The election of SAHM officers is now open and will conclude on Monday, February 25, 2019.

Listed below is the official slate of candidates. Candidates were asked to respond to questions developed by the Nominations Committee and their responses have been provided below:

Ballots and voting passwords were distributed via email on Friday, January 25, 2019 with multiple reminders scheduled. If you have any questions or if you experience any difficulties accessing the online ballot please contact SAHM Executive Director Ryan Norton at 847-686-2338, or via email.

Please note: The names of candidates appear in alphabetical order below and will appear in random order on the ballot.

President-Elect (2019-2020) - choose 1 candidate


At-Large Board Member (2019-2022) - choose 2 candidates


Nominations Committee (2019-2021) - choose 2 candidates


President-Elect Candidates


Jessica Kahn, MD, MPH, FSAHM

Provide a brief personal statement describing your qualifications to be president of SAHM, including prior or current leadership positions in other organizations/institutions that have prepared you for this role.

I’m thrilled and grateful to be considered for the position of SAHM President-Elect. As President, I would have the privilege of serving SAHM’s diverse membership and working in partnership with the Board of Directors, Executive Director and others to achieve SAHM’s strategic goals: optimizing organizational effectiveness, promoting professional development, improving adolescent health, fostering/disseminating breakthrough research, and leading advocacy efforts. My professional experiences and leadership roles have prepared me for this role. 

After receiving an MD from Harvard Medical School and MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health, I completed residency and chief residency in Pediatrics, and fellowship in Adolescent Medicine, at Boston Children’s Hospital. I then joined the faculty at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where I’m a Professor of Pediatrics. I’ve practiced adolescent medicine for 22 years, focusing on primary care of underserved youth, sexual/reproductive health, and eating disorders. I’m also a clinical investigator whose research objectives are to reduce morbidity, mortality and disparities due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection through screening and vaccination, among healthy and HIV-infected youth. This work has been funded since 2002 by the NIH, World Health Organization, foundations, and industry, and has resulted in 175 publications. I have mentored many trainees and junior faculty, and have a passion for mentoring underrepresented minorities to be successful in academic medicine.

Several institutional roles at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital - including Associate Department Chair, Division Director, KL2 (institutional K award) Director, and Research Integrity Officer (RIO) - have prepared me to lead SAHM in achieving its strategic objectives. As Director of Adolescent and Transition Medicine, my goal is to harness the talents, strengths and passions of our faculty and staff to help them develop meaningful, successful careers and transform adolescent health outcomes. As Associate Chair of Academic Affairs and Career Development, I direct an office that supports the career development of almost 1000 faculty members. We promote faculty career development by facilitating diversity, leadership, wellness/vitality, networking and mentorship programs, as well as pipeline programs for about 250 high school and college students annually. As KL2 program director, I train junior faculty to launch successful careers in clinical and translational research. As RIO, I investigated research misconduct allegations to maintain research integrity. 

SAHM has been my cherished professional home since fellowship, and I have had the pleasure of serving on SAHM committees for the past 17 years: as member of the Abstract Review Committee, Program Committee, and Search Committee for the JAH Editor-in-Chief; Chair of the Vaccination Committee; SAHM representative to the ACIP Pertussis Vaccine Working Group, AAP Immunization Alliance, and National Vaccine Advisory Committee HPV Vaccine Working Group; Chair of the SAHM grant program to improve adolescent vaccination; and member of SAHM’s Board of Directors (2015-2018). I’ve served on many other committees including the World Health Organization’s HPV Vaccine Advisory Committee and their Technical Advisory Group for Cervical Cancer Prevention and Control. 

These diverse leadership experiences encompassing clinical care, research, career development and mentoring have given me the perspectives and skills to lead SAHM’s broad portfolio of activities.

What is your vision for adolescent health and how does it align with SAHM’s strategic plan?

Adolescents across the world face serious threats to their health and well-being, as outlined in the 2015 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health and the 2016 Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-Being (authored by our SAHM colleagues). These threats include diseases linked to social determinants (e.g. HIV, poor sexual and reproductive health), non-communicable diseases (e.g. mental and substance use disorders, chronic illness), injury, and violence. 

My vision for improving adolescent health is 3-fold and aligned with these priorities: 1) address preventable/treatable adolescent health conditions such as HIV, sexual and reproductive health, nutritional disorders, injury, and violence; 2) invest in healthcare system and prevention programs to address mental health disorders and chronic health conditions; and 3) decrease disparities in health among socially and economically marginalized adolescents. In order to achieve this vision, it is imperative to support the career development of health professionals who provide evidence-based clinical care, conduct research that transforms health outcomes, develop effective health delivery systems, and advocate for the health and well-being of all youth. Further, this vision can be achieved only through engagement with stakeholders including adolescents, families, health professionals, youth-serving organizations, and policy-makers. 

My vision is closely aligned with SAHM’s vision, mission, and strategic goals, and I have the experiences needed to ensure successful execution of SAHM’s strategic goals. I had the privilege of helping to develop the current strategic plan, and believe that its achievement will positively transform not only our organization, but also adolescent health. SAHM’s vision is to be a leader in the promotion of health, well-being, and equity for all adolescents and young adults, and its mission is to promote the optimal health and well-being of all adolescents and young adults by supporting adolescent health and medicine professionals through the advancement of clinical practice, care delivery, research, advocacy, and professional development. This vision and mission provide the framework for SAHM to play a foundational role in addressing preventable/treatable adolescent health conditions, promoting healthcare system and prevention programs to address non-communicable diseases, and decreasing disparities in adolescent health.

Finally, SAHM’s current strategic goals will be instrumental in achieving achieve my personal vision for adolescent health as well as SAHM’s vision and missions. The first strategic goal is to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of SAHM’s governance structures and optimize organizational communication and productivity. By improving current governance processes, communication structures, and bylaws, we will maximize the effectiveness with which we lead efforts to improve adolescent health outcomes. The second strategic goal is to be the leading resource for innovative education and professional development for adolescent health professionals. By improving the quality of educational and professional development activities offered at the annual meeting and year-round, we will empower and strengthen our members’ ability to prevent and treat the spectrum of adolescent health conditions. The third strategic goal is to be the leading advocate for adolescents and young adults and the health professionals who care for them. By expanding advocacy efforts, we will improve health equity and reduce disparities among youth.

What should SAHM’s advocacy priorities be during your 3-year term of office? 

My overall objective would be to implement an advocacy agenda designed to overcome the major threats to adolescent health outlined in the vision above; i.e., to address preventable/treatable adolescent health conditions, invest in healthcare system and prevention programs to address non-communicable diseases, and decrease health disparities. 

More specifically, the advocacy priorities that I am most passionate about, and would address if elected SAHM President, fall into two categories: promoting health equity and expanding the pipeline of adolescent health professionals. With respect to health equity, these priorities would include promoting laws, policies, healthcare practices and research that reduce inequalities in the health and well-being of marginalized adolescents globally, including LGBT+ youth, girls, racial/ethnic minorities, refugees, and young offenders. Priorities would include ensuring access to sexual/reproductive healthcare services and rights, as well as ending discrimination and violence against these individuals. In addition, it is absolutely essential that we foster the pipeline of diverse adolescent health professionals, who will continue our efforts to improve global adolescent health and well-being in the future. SAHM is the organization optimally positioned to take on both of these advocacy challenges. 

I believe there is much more we can do to harness the talents and interests of our membership to achieve these advocacy priorities. In addition, we must consider how to better engage stakeholders – adolescents, families, faith communities, schools, policy-makers, the media, and others – in establishing and implementing our advocacy agenda. Finally, our power to effect change would be significantly amplified by even greater collaboration and partnership with other professional organizations (e.g., the American Academy of Pediatrics, Academic Pediatric Association, International Association of Adolescent Health) and other youth-serving organizations across the globe.

That said, I believe strongly that the advocacy priorities of the organization should also be driven by all of SAHM’s membership and elected leadership. SAHM’s Advocacy Committee and Board of Directors should be driving forces behind its advocacy efforts. In addition, advocacy priorities may change by my term of office, so flexibility in determining priorities will be essential. Finally, I believe that we can be most effective in achieving our advocacy objectives if such efforts are sustained, so I would work closely with the immediate past President and President-elect to ensure that there is alignment and continuity across our advocacy goals.

Regardless of the specific priorities we pursue, I believe that SAHM’s core values – excellence, leadership, collaboration, and integrity – should provide the context for its advocacy efforts. With respect to excellence, our advocacy efforts should be guided by the goal of providing the highest standards of health care and access to all adolescents and young adults. With respect to leadership, SAHM should become the leading voice in advancing adolescent health globally through its advocacy efforts. With respect to collaboration, SAHM’s advocacy efforts must be guided by meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Finally, with respect to integrity, advocacy efforts must always be guided by respect for individual dignity, equity, and justice, and recognition that health care is a right and not a privilege.

What can SAHM do to draw more people into the organization, strengthen our members’ participation and ensure their engagement with SAHM throughout their careers?

These are tremendously important questions that are essential for us to consider if we are to ensure that SAHM thrives in the future. A key first step would be a SAHM member engagement survey, to solicit input regarding level of engagement and what specific member needs are not being met. This would guide the development of a plan to enhance members’ engagement and participation; strategies may include partnering more closely with regional chapters to increase engagement and expanding marketing and recruitment activities.

Thinking more broadly in terms of a framework for how to successfully engage SAHM members, as I reflect on my own motivation to engage with SAHM – enthusiastically attending every annual meeting since 1997 and happily volunteering for the organization since 2002 – I’m reminded of the work of Daniel Pink, the author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us.” He suggests that PURPOSE, AUTONOMY, and MASTERY are the three foundations of motivation.

Daniel Pink defines PURPOSE as the desire to do meaningful and important work. SAHM is uniquely positioned to help trainees and professionals enhance the meaning and impact of their clinical, research, education, and advocacy work. The more we improve the ability of our members to do meaningful work to improve the health and well-being of adolescents, the more engaged and committed they will be to the organization. My leadership roles are unified by a focus on career development, and my own personal mission statement is “To encourage, inspire and support family, friends, colleagues and mentees to find their purpose and soar.” If SAHM focuses on encouraging, inspiring, and supporting trainees and health professionals to find their purpose, we can attract them to SAHM, engage them throughout their careers, and watch them soar. Even more powerful is SAHM’s exceptional ability to facilitate connections between adolescent health professionals so that they can find shared purpose in collaborative work to improve adolescent health. 

He defines AUTONOMY as our desire to be self-directed. The more SAHM involves its members in committees, special interest groups, and task forces through which they make meaningful contributions to the organization, and the more we trust and empower them to make the significant decisions that will drive SAHM’s future, the more engaged with the organization they will be. 

Finally, he defines MASTERY as the ability to build skills. Our membership is highly diverse, and we must have a comprehensive understanding of what skills our members wish to build and help them to master those skills, whether those are placement of long-acting reversible contraceptives, cutting-edge education techniques, advanced research methods, or advocacy skills. 

Over the past 22 years, I have cherished SAHM as my professional home because it has enhanced my ability to do meaningful work, contribute to the organization, and build skills as a clinician, researcher, educator and advocate. By paying attention to the ways in which we can enhance purpose, autonomy, and mastery of SAHM members, I believe we can greatly enhance trainees’ and professionals’ motivation to join and meaningfully engage with SAHM. 

How can SAHM best serve adolescent health professionals across disciplines, countries, and cultures while continuing to effectively serve our majority US clinician membership at a time of significant transformation in professional training, health care financing, and health care delivery systems? 

Effectively serving adolescent health professionals outside and within the U.S. should not be an either/or, but rather a both/and proposition. If we are to achieve SAHM’s vision, mission and values, SAHM must be a highly visible international organization that serves a diverse array of adolescent health professionals who share a desire and commitment to transforming adolescent health outcomes. The remarkable diversity of our members and our commitment to inclusivity are among SAHM’s greatest strengths and what drew me to the organization, and we have a tremendous amount to learn from one another. Given the significant transformations occurring in professional training, health care financing, and health care delivery systems, it’s more important than ever for SAHM members to share strategies and collaborate on solutions to optimize the health and well-being of adolescents in the face of these changes. The only way that the SAHM community will be able to solve the most difficult threats to adolescent health – now and in the future – is by global, cross-disciplinary, and cross-cultural collaboration. 

To this end, one of the most important ways in which SAHM can best serve adolescent health professionals across disciplines and across the globe is to foster connections between them. Through our annual meeting, SAHM listserv, committees, special interest groups, and regional chapters, we can best facilitate these connections. Many of these connections occur at the annual meeting, but given the extraordinary technology available to us, we can and should expand the ways in which we can connect our global community of SAHM members throughout the year. This is especially important given that our annual meeting may be cost-prohibitive for many SAHM members globally. I have had the experience of developing and facilitating an on-line, global community of practice in collaboration with the World Health Organization, involving more than 1200 members from 120 countries: global communities such as this could serve as a model for creating such connections among our members. We must also consider development opportunities so that funding can be consistently available to provide subsidies or scholarships for those from low- and middle-income countries to attend our annual meeting.

Finally, we must be intentional about serving and partnering with SAHM’s international members, following the example set by Dr. Charlie Irwin. As Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Adolescent Health, he substantially expanded international representation on the JAH Editorial Board and the number of published manuscripts from authors outside of the U.S. Another example of this intentionality is the requirement to consider including an international author on SAHM’s position statements and position papers. Both of these efforts have greatly improved the quality and the global relevance and impact of these publications.

For those of you who have patiently made it all the way to the end of these responses, thank you! It would be an honor and a privilege to serve all of you, members of our beloved SAHM family, as your President. I’m grateful to each of you for your consideration.

Elizabeth Ozer, PhD 

Provide a brief personal statement describing your qualifications to be president of SAHM, including prior or current leadership positions in other organizations/institutions that have prepared you for this role.

I am excited and honored to be a candidate for the President-elect of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.  SAHM has been my “professional family” for over 20 years. I always look forward to the first day of the annual SAHM meeting when it takes an incredibly long time to walk across a lobby or reception area because there are so many of you that I want to stop and say hello to and learn from – representing all stages of my career and professional worlds.

I am a Professor of Pediatrics at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and the Director of Research & Director of the Faculty Equity Advisor Program for the UCSF Office of Diversity and Outreach. After earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling/Health Psychology (and completing a Clinical Psychology Internship) at Stanford University, I completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Psychology & Medicine and Adolescent Health at UCSF. Throughout my career at UCSF, I have been faculty within our Maternal & Child Health Bureau (MCHB) funded Leadership in Adolescent Health (LEAH) training program, directing the research training for diverse interdisciplinary trainees. I currently lead the MCHB-funded Adolescent & Young Adult Health Research Network, with the goal of developing a national AYA health research agenda; and serve as co-investigator on our Adolescent and Young Adult Health National Resource Center. I also currently serve as Chair of the University of California System-wide Committee on the Status of Women (representing all UC campuses).

My career has focused on improving adolescent and young adult health through developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative preventive interventions. This includes conducting multidimensional interventions that have engaged clinicians, adolescents and their families, and health care systems; understanding social determinants of health as well as disparities in the delivery of health services; and utilizing innovative technology to extend the reach of the clinician. This work has involved collaborative research with international colleagues and engagement in global efforts such as a special issue of the Lancet on global adolescent health.

I have a strong commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within the health field. Through my role as Director of Research for the Office of Diversity and Outreach, I develop and evaluate initiatives to enhance diversity at UCSF, including Pipeline programs for health professions. I was joint-PI on NIH-funded research focused on enhancing underrepresented minority (URM) students’ continuation in science research careers and currently serve as co-PI on an NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) focused on enhance the training and diversity of the biomedical, behavioral and clinical research network through developing a game-based learning environment to increase adolescents’ self-efficacy to pursue health science careers. 

I have been actively engaged in SAHM throughout my career, including serving on the Nominations Committee and the Board of Directors, Chairing the Clinical Preventive Services Special Interest Group (SIG) for many years, serving on SAHM’s Youth Providers National Advisory Board, and currently, as national faculty for a collaborative project between the American Academy of Pediatrics and SAHM to improve the delivery of clinical preventive services to adolescents. In my role as the PI on the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Research Network, in partnership with SAHM, I work collaboratively with the LEAH programs and other members of the transdisciplinary research network on initiatives to promote scientific collaboration and develop additional research capacity in the AYA health field.  

Just about every career opportunity I have had has involved the engagement and support of my SAHM colleagues. I am grateful for SAHM; and prepared and eager to lead our organization.

What is your vision for adolescent health and how does it align with SAHM’s strategic plan?

Throughout my career, I have been passionate about developing models to deliver high quality comprehensive health services to all adolescents, with a more recent focus on integrating innovative technology to improve adolescent health. While the particular emphasis of my research has been on the delivery of clinical preventive services, it has become increasingly clear to me that the health needs of adolescents and young adults can only be addressed through broad multi-dimensional and multi-level interventions, engaging all of those who interact with AYAs. These include approaches from the clinical to public health, education and economic. In order to move the adolescent health field forward, we need to think far broader than the typical “health” interventions; we must decrease inequality and make a global investment in adolescents. To be most effective, this will involve the meaningful engagement of young people and their families. 

This vision aligns with SAHM’s 2018 strategic plan emphasis on providing greater support and clarity for an advocacy agenda that will promote adolescent and young adult health nationally and internationally; to provide innovative professional and educational multi-disciplinary resources; and to review changes in SAHM organizational structure that will facilitate effectively carrying out SAHM’s mission to promote the optimal health and well-being of all adolescents and young adults by supporting adolescent health and medicine professionals through the advancement of clinical practice, care delivery, research, advocacy, and professional development.  Linked to these efforts, I would support SAHM taking a leadership role in visioning the role of technology in promoting adolescent health while building in safe guards for key aspects of adolescent privacy.

What should SAHM’s advocacy priorities be during your 3-year term of office?

Since the earliest days of my career, I’ve been actively engaged in legislative and political advocacy in support of adolescent health.  Beginning with internships on Senator Kennedy’s Health Subcommittee in Washington, DC and in the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Office of Legislative Affairs in the 1980s; serving as faculty for over 20 years in UCSF’s adolescent health policy and information center (NAHIC); and through my recent involvement in efforts to shape global adolescent health initiatives through the Lancet Standing Commission, I’ve been committed to advocating for the health and well-being of adolescents.

Being responsive to emerging issues has been a strength of SAHM.  However, it is important for SAHM to develop an advocacy plan that reflects priorities of the advocacy committee/BOD/ membership and includes resources to support SAHM advocacy efforts. While I look forward to shaping that vision (and facilitating the plan moving forward) should I become President-elect, I view the agenda setting as a collaborative effort. 

That said, in strategic partnership with other organizations/groups within the US and globally, my current priorities for SAHM include:
  • Communicating the importance of the adolescent/young adult age group, and the need to focus on AYA health
  • Improving and ensuring access to comprehensive health services for adolescents and young adults
  • Attention to protecting the privacy and security of adolescents/young adults with respect to digital health technology
  • Continuing to focus on meaningful ways to engage youth both within the field of AYA health (including SAHM as an organization) and in the broader society  

What can SAHM do to draw more people into the organization, strengthen our members’ participation and ensure their engagement with SAHM throughout their careers?

For people to join the organization, become active participants, and stay engaged in SAHM throughout their careers, people need to feel connected to other members, represented by the leadership/focus of the organization, have a sense that their priorities and perspective matter to the organization and that being a part of SAHM provides support for their professional goals, and convinced that SAHM makes a difference in advocating for the needs of adolescents and young adults.

Access to mentors and sponsors (who will advocate and provide access to opportunities) is important at all phases of one’s career. One important way to strengthen ongoing engagement is to build off the successful SAHM mentoring institute for trainees and junior faculty, developing additional focused mentorship/sponsorship experiences for mid-career professionals, as well as leadership/professional development opportunities.  

The emphasis within the 2018 strategic plan on improving the quality of education and professional development activities within the annual SAHM meeting as well as developing innovative ways to continue those activities year-round, will be important in relying on SAHM for ongoing career/professional development growth. In addition, we need to continue to focus on ways to promote collaborative and innovative research opportunities, both at the meeting and in ways that enhance ongoing communication and collaboration among members. This includes: capitalizing on ways in which SAHM can take advantage of federal and foundation partnerships to secure funding to support innovative research; continuing to creatively translate knowledge and develop special issues in the Journal of Adolescent Health; and continuing efforts to establish linkages to other multi-disciplinary professional organizations/meetings. 

A long-standing important component of SAHM has been the special interest groups (SIGS) that link people to others in the organization with similar interests/goals/clinical and research content areas. The 2018 strategic plan focuses on reviewing SIGS (as well as standing committees) to determine current support and potential needs. This will be a useful step in assessing how we are engaging new and long-standing members in the core functions and activities of SAHM, and how well these current structures reflect the diversity, priorities and needs of the members.

As highlighted above in advocacy priorities, it is essential for members to feel that they are part of a strong voice that advocates for the health needs of adolescents and young adults.  This includes increasing the visibility of our advocacy efforts and improving the means by which we communicate with and engage a broad number of members.

How can SAHM best serve adolescent health professionals across disciplines, countries, and cultures while continuing to effectively serve our majority US clinician membership at a time of significant transformation in professional training, health care financing, and health care delivery systems? 

As an organization, SAHM has worked hard over the years to reflect the trans-disciplinary and diverse nature of our organization (often relying on necessary “pushes” to move us forward).  We need to continue to be flexible and engage the broad expertise of our membership in response to an ever-changing global landscape.  
While SAHM is based in the US and plays an essential role in supporting and advocating for the needs of adolescents/young adults and health care professionals in the US, SAHM’s membership and leadership reflects a multi-disciplinary international organization with a core focus on adolescent/young adult global health. The diverse partnerships forged within SAHM are integral to our professional (and personal) development. The international membership of SAHM has strongly shaped my career, providing opportunities for international research collaboration, and engaging in activities that have allowed me to play a role in shaping AYA global health. 

In order to use its resources most effectively, SAHM needs to be strategic in partnering with other established international and global organizations. For example, the current and past-Presidents of the International Association of Adolescent Health (IAAH) are SAHM members; and there is a plan for a Fall 2019 international conference in the United Kingdom on adolescent health organized through SAHM and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH). These are important ways in which SAHM can help play a role in furthering the health of young people globally. 



At-Large Board of Directors Candidates

Manuel Oscos-Sanchez, MD

Provide a brief personal statement describing your prior involvement in SAHM and other organizations/institutions that has provided you the necessary experience and exposed you to situations that will enable you to make a unique contribution to the Board.  

It is clear to me that SAHM members want the opportunity to be actively engaged and have a voice in the organization. As the SAHM Director of Programs for the 2018 and 2019 annual meetings I instituted multiple changes to advance the goal of robust membership engagement. I would like the opportunity to serve as a voting member of the BODs so that I can continue to work on efforts toward positive institutional change.  

My primary concern is that too many adolescents and young adults throughout our world continue to encounter great challenges in attaining health, safety, well-being, and their full human potential. How can SAHM’s existing organizational processes be altered to provide opportunities for robust membership engagement so that the talents and passion of its diverse members can be effectively coordinated and utilized to maximally promote the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults?  

My involvement in SAHM since 2002 has provided me experiences and exposure to situations that will enable me to make a unique contribution to the Board. I have an insight about SAHM from multiple perspectives. I have presented workshops and institutes at annual meetings, presented research at poster and platform sessions, been a member and co-Chair of SIGS, been a member and Chair of Committees, been a member of Task Forces, been a local representative of the SAHM/NBA Cares Vaccines for Teens Campaign, been a grant reviewer and liaison for the SAHM Local Public Health Demonstration Projects, been a President and representative of the SAHM Regional Chapters, reviewed and co-authored SAHM Position Papers, reviewed manuscripts and published research articles in the Journal of Adolescent Health, and been a humble recipient of the SAHM Millar Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care and the Regional Chapter Recognition Awards. 

Of the three goals within SAHM’s strategic plan, to which one will you provide the most value-added knowledge and experience?

SAHM members want the opportunity to have a voice in the organization and to be actively involved in efficient effective collective action. I will provide the most value-added knowledge and experience to Goal 1 of SAHM’s Strategic Plan: “SAHM governance structures, processes and support will be effective, efficient and transparent to optimize organizational communication and productivity”. Achieving Goal 1 of the strategic plan will ultimately lead to the achievement of Goal 2 regarding education and professional development and Goal 3 regarding advocacy.

As the SAHM Director of Programs for the 2018 and 2019 annual meetings I instituted multiple changes that are consistent with Goal 1. Based on 13 years of experience using community based participatory action research methods to address youth violence and promote positive youth development, I strongly believe that valuable insightful collective wisdom is exposed when you actively engage and listen to community members.  

As the SAHM Director of Programs, I invited all members of the SAHM community to participate in the Program Committee. 130 SAHM members accepted the invitation in 2018 and 173 accepted the invitation in 2019. The 2018 annual meeting of SAHM had 979 attendees. This was 114 people more than had ever been achieved and well exceeded the previous linear trajectory of increasing attendance by 25 people per year. For the 2019 meeting, a record number of 127 workshop and institute submissions were received (99 submissions were received for the 2018 meeting). This bodes well for the future growth of SAHM.

Program Committee members used consensus to create a rubric to review and score proposals for the annual meeting. All program committee members had the opportunity to review submissions. Individual reviewer scores were normalized and then used to determine mean normalized scores to make acceptance decisions. This resulted in a more transparent process to accept the submissions with the broadest general appeal. For the 2019 meeting, 119 Program Committee members chose to review submissions. This is a clear sign that SAHM members want the opportunity to be actively involved and have a voice. This is especially true when governance structures, processes and support are effective, efficient, transparent and productive.

How can SAHM best support its members, in the US and beyond, in the current political and social climate?

SAHM can best support its members by emphasizing that the current 2019 political and social climate is hopeful and inspiring. Current events in North, Central and South America; Europe; Africa; the Middle East; and Asia lend themselves to the creation of a potentially overwhelming list of challenges that need to be addressed. Unfortunately prejudice, xenophobia, discrimination, violence, aggression, impunity, economic insecurity and exploitation are persistent chronic issues that many people encounter early in life and have to confront, manage and struggle with throughout their lives. Constructing a better world is a long-term lifetime project with recurring setbacks that requires persistent hope, inspiration, and chronic attention.

The 2018 elections in the United States of America resulted in many hopeful and inspiring “firsts”. The elections were a reaction to a “wakeup call” of the need for continued collective action. The 2018 elections in Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos was a hopeful and inspiring result of a fifty year struggle to confront a government that has acted with repression, impunity and corruption as epitomized by the Tlatelolco Massacre of university students in 1968 and more recently by the killing of the 43 young students from La Escuela Normal de Ayotzinapa in 2014. 

As adults, it is our responsibility to continually act to construct a safe secure and stable environment where children can play, explore, and develop. When we are successful, we have the joyful privilege of watching young people grow and flourish. When we fail to continually act with integrity and persistence we lose that privilege. 

We often fail to construct a safe and stable environment for many children. Yet, I have found that working with children who find themselves in difficult situations is a constant source of inspiration. They repeatedly model the best of humanity with their creativity, resourcefulness, humor, compassion, and acts of kindness.

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

Too many young people continue to encounter chronic inequities that affect their daily lives and constrain the ability to achieve their full potential. My individual personal efforts are such a small contribution with limited impact. SAHM’s ideals and continuing evolution give me tremendous hope that collective progress can be made. In the short 17 years that I have been a member, I have seen SAHM engage in significant introspection about ways to become more inclusive. I have witnessed SAHM’s commitment to actively work toward the ideal of being a diverse, international, and multidisciplinary organization. SAHM acknowledges that the thoughts of people with multiple perspectives need to be heard and incorporated to be effective in promoting the health and well-being of young people. SAHM is increasingly committed to expand and enrich conceptualizations and practices by engaging in an exchange of ideas from multiple international and transcultural perspectives. 

Laura Richardson, MD, MPH, FSAHM

Provide a brief personal statement describing your prior involvement in SAHM and other organizations/institutions that has provided you the necessary experience and exposed you to situations that will enable you to make a unique contribution to the Board.  

I have been a member of SAHM since 1998 when I was a first year fellow. My first active role in SAHM was as a co-leader of the Trainee Institute in 2001. Over the subsequent years, I have served in several roles for SAHM. I co-led the Research in Adolescents SIG from 2006-2010, served on the Research Committee from 2007-2010, served on the Program Committee from 2010-2015, and am currently on the Mental Health Committee. I served as the Associate Director of Programs from 2011-2013 and as the Director of Programs for the 2014 & 2015 annual meetings. As the Director of Programs, I also had the opportunity to participate as a non-voting member of the Board of Directors for SAHM. This experience of participating in the valuable work of the Board has driven my interest in the current Board position. For the last few years, I decided to spend time learning more about how other organizations engage in advocacy and training activities. I was elected as the Adolescent Medicine representative to the Society for Pediatric Research Council where I served for 3 years and led several research mentoring efforts within the organization. I have also had the opportunity to participate as a representative for SAHM at a workshop on behavioral health training integration into pediatric residency programs at the American Board of Pediatrics and as a representative for the Society for Pediatric Research on the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatric Education. Each of these experiences has broadened my perspective on how organizations can work together to shape training and policy that would inform my contribution to the Board.

Of the three goals within SAHM’s strategic plan, to which one will you provide the most value-added knowledge and experience?

I feel that I can contribute the most value-added knowledge and experience for Goal 2: SAHM will be the leading resource for innovative education and professional development for adolescent health professionals. Throughout my career, I have had a passion for interdisciplinary education for adolescent health professionals culminating in my position as Program Director for the SAHM annual meeting. I served as the fellowship director for the University of Washington Adolescent Medicine Fellowship and as the co-director of a Psychiatry in Primary Care T32 fellowship for psychiatrists and primary care providers. I was the Training Director of the University of Washington Interdisciplinary LEAH Fellowship program and co-developed the leadership training component of the fellowship. I am currently the Director of the UW LEAH and have been working with interdisciplinary colleagues to develop new curricular components focused on integrated behavioral health training and community engagement. In addition to my fellowship roles, my research background in health services with a focus on the integration of behavioral health into primary care settings has led me to constantly appraise the ways in which we are doing well and where we can improve our training and teamwork to do better. During my time as the SAHM Program Director, I enjoyed working with the committee to develop new meeting venues for engagement and interaction to promote shared learning. I also helped to develop Peer Mentoring groups during my time co-leading the Mentoring Task Force for the Society for Pediatric Research. I think that these experiences would form a strong foundation for contributing to discussions on health professional education. One area where I have been working to expand my knowledge and would like to continue to grow is in expanding my knowledge and involvement in advocacy. I feel that in the current political environment, both in the US and around the world, it is critical that all members of our organization have the skills and confidence to advocate for the adolescents and young adults that we serve. 

How can SAHM best support its members, in the US and beyond, in the current political and social climate?

I believe that one of the key ways that SAHM can support its members is to continue to provide venues, both in-person and online, for people to connect, share ideas, and support one another. I also see great value in the works of the committees and sigs as venues to connect on specific areas of interest and work together to improve adolescent health and well-being. I also think that SAHM should continue to support the Journal and the development of position papers that both educate and provide support for local advocacy efforts. Finally, I believe that SAHM should continue to be a voice for adolescent and young adult health care issues that affect the youth we serve and our members in the US and throughout the world through advocacy and engagement with the broader community. 

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

For me, SAHM is all about the people. Over the years, I have valued the opportunity to develop connections with mentors, role models, colleagues, peers, and trainees. I find it inspiring to spend time with people who share the passion of working with adolescents and young adults. I always find that I leave the meeting reinvigorated by the interesting work and passion of my colleagues. 


Krishna Upadhya, MD, MPH

Provide a brief personal statement describing your prior involvement in SAHM and other organizations/institutions that has provided you the necessary experience and exposed you to situations that will enable you to make a unique contribution to the Board.  

I became a member of SAHM (which at the time was SAM) during the first year of my adolescent medicine fellowship 2006-2007.  Since then my involvement has included several aspects of the organization’s mission: research, educational programming, and advocacy.  These experiences will enable me to contribute a multi-faceted perspective on the organization to the Board.  In addition to my membership in the larger SAHM, I have been an active member of the Chesapeake Regional Chapter (CSAHM).  I previously served as a Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee of CSAHM from 2011-2013 and was voted President-Elect during last year’s election.

My first formal role in SAHM was as a member of the abstract review committee, for the annual meeting during 2009-2011.  As a junior faculty member in 2011-2013 I was fortunate to be selected to serve as a grant reviewer and then project liaison for the SAHM Local Public Health Demonstration Project Grant program.  In that role I was the recipient of mentorship from more experienced members and valued the opportunity to play a role in shaping the selection and dissemination of research on vaccine implementation, a key aspect of adolescent health promotion. 

Since my first SAHM meeting, 2007 in Denver, I have always looked forward to the tremendous networking and learning that occurs at the annual meeting.  In 2015-2017 I served as a member of the Program Committee. In this role I helped to organize content for the meeting, including the pre-conference Advocacy Training in Washington DC at the 2016 Meeting.  

My role on the SAHM Advocacy Committee began as an appointed member in 2011.  I was honored to be asked to serve as the Advocacy Committee Chair beginning in 2015 and have worked hard since then to ensure SAHMs voice is heard on important policy matters impacting adolescents and young adults.  My second term as Chair will be ending at this year’s annual meeting in DC.

The interpersonal and leadership skills from my work experience will also be important to my role on the Board.  I will bring the perspective of a clinician who has provided care in a variety of settings including school-based health centers, mobile vans, inpatient services, and hospital based primary care and subspecialty clinics.  I have experienced the essential value of working in multi-disciplinary teams and am adept at listening and engaging diverse perspectives.  Finally, as someone who also has the privilege of working daily with trainees at many levels of education, I will keep the importance of SAHM’s educational mission and the pipeline of our field at the forefront of my participation.

Of the three goals within SAHM’s strategic plan, to which one will you provide the most value-added knowledge and experience?

Goal #3: SAHM will be the leading advocate for adolescents and young adults and the health professionals who care for them

As a member and now Chair of SAHM’s Advocacy Committee, strategic goal #3 has special significance to me.  I believe strongly that advocating on behalf of youth is a key responsibility and have experience doing so at institutional, local and national levels.  The advocacy skills and perspective I would bring to the Board include writing opinion pieces, organizing and conducting legislative visits, building coalitions of allied organizations, and conducting media interviews.  I am also aware of the strengths and challenges that SAHM currently faces that will need to be addressed to fully meet this goal and am committed to helping the organization build its capacity.

In addition to my roles within SAHM, I am also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Adolescence and now serve as a liaison from the AAP committee to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Adolescent Health Care.  These organizations are important partners for SAHM’s advocacy agenda.  I believe that the networks I have built with these and other organizations over the years through my committee work will be an asset to the Board.

How can SAHM best support its members, in the US and beyond, in the current political and social climate?

As I am sure is the case with many SAHM members, I find the current political and social climate to be anxiety-provoking and exasperating.  I also know, however, that I am in a very privileged position and that most young people I work with as well as others around the globe are in a much more precarious position regarding the impacts of harmful policies enacted by the United States and other governments.  In order to support SAHM members as we work with youth in these challenging times, the organization can play several critical roles.  First, SAHM should continue to embrace diversity in its membership both culturally and across professional disciplines so that all members continue to have a safe and energizing professional home to draw strength from.  Second, SAHM must continue to be a driving force for emerging evidence on best practices for improving the health and well being of adolescents and young adults.  SAHM’s ability to foster and disseminate high quality research is critical to helping members provide the best quality care and programs and to our ability to shape good policy (and fight against harmful policies).  Finally, SAHM must continue to build our capacity to speak publicly through both position statements and press releases.  These documents are critical resources that members can reference and point others to as they work in their local communities to advocate for young people.  

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

A couple of years ago I was asked to participate in a brief interview about my experiences with SAHM as part of the strategic planning process.  When I was asked a version of this question at the time I said, “Because these are my people.”  SAHM is the core organization that has supported my professional development since I first joined.  My participation in the organization has helped me to develop skills as a researcher and reviewer, provided opportunities for leadership, and expanded my knowledge base in ways that have improved my clinical and teaching abilities.  Additionally, I believe strongly in the organization and its role in improving the well being of adolescents and young adults around the world.  I think we have an important voice and want to continue to be a part of it.

Probably the best part about SAHM is the people that it has connected me to.  Some of these connections have been informal, such as the many peers I connected with during fellowship and that I look forward to seeing every year at the meeting.  Others I have met through more formal associations such as Jessica Kahn who was so gracious in guiding me through my first grant review process in the Public Health Demonstration Grant Program; Gina Sucato who I was paired with as part of the Mentoring Forum during my first job and who subsequently became a critical career and academic mentor over many years; Abigail English and John Santelli who are both career idols of mine and who have been tremendous supports to me in my role on the Advocacy Committee; and the SAHM Executive Committee members including Tamera Coyne-Beasley, Michael Resnick and Greg Zimet who have championed the Advocacy Committee.  These are just a few of the many colleagues I have learned from in my years in SAHM and who will keep me coming back for as many more years as possible.


Curren Warf, MD, MSEd, FSAHM

Provide a brief personal statement describing your prior involvement in SAHM and other organizations/institutions that has provided you the necessary experience and exposed you to situations that will enable you to make a unique contribution to the Board.

I attended my first SAHM conference in 1988 and since then SAHM has been my main professional organization. I attended the Charles R. Drew/University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, training in one of the most impoverished communities of Los Angeles; completed Pediatric Residency and Adolescent Medicine Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA); and received a MS in Education at the University of Southern California. At CHLA, I became the Adolescent Medicine Fellowship Director and the Medical Director of the High Risk Youth Program for homeless and runaway youth - our interdisciplinary team targeted street youth and young adults during the height of the HIV epidemic in Hollywood. I carried a significant inpatient and outpatient clinic load, overseeing residents and medical students.

Early in my training I realized that it was essential to step outside traditional clinical settings to address the most prevalent causes of youth morbidity and mortality and other social determinants of health. I was the co-chair of the Los Angeles County Violence Prevention Coalition, chair of Los Angeles Physicians for Social Responsibility, chair of the Los Angeles Child Health Consultant Advisory Committee for Medi-Cal Managed Care.

In 2009, I was recruited by British Columbia Children’s Hospital and relocated to Vancouver as Head of the Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine. I initiated a new Royal College of Canada-certified Adolescent Medicine Fellowship program and recruited extraordinarily talented medical staff. Together we initiated Adolescent Medicine training for all Pediatric residents. Our interdisciplinary team expanded a Social Paediatrics initiative to engage youth and families from the most impoverished communities. Our team strengthened our focus and began work to confront the growing opioid crisis – now the leading cause of death of adolescents in Canada. We trained pediatricians from Saudi Arabia in adolescent medicine who subsequently initiated a Saudi Association of Adolescent Health.

I retired in June 2018 from BC Children’s Hospital and relocated to California for family reasons.

In SAHM, I have consistently advocated that our profession confront poverty, violence, war, xenophobia and racism as key adolescent health issues. For example, at the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003 I initiated the Peace SIG drawing attention to the effects of the war on the health and wellbeing of children, youth and families and on young soldiers. I initiated the recently adopted SAHM position paper on the maltreatment of immigrants on the southern border of the United States.

Some of my relevant publications include: “Continuity of Care to Nowhere: Poverty, Child Protective Services, Juvenile Justice, Homelessness and Incarceration: Disproportionate Representation of African American Children and Youth”, “Coming of Age on the Streets: Survival Sex among Homeless Adolescent Females in Hollywood”, and “Children, Adolescents and War: The Systematic Engagement of Youth in Collective Violence”.

I feel that this focus on advocacy for addressing social determinants of health provides the background for me to make a unique contribution to the board.

Of the three goals within SAHM’s strategic plan, to which one will you provide the most value-added knowledge and experience?

I can make my greatest contribution to Goal #2, fostering SAHM’s ability to “be the leading advocate for adolescents and young adults and the health professionals who care for them.” Advocacy has been a core interest of mine since before I started medical school. I was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and in Civil Rights and this involvement stimulated my initial interest in medicine. My commitment to addressing inequality and injustice gained focus during Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine training, as I confronted the impact of poverty, racism, patriarchy and homophobia on the health and well-being of youth and families. While we have made significant progress in expanding youth access to confidential prevention and treatment services, especially in areas of contraception, sexual health, HIV and mental health; in supporting LGBT youth; and in integrating concepts of childhood trauma, attachment, positive youth development and resilience into our programs and services, we face the imminent threat that these gains will be eroded and conditions of youth, especially minority and immigrant youth, will deteriorate.

SAHM is uniquely positioned to lead advocacy efforts for vulnerable youth and families in our global communities, particularly those confronting poverty, lack of access to quality education, health care, and preparation for employment, and those experiencing discrimination, homelessness, or violence. I am committed to using my knowledge and experience on the Board to support the organization and its membership in sharpening our focus, strengthening our impact, and sustaining our members.

Consistent with the 2018-2021 strategic plan, SAHM’s advocacy role encompasses 3 key areas: 1) education and training; 2) development, dissemination, and adoption of evidence-informed services; and 3) collaboration and partnerships.

SAHM has a responsibility to help ensure that medical student and residency training prepare providers to address the ongoing and emerging needs of the adolescent and young adult patients they will serve.

SAHM is positioned to promote development and adoption of evidence informed practices, responsive to the specific needs and conditions of communities. SAHM should encourage programs to focus on issues contributing to youth mortality and morbidity, including opiate overdose, suicide and violence.

SAHM needs to assure strategic partnerships with key professional organizations, allies and institutions to address the conditions in which young people grow up. Children and adolescents face a world that will be transformed by global warming. This, together with the seeming unending armed conflicts that the world is engaged in, are the greatest threats to the future we leave our children. SAHM, the leading professional organization for adolescent providers, must not shy away from these critical issues. SAHM must become a more influential voice for our generation to protect a viable environment for future generations. SAHM does not have to do this work alone. Through our expertise and institutional affiliations, SAHM members have the legitimacy and credibility to influence decision-makers and promote a saner, more just world for youth.

How can SAHM best support its members, in the US and beyond, in the current political and social climate?

In these challenging times, SAHM must assure that our members are supported by the organization in concrete and practical ways. SAHM, above all, enables its members not to feel alone, but to function as part of a community with shared experiences, values and goals. SAHM has built-in structures for member communication, education and support: the listserv, annual conferences, regional chapters, SIGs, and the website. We should assess the adequacy of each of these structures for supporting our membership, and strengthen and expand these structures as needed.

SAHM grew out of the interest and commitment of adolescent health professionals in the United States and Canada; today SAHM promises to be a leading force in international health for adolescents in the developing world and we need to ensure that our organization is responsive to the needs of our international membership. We need to ensure that members have an understanding of SAHM, its mission, vision, and resources.

We should focus on identifying what kinds of training and support members want for themselves and how best to provide it. This could be done through a survey and/or an informal query on the listserv. Members may want more opportunities to talk about their needs and concerns during conferences, or more skill-building and training focused on their roles as advocates.

I am always struck by the richness and wealth of information shared through the listserv, including analysis of current issues, exploration of effective strategies, and the dissemination of resources and tools that members have identified and found useful. Perhaps there’s a way to better capture this information and organize it on the website, so it’s well documented and accessible to the membership.

The SAHM listserv serves an important role in improving communication and promoting professional relationships, including distribution of resources and tools. Perhaps the website could expand the organization and dissemination of resources targeted for professionals, with a section on “Health Information for Professionals”, similar to the existing section on “Health Info for Parents and Teens“, where members and staff could post practical tools and trainings focused on professional support, including links to curricula, information on conferences and training, etc.

Several SAHM members have developed and are using mindfulness and other strategies for supporting their colleagues and other professionals caring for youth in highly stressed situations. We need to ensure that these tools are disseminated and available to SAHM members.

Finally, as SAHM has always done, we need to continue to promote an environment of fun and collegiality, open discussion and open mindedness, and recognition of the vast potential and resiliency of children, youth and their families. I look forward to working with the Board and the members in fully realizing our vision for supporting SAHM members.

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

I come to SAHM for many reasons. It is my professional home. I have many friends and associates from the US and around the world and have learned a great deal from the many wonderful programs for young people that have developed. It is a place where I find hope and collegiality. It is an environment of renewal. I am reunited with the many Fellows that have graduated from CHLA and BC Children’s Hospital, including the international graduates. I love the creative diversity of research, the continuing struggle to develop meaningful evidence informed practices and guidelines and the courage that so many of our members display through their work. SAHM is a forum of professional and personal renewal for so many of us and opens the door to new ways of thinking, of viewing problems, and approaching youth and their families with the hope and optimism that they need and deserve.


Nomination Committee Candidates


Kelly Bethea, MD, FSAHM

Provide a brief personal statement describing your preparation for the position gained through prior involvement in SAHM, as well as other organizations/institutions.

Since my first SAHM meeting in San Francisco in 1997, I have been an active member serving on committees, leading special interest groups and participating as a presenter.  One of my membership highlights was serving as the Regional Representative to the Board.  During my tenure I learned more about the organization which only solidified my passion for wanting to contribute more to assuring that SAHM remains a leader in Adolescent Health Advocacy and education.  My proudest SAHM accomplishment was co-leading a Diversity Task Force that became a standing committee and later published a position paper.  I am passionate about health equity and a true advocate for approaching adolescents from a youth developmental model of care, recently publishing a chapter on applying the youth development model into clinical practice.  I seek to serve on the nominations committee to continue serving SAHM and assuring that the leadership is chosen in a fair and equitable fashion keeping true to my passion for equity. SAHM’s values and vision continue to grow and remain aligned with my passion for adolescent health.

Michele Gains, MD, FSAHM 

Provide a brief personal statement describing your preparation for the position gained through prior involvement in SAHM, as well as other organizations/institutions.

In 1988, as an eager trainee, I became a member of SAHM. SAHM presented me with many opportunities to grow in leadership, knowledge, and mentorship. In 1994 I was the first contraceptive special interest group leader. From there, through SAHM I have put together spirituality workshops, minority provider dinners, worked with the advocacy group, the multicultural group and was an active member of Edie Moore Travel Fund Committee. Recently, I was the chair for SAHM’s 50th Celebration Committee and currently serve as the chair of the Advocacy Event for 2019.

Outside of SAHM, I have been an Associate Residency Program Director, on the Appointment and Promotion Committee for UCLA/Charles R Drew, Policy Chair on the JACHO (Joint Commission on Accredidation Healthcare Organization), and a grant reviewer for Maternal Child Health Bureau. The experiences gained through my various involvement in both academic, community and private domains of Adolescent Care, has provided me with a diverse perspective and skills necessary to objectively identify those with a heart for Adolescent Medicine and a love for SAHM. With these experiences, I will serve on the nominating committee with the same amount of diligence and pride that I have served SAHM for the last 31 years.


Veronica Svetaz, MD, MPH, FSAHM 

Provide a brief personal statement describing your preparation for the position gained through prior involvement in SAHM, as well as other organizations/institutions.

I came from Argentina in 1996 following my dream to be a specialist in Adolescent Medicine and following Dr. Robert Blum’s steps. I joined the University of Minnesota (U of MN)’s LEAH training program, with my passion for helping teens with special needs and chronic illnesses. My vision is that healthcare is a human right, and soon I came to realize that poor social-economic chronic conditions were as bad as chronic illnesses. I understood that innovation needed to break the inequality gaps had to grow and be tested where those services were required the most. That is why, since graduation, I chose to work in the Safety Net, and I designed a program under the philosophy that Adolescence happens to a family (or the unit that functions as that) in the heart of a community: “Aqui Para Ti/Here for You,” that has won multiple awards and recognition. I launched an innovation that allows providing comprehensive, confidential care with modification to Electronic Health Records and funding throughout Primary Care in our Hospital. With it, I try to touch all the aspects of Medicine: My clinical care is my anchor, as it is advancing innovations that create more inclusive integrative care to our teens and their families. My research includes working with diverse youth, with those in charge of parenting those youth, Community Based Participatory Research, how to achieve Health Equity for the whole community, and transition in healthcare. My teaching is with Family Medicine Residents, and I recently closed the loop by joining the MN LEAH Program as Faculty and Mentor.  My advocacy and leadership has been around Health Equity and youth, from working on policy at the State (helping pass Behavioral Health Homes with Aqui Para Ti 's outcome, for example), to serving through the years in innumerable projects and committees to advance social change: Immigrant Health Task Force (Minnesota Department of Health-MDH),  Advisory Committee of the Program in Health Disparities Research (U of MN), DHS’ Behavioral Health Home Advisory Board,  MDH “Healthy Partnership 2020 Coalition”, Minnesota Medical Association and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physician’s Health Equity Task Force. I am also a Board Member and consultant for the “Got Transition” project and the EPIC Adolescent Health Steering Committee Chair. 

However, for the most, SAHM is my organizational home. I have been a member since my arrival from Argentina (now 22 years) and near 2007 was reenergized by the force of the brand-new Diversity Committee. I have been part of the Committee since, and for the past three years, the Chair. I have witnessed the transformation and improvement that the Committee created at SAHM. I was part of the two position papers, one in Health Equity, the latest in Racism and Health.  My goal?  to continue to generate inclusivity in SAHM, making its interdisciplinary nature and its commitment to intersectoral and intersectional diversity in all its forms a step stronger, as the others that came before me were able to conquer in our behalf.


Stephanie Wallace, MD, MSPH, FSAHM

Provide a brief personal statement describing your preparation for the position gained through prior involvement in SAHM, as well as other organizations/institutions.

Over the last 6 years, I have enjoyed participating in the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM), initially serving as a convener for the Minority Dinner in 2012, then as a member and eventually chair of the Website Sub-Committee.  Currently I am the president-elect of the Southeastern Chapter for SAHM.  From these experiences, I have admired the energy and wisdom it takes to lead this organization.  By serving on the Nomination Committee, it will be another opportunity for me to serve this organization through the selection of the candidates to become the future leaders for SAHM.  I have been a faculty member of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for nearly twelve years. My tenure at UAB has included positions in medical education and clinical care.  I have participated as a search committee member for the Chair and the Director of Faculty Development for the UAB Department of Pediatrics.  In addition to being an active member of SAHM, I have been involved in the American Academy of Pediatrics as a Committee of Adolescence member.  These experiences have given me insight into leadership selection as well as the future for training and practicing in adolescent medicine. 

As a member of the Nomination Committee, I would be interested in reviewing candidates who will propel SAHM forward, another 50 years and beyond.  As this organization continues to grow, our future leaders should have ideas to attract members with diverse characteristics such as nationality, discipline/training, geography, racial/ethnicity identification, and age.  We should pursue ongoing avenues to share our knowledge within our organization, with collaborating organizations, and of course, with the families caring for adolescents and young adults.  Members of the Nomination Committee will ask questions of candidates regarding their visions on accomplishing these goals with the end goal to present the best candidates to the SAHM electorate. Understanding the future of SAHM begins with selecting the candidates who will become our leaders.  It would be an honor to serve on the Nomination Committee and participate in their journey to serve SAHM. 

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