of us to learn more about the ongoing activities of our Society and to potentially connect members with like interests on a regular basis! Please consider submitting news about projects in the idea stage as well as those that are ongoing to this section, and if you are looking for collaborators or advice in a specialized area, don’t hesitate to include that information in your submission. 

Job Postings

The following positions have been recently posted in the Resource Section of SMDM Connect

Research Associate Position - Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, DC
Associate Professor/Assistant Professor in Health Outcomes, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of British Columbia
Associate or Full Professor of Surgery Clinical Research, Department of Surgery Stanford University School of Medicine
Evidera Research Associate positions available
UMIT - Call for Applications - Full Professor Position
Research Investigator Job Opportunity - Geisinger Health System
Physician Scientist (F39640) Healthcare Delivery - Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Senior Statistician/Analyst at Partnership for Health Analytic Research
Principal Investigator at Partnership for Health Analytic Research
Check out all the details and the latest Job Postings Here

SMDM Lifetime Contributors

SMDM extends its heartfelt appreciation to members for their charitable contributions over the years!

Donations received Oct. 2005 – June 15, 2015. 
Bolded individuals made contributions since the last report.
Italicized individuals moved up a level of giving in 2015.

Raiffa-Kahneman Circle
(Contributions total $5,000 or more)
John Clarke ('13, '14)
Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert ('13, '14)
Mark Helfand (‘05, ‘07, '10, '11)
Joseph King (‘06 - '14)

Pareto Level
(Contributions total $1,000 - $4,999)
Dana Alden ('12, '13, '14)
Michael Barry (‘06 - '10)
Dennis Fryback (‘05 -'14)
Michael Kattan ('13, '14)
Murray Krahn ('13, '14)
William Lawrence (‘06, '10, '11, '13)
David Rovner & Margaret Holmes-Rovner (‘05 - '14)
Bruce Schackman (‘06 -'14)
Marilyn Schapira (‘07 - '12, 14)
Uwe Siebert ('11, '13, '14)
Frank Sonnenberg (‘06, ‘09)
Harold and Carol Sox ('10 - '14)
Sankey Williams (‘06 - ‘08, '13, '14)
John Wong (‘06, - '13)

Edwards Level
(Contributions total $750 - $999)
Ahmed Bayoumi (‘06, '08 - ‘14)
Neal Dawson (‘05 - '14)
David Meltzer ('07, '09)
Jill Metcalf (‘07 - '14)
Stephen Pauker (‘06, ‘09)
Seema Sonnad (‘06, ‘07, ‘09, '12 - '14)
Joel Tsevat (‘06, ‘09, '10)

Tversky Level
(Contributions total $500 - $749)
Anirban Basu ('13)
Robert Beck (‘07) 
Scott Cantor & Lisa Stone (‘07 - '14) 
Kate Christensen (‘09)
Nananda Col (‘05 - ‘09)
Peder Halvorsen ('11 - '14)
Myriam Hunink (‘05 - '14)
Sara Knight (‘05 - '14)
Kathryn McDonald (‘07, '09, '10, '14)
David Paltiel ('07, '09)
Mark Roberts (‘08, ‘09, '13)
Alan Schwartz (‘07, '10, '12 – '14)
David Sugano (‘07, ’09 – '11, '13)
Jef van den Ende (’10, '14)

von Neumann-Morgenstern Level
(Contributions total $250 - $499)
Amber Barnato (‘05, ‘07, '11, '12, '14)
Donald Brand ('13, '14)
Dena Bravata (‘06, ’09 -  '11)
Andy Briggs ('14)
Randall Cebul (‘06, ‘08, '10)
Mark Eckman (’06, ‘09)
Elena Elkin (‘07, '14)
Arthur Elstein (‘06, ‘07, ‘09, ‘10) 
Angela Fagerlin ('14)
Heather Taffet Gold (‘08, '11, '14)
Don Husereau ('13)
Karen Kuntz (‘09, '11)
Miriam Kuppermann (‘06 - '10, '12, '14)
Steven Kymes (‘05 - ‘09, '12)
James Stahl (‘06, ‘09, '10, '12)
Thomas Tape ('10, '11, '14)
Robert Wigton ('10, '11, '14)

Markov Level
(Contributions total $100 - $249)
Cathy Bradley (‘07)
Scott Braithwaite (’09)
Linda Canty ('12)
Phaedra Corso (‘06, ‘07, ‘08)
Magdelena Flatscher-Thöni ('14)
Alan Garber ('10)
Robert Hamm (‘06, ‘08, '14)
Paal Joranger (‘14)
Esther Kaufmann ('11)
Sun-Young Kim (‘07, ‘08, ‘10, '13)
Joseph Ladapo ('12 - '14)
Curtis Langlotz ('12)
Lisa Maillart ('10)
Peter Neumann ('14)
Richard Orr (‘05, ‘06)
Jesse D. Ortendahl ('11, '12, '13)
Roy Poses ('14)
Brian Rittenhouse (‘07)
Ursula Rochau ('14)
Allison Rosen (‘07)
Natasha Stout ('14)
Verena Stühlinger ('14)
Joanne Sutherland (‘08, ‘09)
John Thornbury (‘05)
George Torrance (‘05)
Benjavan Upatising ('13)
Brian Zikmund-Fisher (‘08 - '14)

Bayes Level
(Contributions total up to $100)
Jessica Ancker ('14)
Hilary Bekker ('12)
Eran Bendavid ('11)
Tanya Bentley ('14)
Denise Bijlenga (‘08)
Kimberly Blake (‘09)
Cindy Bryce ('14)
Rowland Chang (‘06, ‘07)
Carmel Crock (‘09)
James Dolan (‘09)
Arna Dresser ('10, 12, '14)
Liz Fenwick ('14)
Ted Ganiats (‘05)
Lee Green (‘07, ‘09)
Amit Gupta (‘06)
Michael Hagen ('10)
Negin Hajizadeh ('14)
Sarah Hawley ('14)
Kristin Hendrix ('14)
David Howard (‘09)
David Katz (’08)
Job Kievit (‘09)
Kerry Kilbridge (‘05, ‘07, ‘08)
April Kimmel ('14)
Sarah Kobrin ('14)
Ivar Sonbo Kristiansen ('10)
Andrew Scott LaJoie ('10)
Sarah Lillie ('14)
Andreas Maetzel (‘09)
Daniel Masica (‘08)
Evan Myers ('12)
Thomas B. Newman ('10)
Jane Pai ('10)
George Papadopoulos (‘08)
Mary Politi ('14)
Lisa Prosser (‘08)
Valeria Reyna ('14)
Michael Rothberg (‘09 - '12)
Gillian Sanders (‘07)
Jha Saurabh (‘09)
Karen Sepucha ('14)
Ewout Steyerberg (‘06, ‘09, '11, '13)
Anne Stiggelbout (‘06)
Carol Stockman (‘05)
Danielle Timmermans (‘07)
Hugues Vaillancourt ('11)
Erika Waters ('14)
Milton Weinstein (‘09, '11)
Robert Werner (‘08)
Holly Witteman ('14)
Eve Wittenberg ('14)
Like 2015 Summer Newsletter - The Latest News from SMDM on Facebook
Return to Home

The Summer issue of our Journal, Medical Decision Making, is available for your review.

Copyright © 2015 Society For Medical Decision Making, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Society For Medical Decision Making
390 Amwell Road, Suite 402
Hillsborough, NJ 08844

Add us to your address book

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences