The election of SAHM officers is now open and will conclude on Friday, December 29th.

Listed below is the official slate of candidates. Candidates were asked to respond to questions by the Nominations Committee and thier responses are provided below:

Ballots and voting passwords have been distributed via email on Tuesday, November 28 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 (2018-2019) - choose 1 candidate

At-Large Board Member (2018-2021) - choose 2 candidates

Nominations Committee (2018-2020) - choose 2 candidates

President-Elect Candidates

Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH

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 honored to be a candidate for President-elect of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.  SAHM has been my organizational home for my professional career, and I hope to serve to raise public and professional awareness of adolescent health needs and advocate for inclusion of adolescent health services within national health plans and global health goals.

As an undergraduate at Brandeis, I decided on medical school for the opportunity to address social justice through health care. As a student at New Jersey Medical School in Newark, I saw how poverty impacted children and families, and also how dedicated teen services can make a difference in young people’s lives. Through public health school and residency in Boston, the RWJ Clinical Scholars fellowship in Chapel Hill, and as a faculty member, I have sought to conduct policy relevant research in partnership with community youth serving organizations, and to advocate for policies to ensure that all young people have access to high quality health care, education, and other essential services.

From 1992-2009, as a faculty member in the departments of Pediatrics, Preventive and Community Health, and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester in New York, I served as core faculty and technical assistance coordinator for the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) interdisciplinary training program, as Associate Chair for Community and Government Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics, and as acting Chief for the Division of Adolescent Medicine. 
During these years, I was active in SAHM, serving as chair of the Advocacy Committee (95-99), as SAHM liaison to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Government Affairs (94-01), on the Abstract Review Committee (01-10) and on the Awards Committee (03-08, and as chair of the Awards research sub-committee 05-08). I also served on the AAP Committee on Adolescence from 2000–2007, and as chair of the AAP committee from 2003-2007.  In 2005, I became founding director, and continue as scientific director of the AAP Julius B. Richmond Center, dedicated to elimination of childrens’ exposure to tobacco and secondhand smoke.
From 2009 through early 2017 I was AAP Associate Executive Director and Senior Vice President for Global Health, Research and Policy. I directed AAP global efforts in child survival, immunization, tobacco control and non-communicable diseases, gaining a unique perspective on the roles that specialty and subspecialty societies can and should play with regard to national and global policy and education, as well as substantial experience working with NGOs, funders, US government and UN agencies. 
While I could not be involved directly in SAHM or other organizations during my years as AAP executive staff, my experience at the Academy also included oversight of both the publishing and membership departments, and oversight for development of AAP leadership and diversity initiatives, all of which should be useful in helping SAHM continue to grow and develop our strategic focus and reach. 

This year, I left my post at the AAP and returned to academic practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with a focus on faculty development, mentoring, and community-based medicine and public health programs. I have experienced successes and challenges through many roles in adolescent medicine – clinician, teacher, researcher, administrator, advocate, policymaker.  I now have both the time and the opportunity to be active in SAHM leadership again. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for our field, and to applying my experience to our efforts to improve adolescent health through SAHM. 


What should SAHM’s advocacy priorities be during your 3-year term of office?
My priority for the next three years for SAHM is to strengthen our ability to advocate for the unique health needs of adolescents and young adults. At a time when US policies are vulnerable and when efforts are underway to roll back decades of work by SAHM activists and others in terms of access and coverage, environmental protection, reproductive rights and gender equity and inclusion, we must actively resist all attempts to reverse these hard-won victories. Additionally, as global health advocates for the health of young people, our voices matter. I believe we must advocate for:
  1. recognizing adolescence as a critical developmental period -- a time when young people form health behaviors that affect them throughout their life-course;

  2. the unique health care needs of youth, and for available, affordable, appropriate and acceptable comprehensive services for all young people;
  3. access to reproductive health and mental health services, and for community-based youth development programs that integrate health care and other essential services for young people and their families;
  4. for increasing efforts to eliminate disparities and to promote inclusion and equality regardless of ethnicity, origin, gender identity, or other factors, and for increased attention to social determinants of health;
  5. for the highest quality adolescent health services being available for all youth, regardless of clinician discipline, health care delivery system, or community; and,
  6. for inclusion of youth voices and meaningful youth participation at all levels of society, including in development and implementation of health policy at local, national, and global levels (including in SAHM leadership).
Additionally, I hope to prioritize our efforts to engage SAHM in coalitions with youth advocacy and youth led organizations, in addition to our current work with other stakeholders in child and adolescent health. By continued and selective development of coalitions and shared communication and advocacy priorities, all members of our community will be supported and informed, and will have opportunities to make their voices heard in regional and global adolescent health matters, and in our own nations.

What can SAHM do to draw more people into the organization, strengthen our members’ participation and ensure their engagement with SAHM throughout their careers?
I have always been optimistic about the potential for SAHM as the professional home for the broadest possible group of adolescent health professionals and others who share our dedication to young people’s health and health care. My own mentors in SAHM stressed the importance of valuing each individual’s commitment, celebrating passion where we find it, and following the heart.  And I believe that all of us entrusted with organizational leadership have an obligation to help support all of our members and potential members.  We must help each person find ways they can see themselves making a commitment to be active, and we must help nurture skills and provide opportunities to strengthen participation and engagement.   We have a special obligation and also have opportunities to address and ensure diversity and inclusion, whether for younger members, those with diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and those from underserved or underrepresented populations. We all share responsibility for outreach and for modeling cultural humility and inclusiveness, so that all feel their enthusiasm and participation is welcome as they become more involved in our collective work.  
Active members who are connected and involved are at the heart of our organization. Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary education, practice, research and community service have been at the heart of my own development as an adolescent health professional, and must continue to be the foundation of our field and of SAHM.  As each of us makes different contributions towards improving health and health care for young people, we must help all of our colleagues find value and belonging in SAHM, and must facilitate active involvement and mutual support across the professional life-course.  SAHM must provide flexibility to meet the communication needs and expectations of both younger and older members, and we must continue to provide opportunities for individuals to learn, share, and draw strength and support from each other, both during our annual meetings, and in between. 
There are practical and feasible ways to achieve these goals including: 
  • Strengthening high profile and effective advocacy. This is part of helping SAHM motivate, retain, engage and attract members.  In addition to political and policy agendas, advocacy should include more vigorous development and dissemination of policies and standards for adolescent clinical care, for educational competencies in health professional education/certification; and for insurance reimbursement and specialty care coverage;
  • Greater trainee and early career involvement in committees, and greater involvement of leadership from our special interest groups and chapters can and should be achieved, through outreach and through use of technology, virtual meetings, and asynchronous discussions/on-line forums;
  • Greater support for mentorship, including for peer mentoring of both early and mid-career members, combined with efforts to reengage more of our senior colleagues in the current agenda of SAHM; and,
  • Direct outreach and involvement of youth, through stronger relationships with youth-led and youth serving organizations, both to engage active youth voices nationally and in our communities, and to help build the field of adolescent health and the workforce of the future.

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? 
SAHM’s mission as a “multidisciplinary organization committed to improving the physical and psychosocial health and well-being of all adolescents” suggests that our focus is on ALL adolescents, and thus includes a global health mission. Based on our membership, SAHM has primarily and appropriately tracked and acted on US domestic priorities, rather than advocating in other nations or globally. In the current US political climate, this must continue to be the case. Similarly, we must value and advocate for adequate support for our US domestic clinical workforce, and must support implementation of best practices in training and in clinical care, so our members have the resources we need to make a difference in every community, every day.
This does not mean, however, that SAHM cannot also be more supportive and influential on the global stage. While adolescent health is a new clinical field in many parts of the world, population health needs for young people are increasingly being recognized as essential to the achievement of global health goals. Strong training programs, adequate financing, and a vibrant community of adolescent health professionals and researchers in the US are essential to advancing the evidence base and strategies needed to help youth succeed globally. And there are lessons from abroad - both from other highly industrialized nations, and from low and middle-income countries - that we can and must learn from.
Our international chapter represents adolescent health professionals who live and work outside the US, including many national and global leaders who attend our meeting every year. We have special interest groups for nursing, family medicine, social work, behavioral health professionals, and many others, which underline our diversity. I have worked extensively with the International Pediatric Society, in coalitions and public private partnerships of US and other national professional pediatric, ObGyn, family medicine, nursing, and midwifery professional societies, as well as with government, private sector, UN agency, and youth-led organizations. The past month, several SAHM leaders were elected to leadership in the International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH).  This presents a unique opportunity for SAHM to consider how to best partner with IAAH in reaching global goals for adolescents and young adults. Whether addressing maternal and newborn survival in Africa and South Asia, or the improvement of primary care and preventive services for adolescents and young adults in clinical practice across the US, I am committed to multidisciplinary work and to engaging both technical experts and advocates to help inform policies and their implementation.   
In early 2018, the SAHM Board will launch new strategic priorities for our organization. I expect that these goals will balance our multiple priorities for adolescent health and recognize the opportunities and challenges in achieving goals for our members and for our youth. In implementing this new strategic plan, we must engage all of our diverse constituencies in considering how to be most effective in the current environment of practice, research and education. 


Maria Trent, 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 am a Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine with joint appointments in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing.  I provide primary care and subspecialty consultation services in the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.  I also direct the Johns Hopkins Adolescent Medicine physician consultation program for the Baltimore City Health Department School-Based Health Program and the Adolescent Medicine Fellowship Program and its associated NIH-funded Adolescent Health T32 Research Training Program.

A major focus of my research and clinical interest has been on reducing health disparities and improving adolescent and young adult reproductive health outcomes.   I am an independent investigator with a diverse portfolio of funding mechanisms to support innovation in adolescent health. I have authored over 100 scientific research articles, editorials, book chapters, and patient-directed media materials and have given hundreds of adolescent health –focused presentations in local, national, and international venues. My work consistently moves from the bedside to the research arena and translates back to patient care with implications for public health practice. As such, my work can also be found in places where the research outputs can reach the young people who need them.  I am excited to participate in the expansion of sexual and reproductive health education and research focused on health professionals in-training in Tanzania after demonstrating the preliminary effectiveness for translating our approach across cultures.  
I have been an active member of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) since graduating from fellowship and currently serve on the Nominations Committee, and co-founded and subsequently co-direct the SAHM Research Mentoring Forum. I have also served on the board of directors, as chair of the research committee, as a member of the workforce committee, and as the president of the Chesapeake regional chapter of SAHM. In the last 20 years, I have only missed one SAHM meeting to care for my newborn.  My leadership experience includes roles as the Chair of the Section on Adolescent Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Vice Chair of the board of directors of the American Sexual Health Association, Editorial Board of JAMA Pediatrics, and as a scientific advisor for the Trojan Sexual Health Advisory Council. In these positions, I have been able to effectively advocate for adolescents and those who care for them, while also providing connection and resources for our organization. 
Raised in small rural community in North Carolina, I am a graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Yale University, the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, and the Harvard School of Public Health.  I completed residency training at Children’s National Medical Center and Adolescent Medicine Fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. The combination of professional leadership experiences both within and external to SAHM along with a real passion for working with young people and those who care for them has prepared me to lead this organization. My grounding in the organization, consistent engagement and collaboration with SAHM colleagues over the last two decades, and clear commitment to the future of our field further optimizes my ability to eventually serve as its leader. 

What should SAHM’s advocacy priorities be during your 3-year term of office?
The current strategic plan seeks to strengthen the organization to serve a diverse, global and multidisciplinary membership through capacity building for professional development, advancing the knowledge in the field of adolescent and young adult health, pursuing an active public policy agenda, and promoting the organization to the public.  While the national leadership of SAHM is intrinsic to accomplishing these goals and our annual meeting the showcase for clinical, educational, and research, I recommend the following approach to bolster strategic goals:
  1. Active support of SAHM at the regional chapter level has the potential to shape the organization and build the membership of the national organization. High visibility at national and international meetings focused on adolescent health will also strengthen our global footprint in adolescent health.
  2. The SAHM meeting and Journal of Adolescent Health serve as core platforms for building capacity and advancing new knowledge for Adolescent Health; however, developing novel ways to bolster the clinical and scientific Adolescent Health workforce will be necessary to shape capacity.  The research and mentoring forum is a great example of how our SAHM members mobilize each year to support the next generation of academic adolescent health committed to the development of new knowledge to guide the field.
  3. In addition to the annual meeting, collaborative opportunities to promote innovation in adolescent health research are critically important.  Continued partnerships with funding agencies and philanthropic support may facilitate the work of junior investigators and bring senior adolescent health scientists as active organizational members.
  4. The sociopolitical context is evolving with dramatic effects on everything from education to access to general health services for adolescents. SAHM must mobilize member advocates in local jurisdictions to do the same.  Optimizing effective communication strategies and training of a core group of advocates will facilitate responsiveness by the organization in a way that will efficiently connect them to emerging issues and to each other.
  5. SAHM’s media presence must continue to be actively updated and managed with to inform and respond to the public, including members, adolescents, young adults, and parents.  Translating new knowledge generated through the Journal for Adolescent Health for public consumption on commonly used platforms will both facilitate a policy agenda while mobilizing the adolescent health workforce and the communities served by them. 
What can SAHM do to draw more people into the organization, strengthen our members’ participation and ensure their engagement with SAHM throughout their careers?

We are in another cycle in history during which our organization's ability to advocate for young people and the professionals that serve them is critically important.  There are evolving health and social policies that may restrict resources, services, and opportunities for young people globally.  Continuing our organizational legacy to support the education and professional development of adolescent professionals, while engaging in all hands-on-deck policy agenda will strengthen members' participation and likely ensure engagement by SAHM members as their careers evolve.  Further, carefully examining meeting venues to enhance international participation that brings new members to the organization and programming to promote transformative local and global thinking when we gather, may also ensure engagement and strengthen participation.

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?  

The vast majority of adolescents do not reside in the United States; therefore embracing a global health agenda is necessary to fulfill our mission.  Even so, SAHM's ability to anticipate and respond to adolescent health pipeline and workforce shortages, proposed changes post-doctoral education, healthcare financing, and health care systems delivery issues in the United States is a core member service that cannot not be neglected if we are to sustain our field. Likewise, SAHM must also support adolescent health providers, programs, and policies in the international context.  Our ability to effectively collaborate with organizations that share our mission as these changes unfold and by making sure that SAHM has a seat at the table when decisions are made will be necessary for effective advocacy for adolescents and adolescent health professionals around the globe.


At-Large Board of Directors Candidates

Devon Hensel, PhD, 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 am truly humbled to be considered for a position as an At-Large Member of the SAHM Board of Directors. This selection is particularly meaningful to me, as like many of you, SAHM has been my primary professional home for my entire career. I attended my first meeting in St. Louis in 2004 as a second year master’s student.  I remember vividly how supportive the environment was for a young scholar making her first professional presentation ever – many people went out of their way to introduce themselves, ask about my research interests and career plans, and offer words of advice or encouragement. From then, I was “hooked,” and with the exception one of year, I have attended every meeting. 
Over the past decade, I have actively served in different arms of SAHM. In addition to presenting research many times over the years, I have also organized educational workshops on topics related to research and statistical analysis. As a graduate student and during my fellowship, I served on several panels targeting the professional and personal development of others also in training, as well as those early on in their faculty careers. I have been a member of the Abstract Committee since 2008, both reviewing research submissions, as well as helping to select workshops and Institutes at the Annual Meeting. I have been a member of the Research Awards Sub-Committee since 2009, serving as its chair since 2013. I have worked with the Education and Research Committees since 2013, and have been on the Program Committee since 2015. I have also served as a reviewer for Journal of Adolescent Health since 2008. 
But perhaps the service that is most important to me is that of mentorship. I have built my career, my research and most of my volunteer life around the principle that the best legacy I can leave is to invest in the development of the next generation of adolescent health care experts. I have been a core faculty member in the Indiana University Leadership in Adolescent Health (LEAH) program since 2008. In LEAH, I regularly deliver talks in adolescent romantic/sexual relationship development, research methodology and introductory data analysis. I have also been fortunate to bring in several of my own master’s students in Sociology as part of ongoing LEAH cohorts. Outside of LEAH, over the past decade, I have mentored 37 learners at various levels, including masters’ students, pre- and post-doctoral students, medical students, medical residents and medical fellows, as well as junior faculty. These learners span an interdisciplinary collection of fields, including medicine, social work, nutrition, psychology, sociology, urology, biostatistics, public health and others. SAHM provides an important support of this mentorship, as many of the presentations I’ve made at SAHM represent projects on which learners have gained experience with data collection, instrumentation and/or statistical analysis. In the more recent years, I have the pleasure of using SAHM meeting as a place where more advanced students have the opportunity to present their own research. Nothing gives me greater joy that seeing my trainees develop their formative experiences with me into their own thriving research careers – particularly for those who now present their own at SAHM!

I am looking forward to the possibility of using these experiences to broadly serve the SAHM membership as a Board Member. 

How can SAHM best support its members, in the US and beyond, in the current political and social climate?
This past year has challenged us all in ways that we never anticipated. Like many of you, I have been outraged and heartbroken as I’ve borne witness to unimaginable instances of violence, bigotry and hatred. As educators, clinicians and researchers, we are acutely aware as to the impact that these negative attributes have on the young people for whom we care. We also need to remain attuned to the impact of these attributes on our own professional community – while SAHM has always created a safe haven for the diverse expression of our membership, I believe we must continue to actively focus our efforts in a purposeful manner. 
We are fortunate  to have strong leadership within the organization. Past-present Dr. Greg Zimet and current president Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley – in concert with other constituent leaders – have ensured that we as an organization remain vocal in our public opposition to any policies that support discrimination and intolerance. This platform is additionally articulated through our lay-accessible position papers, and I look forward to our soon-to-come-out statement from the Diversity Committee. These avenues continue to remain vital in creating a body of evidence that supports best practices around promoting tolerance and understanding. 
One way that we promote a supportive culture is working closely with the Program to ensure our Annual Meeting themes have a close connection to principles of equity, inclusion and tolerance. We have been fortunate that our past (“Cultivating Connections”) and upcoming (“Adolescent Health Equity”) meetings ask us to directly engage these issues through a variety of activities, including Plenary Speakers, timely Hot Topics sessions and diverse sets of research sessions. We must also continue to work the Abstract Committee to ensure that we broadly engage research from across SAHM’s membership spectrum. 
Another means by which we can support our membership to find opportunities to provide Professional Development focusing on how individuals can apply principle of inclusion and diversity in their own research, education and clinical practices. Whether our members are seasoned in promoting tolerance, or are more novice in their skills, SAHM is well positioned to leverage the talent within our membership to solicit individuals to lead sessions on listening and communicating, identifying and addressing our own implicit bias in teaching and/or research, as well as learning about (or strengthening) our knowledge about avenues for advocacy. 
Finally, it is also important that we work with the editorial board and valued reviewers of Journal of Adolescent Health to ensure that we have high expectations for research. These expectations include ongoing training for reviewers, so that they can make recommendations for publication on the basis of scientific merit as well as the use of inclusive and supportive language. We must continue to solicit commentary and editorial pieces that publically convey our support of adolescent health equity, particularly, as Larry D’Angelo so aptly put it when doing so it …”is difficult, carries some risk and is controversial.” We must additionally commit to publishing research that focuses on underserved and vulnerable adolescent populations, as well as ensure that we represent authorship from every corner of SAHM’s membership.
What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?
SAHM simply is the best of the best – I am continually amazed year after year at the talented individuals I have met who become (and remain) my mentors, my colleagues and my friends. In challenging times like these, I am additionally grateful to be offered the opportunity to gather with like-minded people – not only those who share my passion for adolescent health and well-being, but also those who serve as buffer to help me weather the stress of a tumultuous world. No matter where I am in my career, coming together with “my tribe” at SAHM never fails to renew me, intellectually and personally. 


Karen Soren, MD, 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 currently serve as the Director of the Section of Adolescent Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Beginning 28 years ago at Columbia as the sole Adolescent Medicine practitioner in a division of general pediatricians, I have been able to build a large Section of Adolescent Medicine that offers a variety of clinical services for youth in New York City. Additionally, I have established a rigorous ACGME-accredited Adolescent Medicine fellowship program and created a training rotation for medical students and pediatric residents. This range of experience has allowed me to understand the various needs and challenges of SAHM members across all settings, particularly those that desire to have a greater footprint in their program. 
Specific to SAHM, I have been a member since 1988, and was awarded Fellowship status in 2013. Over the years, I have served on the Awards Committee, the Adolescent Medicine Physician Pipeline Taskforce, the Alcohol and Drug Sub- Committee, and the Education Committee, which I chaired from 2013 through 2016.  As Co-Chair of the Mobile App Committee, I helped to lead a task force that wrote content for the SAHM mobile application (THRIVE). This app, launched in 2015, was geared to parents of adolescents and young adults and addressed topics such as preparing for college, immunizations, understanding health insurance, transitioning medical records and prescriptions, and initiating conversations about sexuality, mental health, substance use and social media. Additionally, for the past 4 years, I have co-led SAHM’s Annual Fellowship Directors Meeting and have helped our group spearhead the discipline’s move to a standardized application process (ERAS) and our entry into the NRMP match.  Thus, I have familiarity with many of the missions of SAHM.  
Other national leadership positions that I have held include SAHM liaison to the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Pediatrics Education, editorial board member of the American Academy of Pediatrics PREP: Adolescent Medicine course, and invited member of the American Board of Pediatrics: Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) Curriculum Group.

How can SAHM best support its members, in the US and beyond, in the current political and social climate?
SAHM has a responsibility to the youth and families of the world, to those who provide health care to those youth and to the next generation of providers.  This responsibility includes ensuring that our patients have access to care, that providers have adequate resources, and that our trainees have adequate preparation.  As someone who has spent my career caring for underserved immigrant communities, I fully support SAHM’s mission to advocate not only for our most vulnerable youth and their families, but also for those of us who work so hard to care for them. My accomplishments in building new programs, both clinical and training, give me a unique perspective on how SAHM can support its members to create opportunity for families, faculty, and trainees.  

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?
As I have become more involved with SAHM, the meetings have grown in significance for me.  Initially, I went primarily to learn what was new in the field. As my network has grown over the years, I now value connecting with my former trainees and colleagues from all over the world in order to learn new things, exchange ideas and best practices, and to create new professional bonds.  By being part of the SAHM Board of Directors, I look forward to actively engaging newer members so that we can all inspire and support each other. 

Diane Straub, 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 have been a member of SAHM since 2002, and have served in various capacities, including on the Abstract Review Committee (member, 2008-present; Co-Chair, 2013-2015; Chair, 2015-2017), Program Committee member (2015-2017), Co-leader of the STI SIG (2006-2015), HIV Committee member (2011-current), and have contributed to SAHM position papers on condom availability in schools and expedited partner therapy.  I am currently a Professor of Pediatrics and the Division Chief of Adolescent Medicine at the University of South Florida.  I also serve in the capacity of Career Advisor for USF’s College of Medicine and Associate Program Director for USF’s pediatric residency program, so I have extensive experience in education.   I am also particularly interested in advocacy, and, as Principal Investigator for our Adolescent Trials Network’s Connect To Protect coalition, I led the initiative to change Florida’s state HIV testing statute to comply with CDC recommendations and helped change our Ryan White criteria to allow for a statement of no income, and therefore increased confidentiality, for HIV-infected youth and young adults.  Recently, I led a coalition to provide nPEP for victims of sexual assault through the Florida Child Protection Team, including educating providers state-wide and developing a partnership with a statewide retail pharmacy to provide immediate access to costly medications.

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

SAHM is an amazingly diverse family of passionate people from all walks of life who are absolutely committed to helping youth and young adults.  We all have our different strengths, and SAHM helps us capitalize on those strengths by developing opportunities for collaboration and support in research, advocacy, education, clinical care, and program development, as well as for our own health and wellness.  Our current political environment, in the US and internationally, seems to legitimize racism, misogyny, xenophobia, classism, and general divisiveness.  SAHM must continue to fight this trend, using such diverse methods as providing an advocacy “tool box”, to help ordinary members fight discrimination; fostering innovative research methods, so members can demonstrate the effectiveness of evidence-based methods in the current “anti-science” political climate; and helping to keep members abreast of the most up-to-date clinical information to maximize the health and wellness of our patients.  Our passion and collective abilities make us a formidable force for positive change.   
What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?
See answer #2!  SAHM inspires me to do more, always.  To think outside the box.  To help more people.  To look at problems in new ways.  To lean on others to accomplish more.  It certainly also helps that many of my dearest friends are SAHM members, so the annual meeting is a little bit like coming home.


Joan-Carles Suris, MD, MPH, PhD

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.

Since I joined SAHM in the early nineties, I have served on different committees and sub-committees over the years: supporting the annual meeting through my work on the program committee and abstract review committee; recognizing the talent and achievements of my peers through the awards and nomination committees, and sharing my expertise and commitment to the support of adolescents and young adults with chronic illness as the leader of the chronic illness SIG for several years and serving in the chronic illness committee. I have been an active member of the International Chapter and received the International Chapter Recognition Award in 2009. I was the first finalist beyond North America for the Young Investigator Award in 1995. I also was the first person where English is a second language to receive the Iris Litt Visiting Professorship, travelling to Santiago, Chile, in 2015 to work with the team at the Pontificia Universidad Católica on conducting adolescent health research. From 1995 to 2001 I served as the European vice-president of the International Association for Adolescent Health (IAAH) and in 2000 I organized the IAAH European meeting in my hometown of Barcelona. I also co-chaired the scientific committee for the IAAH World Congress held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2013. I am a founding member of the EuTEACH program at the University of Lausanne, and was the director of the EuTEACH summer school from 2008 to 2013. I currently co-direct an international summer course on children and adolescents with chronic conditions that is held in Lausanne, Switzerland, and since 2015 I am the co-chair of the Excellence in Pediatrics meeting that reunites close to one thousand participants from all over the world every year and has a strong adolescent health program.

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

I believe that SAHM can support its members in many ways. The listserv is a great instrument for all of us as it allows asking questions and getting very quickly sound answers from colleagues. The list is particularly precious for members feeling isolated in their practice. SAHM also largely contributes to the visibility of youth health in the US and around the world. SAHM is a great resource for advocacy. International members appreciate very much what is done in terms of adolescent health in the US and SAHM helps channel all the information. The same occurs with position papers, policy statements and the fast reactions of the Board to important issues affecting young people. Many national and international members use SAHM’s position papers to make cases and build agendas in their communities and countries. As many of the concerns touching young people in the US will affect earlier than later other parts of the globe, SAHM’s statements are an influence and an example to be followed for foreign members. I believe that in the current agitate political and social climate, SAHM is a great resource and ally for all its members and the young people they represent.

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

I attended my fist SAHM meeting in 1991 in Denver when I was a fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Adolescent Health Program under the mentorship of Professor Robert Blum. Since then I have only missed two meetings, meaning that the next one in Seattle will be my 26th… When after my fellowship I went back to Barcelona, my colleagues there would often ask me why I came to SAHM every year. They would say that it was a long trip and that, as I paid it mainly from my pocket, it costed me a small fortune. I always answered that I came to SAHM because for 4 days I could talk to people that not only would understand what I was doing, but that, on top of it, found my work important and useful. I used to conclude by saying that those 4 days would charge my batteries for another year and, overall, it was cheaper than seeing a psychiatrist! Many years later, one afternoon talking to my late friend David Rosen I told him that in that particular meeting I had the feeling of not learning much. That is because you are getting older, David answered, at the beginning you come to SAHM to learn, with age you come to network and see friends. So, I guess that is what brings me back to SAHM every year: it is my adolescent health family and I always come back home having learned something new (and with my batteries fully charged).

Nomination Committee Candidates

Anisha Abraham, MD, MPH

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

I am a a pediatrician and adolescent medicine physician currently based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. I have lived and worked around the world, including the US and Hong Kong, over the last twenty years, but consider SAHM my true professional home. I went to my first meeting in 1996, as an adolescent medicine fellow at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. I loved the shared vision and comradery of SAHM, and have continued to attend annual conferences ever since. As an active duty US military physician starting a teen health clinic, I served on the conference planning committee and multi-organizational committee. In these roles, I helped identify diverse speakers and workshops, and experienced the multidisciplinary and collaborative spirit of SAHM. While at Georgetown University Hospital in DC, I served as President of the Chesapeake Chapter of SAHM. This position gave me further insight into SAHM's governance and organizational structure, which I believe is important to serving effectively on the nominations committee. I was also involved in SIG's, presented research on obesity, and co-led workshops. In 2010, I moved to Hong Kong, and joined the public health faculty at Chinese University, and the incredibly vibrant SAHM international chapter. In my university role, I led educational missions in developing countries such as Bangladesh, which broadened my vision of SAHM as a global community, and the need to support adolescent medicine in underserved communities. Since 2014, I have been Chair of the SAHM Development Committee. Last year, along with a few dedicated international colleagues, I helped start and select the first awardees of travel scholarships for adolescent medicine professionals from developing countries, to attend SAHM, which I believe furthers our commitment to global inclusion. Apart from SAHM, I have led adolescent medicine clinics in the US, given a Tedx on teen health, taught and mentored trainees, and held leadership positions in professional organizations and NGO’s. I am currently on faculty at the University of Amsterdam, and developing a comprehensive strategy which hopefully leads to the first multidisciplinary adolescent health training program in the Netherlands. Participation in the Nominations Committee involves interfacing with a variety of members, and recognizing effective organizational leadership and strategic planning. I believe my work with SAHM colleagues in promoting teen health, both in the US and internationally, and my experience with complex organizations and governance, will make me a useful member of the Nominations Committee, should I have the honor of being chosen.

Mychelle Farmer, MD

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

I would like to be considered to serve on SAHM’s Nominations Committee, because I care deeply about our Society. We will need to secure a strong and diverse slate of future leaders of SAHM, and I am willing to work in close collaboration through the Nominations Committee to maintain SAHM’s tradition of high quality leaders. I have been an active member of SAHM since 1985, and I have served SAHM as a member of the Advocacy Committee, the Development Committee, and I served as a member of SAHM’s Board of Directors. I also served at the regional level as president of the Chesapeake Chapter of SAHM. Through my work with SAHM, I have been honored to support our multi-disciplinary organization that prioritizes the comprehensive needs of young people. If given the opportunity to serve on the Nominations Committee, I will work hard to ensure that SAHM will have strong and dynamic leaders that will maintain SAHM’s role as the lead organization dedicated to health and well-being of adolescents and young adults.

Oriaku Kas-Osoka, MD

Provide a brief personal statement describing your preparation for the position gained through prior involvement in SAHM, as well as other organizations/institutions.
I didn’t grow up having the exposure to adolescent medicine, but once I encountered it in medical school it brought light into my path in medicine. It drove me to seek it out in residency at Children’s Hospital Oakland and develop the tools necessary to be effective in the adolescent medicine population. Before realizing it, I was on my way to fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. I am an early career physician who is interested in serving SAHM under different capacities. Although this may bring you reservations, my experiences thus far in my profession as a sole provider at an academic institution have helped me to cultivate my skills and impact the Las Vegas community. 
I am currently the adolescent medicine physician at the UNLV School of Medicine. I not only serve in this capacity, but I am also one of the Associate Program Directors for the UNLV Pediatric Residency Program. My interests are educational research, resident and physician wellness, and physician development and evaluation. I may still be finding my way but being in my current clinical position have provided me with leadership opportunities that will enhance my ability to perform on this committee. I am dedicated to making an impression on the adolescent health community and feel that taking this next step to being on the Nominations Committee can help me to do so. 
I want to volunteer my time to the SAHM community and feel that my previous experience on the Multidisciplinary Membership Committee has provided me insight into some of the challenges faced by SAHM. This can be useful as we seek out viable candidates for our positions. I have previously served on Nominations Committees for other service organizations on a local, regional, and national level and feel that these experiences will heighten my ability to be effective on this committee.

Amy Middleman, MD, MPH, MSEd, FSAHM

Provide a brief personal statement describing your preparation for the position gained through prior involvement in SAHM, as well as other organizations/institutions.
What a lovely honor to be nominated to be on the Nominations Committee! Being nominated to be on the Nominations Committee really is the ultimate nomination! I have always enjoyed being a nominee for a position – it indicates that regardless of the outcome of any subsequent election, a group of people felt that I was qualified to do the job. It would be my honor to be able to provide that type of affirmation to others. I have always enjoyed serving SAHM in multiple capacities. I have served on a variety of committees (Abstract, Finance, Adolescent Vaccination, ad-hoc committee on Early Professional Education [I just dated myself with that one!]), and I was thrilled to serve on the Board of Directors from 2008-2011. I have adored serving the Society and advocating for adolescents in the role of liaison to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the CDC since 2004; I enjoy fielding questions and engaging in vaccine discussions whenever I send out the meeting minutes and various updates about all things “vaccine.”  As it is for many of you, SAHM is my professional home; it gives me much more than I receive. I would love to be on the Nominations Committee and provide opportunities for more members to “give to” and “receive from” SAHM.  Please know that regardless of the outcome of this election, it truly is my honor to have been nominated! 

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