The election of SAHM officers is now open and will conclude on Friday, February 7, 2020.

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 have been distributed to those eligible to vote. 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 (2020-2021) - choose 1 candidate


At-Large Board Member (2020-2023) - choose 2 candidates

Nominations Committee (2020-2022) - choose 2 candidates


President-Elect Candidates


Lisa Barkley, MD, 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 thrilled and honored to be nominated to serve SAHM as President-Elect.  I have always considered SAHM my professional home organization since first joining in 1996 during fellowship.  I have served SAHM in many leadership capacities over the years that have helped to move the organization forward including: the Mid-Atlantic Regional Vice-President and President, co-leader of the Multicultural/Multiethnic, Advocacy and Sports Medicine SIGs, , member of the Advocacy and Program Committees, and  Chair of the Diversity Task Force/Diversity Committee for two terms.  I have also been presented multiple workshops and institutes at the Annual meeting.   Currently, I am serving on the Board of Directors as an at-large representative.  

I have also held leadership positions in other professional organizations.  In the American College of Sports Medicine, I have earned the designation of fellow and have served on the Clinician’s Task Force and the Special Health Initiative on Health Equity.  In the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, I have served on the Program Committee.

In my professional work, I have held academic leadership administrative roles for over 15 years.  I am currently the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Residency Program Director at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.  I was the founding Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine, the founding Dean for the College of Health and Public Policy and team physician at Delaware State University and the Medical Director for several school based health centers and juvenile corrections facilities at Christiana Care Health System.  

In these roles, I have worked with multidisciplinary colleagues, with populations across the life cycle, in diverse  clinical and community based settings, and with diverse patients.  My success in these leadership positions is related my philosophy of being  a servant leader who listens to and cares about the perspectives of team members and our patients.  My goal is to lead teams with diverse perspectives unified with a common vision so everyone has the opportunity to work in their areas of strength and passion.  

I would love the opportunity to work more closely to help to shape and build SAHM’s future as the next President-Elect and bring the leadership lessons and experience  I have gained as a result of my commitment to SAHM, adolescents and young adults, and my academic career. 

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

I am very mission driven and strive to align my professional work with my vision for adolescent health- to help all young people reach their full potential.  I have made career choices based on the ability I would have to make such an impact in the positions that I have taken.  I feel that my personal mission and vision are perfectly aligned with the SAHM strategic plan.  I have served on the Board when this current strategic plan was developed and have been part of the implementation process.  

There has been progress in implementing Goal #1 so far and I will advocate for continuing to make sure that our organizational infrastructure is sound financially and prioritizes resources to activities that have high returns on our investment to serve adolescents and young adults.  SAHM needs to continually monitor the impact of our work and is currently engaged in more discussion with membership to better define infrastructure needs.  I will use this information to help to guide SAHM in making decisions to allocate resources.  

I feel that SAHM excels at Goal #2 of the strategic plan with our excellent annual meetings.  The attendance at our meetings has continued to grow and the program committee continues to be innovative in the programming.  I would support this trajectory and continue to foster programming that is inclusive of the professional development needs of the different disciplines and lived experiences of our members.  

For Goal #3 I feel that SAHM demonstrates a deep commitment advocating for adolescents but since we are a small organization, this is a well-kept secret.  I will lead SAHM in continuing to find ways to amplify our collective voice through partnerships and strategic collaborations with like-minded professionals and organizations.    

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

I feel that SAHM’s advocacy priorities should be data driven and be chosen based on how much impact the topics have on large components of the global adolescent health population and on topics that will most benefit from having health professionals amplify the topic by lending our professional voice to the issues.  I think that the following issues are very important to address in the next 3 years and need SAHM’s voice- adverse childhood experiences and trauma informed care, mental health/violence prevention and immigration/migration.  I feel these issues have global impact and are essential to address to assist in transition to healthy adulthood.  

 What can SAHM do to draw more diverse interdisciplinary members into the organization (like MDs other than Peds, PAs, and nurses, for example, and from different racial-ethnic, country of origin, religious and gender/sexual orientation backgrounds), to strengthen our members’ participation and ensure their engagement with SAHM throughout their careers?

As a former diversity and inclusion dean at a medical school, the concept and actuation of diversity and inclusion is very dear to my heart.  I feel that SAHM and all organizations need to adopt principles of inclusive excellence to create the space needed to attract individuals from different backgrounds to join the organization.  This has to start with a leadership team and organizational commitment to altruistic leadership principles- such as these from Catalyst, Inc.  Empowerment of members to contribute to the programs and directions of SAHM and to adopt activities that will help SAHM to excel.  Humility as an organization to admit mistakes, learn from criticism and seek different points of view to overcome limitations.  Courage to put the needs of our constituents (adolescent, young adults and the health professionals who serve them) first and take strategic organizational risks to act on this conviction.  And finally, accountability for SAHM leaders and the organization as a whole to be held responsible for the performance measures that we can control.  Living these principles can foster a climate in SAHM that will be attractive to professionals with diverse perspectives to seek SAHM membership.  

Another principle of inclusive leadership that may help diversify membership is looking more closely at our members to determine who is currently included and who is excluded.  This will allow SAHM to strategically target groups that need larger inclusion.  This approach has to be balanced with continuing to check in with those who are included, such as our physician membership, to determine what they need currently to stay engaged in light of our current health care realities.  

What do you think is the most challenging issue to assure that all teens (regarding/regardless of race, country of origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, abilities, and appearance) are able to reach their fullest potential in life? As President of SAHM and leader of experts in adolescent health, what ideas do you have to improve SAHM’s role in addressing this issue on regional, national and international levels?

I think the most challenging issue to address to assist all teens is being heard about issues that are important to them and to develop strategies to address these challenges in their transition to healthy adulthood.  A crucial component to addressing this issue is consistent access to caring adults who can coach, advocate and educate adolescents and young adults in meeting their goals.  

As SAHM President, my ideas are to catalyze those who also care about this issue to be change agents in their sphere of influence.  This is where I feel SAHM as an organization excels.  My experience in this organization has been the place where I find like-minded professionals and the companionship that is created allows be to be reinvigorated and encouraged to do my best to be a catalyst for change.  

At the regional level, there are opportunities to address the local needs of adolescents where they live.  This is the heart of the organization, so local chapters should continue to be supported in identifying and meeting these local needs.  This can be fostered with platforms to disseminate information on local initiatives that work and to bring partners together.  I would like to display regional initiatives after the regional meetings at the annual meeting and promising practices can be used to inform the annual SAHM advocacy agenda.  

At the national level, the best practices from the regional chapters, special interest groups and committees can be further enhanced by having annual questions that all of the groups respond to that can advance our collective voice.  An initiative such as “What wakes you up at night that can help our constituents?” can spur such discussions and allow the leadership to learn from the different perspectives.  This can assist in identifying the initiatives that have the potential to have the most impact for our constituents.  

At the international level, the work to include the global perspectives should continue and be amplified.  This can be assisted by looking for the commonalities in the perspectives and better identifying the unique perspective on common topics from different global regions.  

In all of these SAHM components- regional, national and international, the perspective should be to see how every topic impacts different subgroups.  I think that if the norm in our thinking is how topics impact all groups, it will bring an inclusive lens to our work that can advance our collective impact.  

David Bell, 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 and excited to be a nominated candidate for President-Elect of SAHM. 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 further achieve SAHM’s strategic goals: optimizing organizational effectiveness, promoting professional development, improving adolescent health, fostering/disseminating breakthrough research, and leading advocacy efforts. My various leadership roles have laid an excellent foundation for the role of President of SAHM.

After receiving my MD degree from UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, I completed residency and chief residency in Pediatrics at New York University Hospitals. I completed my fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at The University of California San Francisco, culminating with an MPH degree from UC Berkeley. I joined the faculty at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in 1999 with appointments in both pediatrics and public health. My first 10-years were devoted primarily to fulfilling clinical and clinical leadership positions. Since joining the faculty, I have been the medical director of The Young Men’s Clinic, subsequently adding the role of medical director of our school-based clinic program for seven years, and within the past decade the role of the medical director of our family planning program for another seven years. Of note, the Young Men’s Clinic has grown from a 4 hour a week session to 5 days a week, seeing 750 unique patients a year, initially, to now serving close to 3500 young men since 1999. My second decade’s focus expanded to clinically focused research on adolescent and young adult (AYA) males and developing public health projects. My largest research project was funded by the CDC and the Office of Adolescent Health. I have enjoyed mentoring and have mentored patients, students and trainees.

I am currently chair of the board for the Partnership for Male Youth, an organization I co-founded focusing on optimizing the health of AYA males, and secretary of the board for Promundo, a global leader in promoting gender justice and preventing violence by engaging men and boys in partnership with women, girls, and individuals of all gender identities. I have also served as a board of trustees for a well-respected K-12 private school in New York City.

SAHM has been my professional home since fellowship. In 2000, I co-founded the Male Special Interest Group and co-led the group for over a decade. My SAHM involvement expanded to participation on the awards committee and providing input over several years as a part of the program committee, in its different iterations. To date, I have been elected to two positions, a member of the nominations committee and was the At-Large Member on the Board of Directors. This year, I joined the inaugural Publications Editorial Board to support and pilot new streamlined and transparent processes for the publication of SAHM's position papers and position statements.

These diverse leadership experiences inside and outside of academia have given me the perspectives and skills to lead SAHM’s portfolio of activities.

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

I had the privilege of participating in the development of SAHM’s current strategic plan and believe that its achievement will positively impact our organization and develop the trajectory to improve the health of adolescents. SAHM’s vision to be a leader in the promotion of health, well-being, and equity for all adolescents and young adults was agreed upon by consensus. The board of the Partnership for Male Youth agreed to play an integral role in creating a world vision in which adolescent and young adult males are valued as assets and where their health and well-being are promoted.

My personal vision for improving adolescent health aligns with both organizational visions. In particularly, I strongly believe in partnerships. Improving adolescent health cannot be done in a vacuum by SAHM; our best opportunities to achieve broadest impacts is by learning and working together in partnerships. This aligns with SAHM’s strategic plan to increase the interdisciplinary diversity of SAHM. (I will speak more to this in another section.) My vision for improving adolescent health also includes partnerships with adolescents to achieve improved health outcomes. By engaging adolescents and young people we will ensure that our efforts are grounded in the realities of our young people and not in our perceptions of their needs. 

My vision is closely aligned with SAHM’s mission, and strategic goals. SAHM’s 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. If I am elected, my years on the board will span year 2, year 3, and year 4 of our 5- year strategic plan. I envision most of the heavy lifting for Strategic Goal #1 (creating more effective, efficient, and transparent governing structures) being accomplished to a great degree by year 3, but I would support any further efforts as needed. I hope to create effective strategies to increase our interdisciplinary membership. In achieving that goal, SAHM will enhance, as a by-product, its educational opportunities and collaborations. As we build on each other’s expertise and knowledge (Strategy Goal #2 – creating innovative education and professional development opportunities) to understand our adolescents and the lives they live from a variety of perspectives, SAHM will enhance each of our abilities to make well-informed decisions for programming and advocacy for the health of adolescents (Strategic Goal #3 – be the leading advocate for adolescents and young adults...).

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

Each year seems to bring new advocacy topics to prioritize that are immediate and critical. I am aware of and will continue to support recent efforts that SAHM has made to create timely responses to critical immediate advocacy needs. We should continue to hone our efforts in that regard. 

Many U.S. adolescent and young adult advocacy topics are our tried and true basic advocacy needs – access to quality care, confidentiality, sexual and reproductive health, mental health and laws related to firearms. Substance use and abuse span both our new and critical as well as our tried and true advocacy needs due to the new products and delivery mechanisms that are emerging. Many of these topics with the exception of topics related to firearms are of global interest. I also propose that we keep our eye on advocacy needs that tend to lose the eye of the public amidst new daily crises. As one example, I feel that the advocacy for detained immigrant adolescents and their conditions has lost the attention of our nation. I would like SAHM to focus on advocacy efforts that keep topics in the forefront of our nation’s attention as well as seek to have more international advocacy efforts.

SAHM has done a great job of training many of us to be in-person advocates to our legislators. I hope to foster opportunities for training cohorts of our membership to write and publish effective op-eds regularly to be more influential in improving the health of adolescents both in the U.S. and abroad.

Finally, I pose a question that I hope we can answer during my 3-year term. How can SAHM support and augment the articulate and brilliant adolescent voices that are already advocating for a better tomorrow and a better world for themselves?

In summary, my advocacy priorities during my 3-year term would be:

  1. To support and hone our recent efforts to create timely responses to critical and immediate advocacy needs.
  2. Keep advocating for the crises that still exist, but lose the attention of our nation and the global community..
  3. Seek to advocate on international topics intentionally and effectively.
  4. To serve all previous priorities, create robust opportunities for training to write and publish effective op-eds. (It is a unique skill.)
  5. Determine how SAHM can support and augment the articulate and brilliant adolescent voices that are already intent on creating a better tomorrow.

What can SAHM do to draw more diverse interdisciplinary members into the organization (like MDs other than Peds, PAs, and nurses, for example, and from different racial-ethnic, country of origin, religious and gender/sexual orientation backgrounds), to strengthen our members’ participation and ensure their engagement with SAHM throughout their careers?

Although I appreciate the intention of the question for greater diversity and more interdisciplinary members, the examples of other disciplines seem narrowly focused on the medical field. In the past, SAHM has striven to build a membership beyond medicine with varied success. I have heard that this was the main reason for our last name change to the Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine.

I envision a future where SAHM is more interdisciplinary in its membership that would lead to conversations and insights to propel the success of our future innovations.  “In his highly acclaimed and bestselling book, Connections, James Burke brilliantly examines the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological advances of today. With dazzling insight, he untangles the pattern of interconnecting events: the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to the major inventions of the world.” Although Burke in this book wrote about technological innovations, I take his connections to new ideas and new perspectives as relevant to innovative clinical approaches and interventions. What I remember of his book I read many years ago are the conversations among friends that were working on disparate content areas, but their conversations brought each insight that would transform the trajectory of the success of their innovations. I envision that incorporating a more diverse interdisciplinary membership would allow us to think beyond the messages we hear and ‘breathe’ in our daily medicalized or psychological bubbles. As in public health, the study and clinical practice of adolescence and programming for adolescents would benefit from even broader interdisciplinary inputs. As it stands, our medical fields (MDs. RNs with or without PhDs; PAs, NPs, etc.) represent the majority in our membership. SAHM has a number of psychologists, a handful of anthropologists, and may have a few sociologists, but SAHM should strive to increase our memberships of the broad ranges of disciplines so that we not only can learn from each other but develop more robustly because of the collaborations. 

To draw a more diverse interdisciplinary membership, we should look within and brainstorm opportunities to capitalize on the broad connections of our current membership. We could brainstorm new financial models for our conference to encourage interdisciplinary teams that are not current members to present their clinical expertise or research at our meetings somewhat modeling the success of our journal to attract publications that are at the forefront of so many disciplines. I am aware that SAHM has entertained having joint conferences with other organizations, but I am not aware of the logistics of holding joint conferences. I hope to explore any possible and viable options such as joint conferences that would increase our visibility with other disciplines and their trainees not only to increase the diversity of our membership but also to increase connections and collaborations. The more we can learn from our interdisciplinary colleagues the better equipped we will be to make a significant impact in the adolescents' lives we desire to improve.

 What do you think is the most challenging issue to assure that all teens (regarding/regardless of race, country of origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, abilities, and appearance) are able to reach their fullest potential in life? As President of SAHM and leader of experts in adolescent health, what ideas do you have to improve SAHM’s role in addressing this issue on regional, national and international levels?

As many of us across the country are incorporating and addressing social determinants of health into our daily clinical practice, the challenge for SAHM is to enhance our role addressing many of the social determinants of health, regionally, nationally, and internationally. 

I recently presented for a CDC-funded project whose goal was to improve the health care delivery to teens in three states - Mississippi, Alabama, and North Carolina- through three organizations. Their assessments revealed that there were many barriers to STI testing. In one of my presentations, I acknowledged the work of Adaora Adimora and Victor Schoenbach on the social determinants of Sexually Transmitted Infections:

“…the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, including the health system” (WHO Commission on Social Determinants)—have attracted increasing attention as fundamental causes of disparities in health status between individuals and populations.

In the context of STIs, adolescent and young adult access to ‘youth-friendly’ services, and access to quality care and treatment, is a social determinant of current health and future health of our adolescents regionally, nationally, and internationally. I anticipate that it is undisputed that SAHM should play an influential role in improving access to services and effective utilization of services not only in the context of STIs, but in each of our areas of interests and concerns. This would better serve all teens. And penultimately, if SAHM chose to address in some capacity the broader social determinants of health - housing, food insecurity, and education, we could have an increased and significant impact. I do not pretend to know the ‘how’s’ yet but if SAHM is serious about ensuring that all teens are able to reach their fullest potential, we need to address the broadest of social determinants, beyond health care access and quality care in partnership with others. The exploration of the path to take could lead our global population of teens and young adults to a better future.


At-Large Board Member Candidates


Scott Harpin, PhD, RN, 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.  

It is an incredible honor to be asked to run for the SAHM Board by the Nominations Committee and to be included among this illustrious list of fellow nominees. 

I first became a member of SAHM in 2004 after attending my first meeting while in the LEAH Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. It has become my professional home since, each annual meeting serving as a compass to redirect me to my personal and professional passions of adolescent health in the somewhat chaotic day-to-day life of an academic. I’ve held modest SAHM leadership positions over the years: Nursing Research SIG leader; Advocacy Committee member; Program Committee SIG co-organizer (twice!); Runaway/Homeless Youth SIG co-leader; and the core Program Committee from 2015-18 as Poster Symposia leader. I have attended nearly all annual meetings since 2004, save a couple, and humbly became a SAHM Fellow in 2016. My specific contributions beyond the Program Committee have rested mostly with the Nursing SIGs, Runaway/Homeless Youth SIG, and scientific presentations.

Outside of SAHM, I have held Board memberships of some sort fairly continuously since the mid-2000s, my time as an officer of the Minnesota Public Health Association perhaps being most reflective of the SAHM membership organization structure. I recently completed a 5-year Governor’s appointed term on the Colorado Child Fatality Review Committee, that job description very reflective Goals #1 and #3 efforts in the SAHM Strategic Plan.

I will bring a multi-disciplinary perspective (Nursing and Public Health), longtime experience in the organization, creativity, charisma, and collaboration 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?

Strategic goal #2—“…leading source for innovative education and professional development…”—is the primary goal for which I can best lend expertise. As a member of the Scientific Review and Workshop Abstract Committees in the past, and more recently as the coordinator for the Poster Symposia, I have had a direct hand in giving a voice to interprofessional development already happening at our SAHM Annual Meetings. 

As a member of my campus Interprofessional Education (IPE) Council, I have become more in tune with innovations and best practices for IPE. SAHM is positioned to be a bigger player in digital education partnerships for adolescent health professionals around the globe. I look forward to being a part of developing that vision regardless of the outcome of this election.

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

I first had insight on SAHM’s advocacy efforts as a member of the Advocacy Committee in the late 2000s. When our Strategic Plan was released, I was delighted to see, front and center, Goal #3, especially feeling the shifting sands of federal U.S. policy and political change around the world. I have felt pride as a member of SAHM with every email explaining that we have signed on to a letter of support for pro-adolescent well-being legislation in the United States. 

Last year, I was part of the writing team to update the Homeless/Unaccompanied Youth Position Statement for SAHM which opened my eyes wider to the global impact of our work. Our writing team covered 5 continents, a half dozen time zones, and made me so much more aware of the advocacy needs that exist outside of our SAHM membership. There is fantastic work already being done by IAAH, no doubt. But I think SAHM can be even more agile in responding to advocacy needs beyond what we already do well, perhaps expanding the SAHM Advocacy Committee workplan to address needs geographically from a global perspective. 

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

I have attended the annual meetings consistently for many years. And perhaps the biggest thing that keeps me coming back has been the increased acknowledgement and attention to the interprofessional nature of the organization, especially over the past 7-8 years. While individual care of the adolescent remains a core of what calls many members to the organization, I have felt the stronger shift to adolescent population health in workshops, institutes, and research presentations of late. This is mirrored in the names of our Special Interest Groups from the time I co-organized them in 2004-06 to now.   

Ryan Pasternak, 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 SAM/SAHM since 2002. In that time I have developed strong relationships with other members that support our collective professional and personal development and worked integrally on a number of committees and projects for SAHM. I worked with Al Hergenroeder on workforce development and provider training, and Steve North for many years on the School Based Health SIG. Paritosh Kaul in publications and general guidance. Susan Gray, Kirsten Hawkins and many others helped develop the Electronic Health Record (EHR) position paper and inform, Dr. DeSalvo in the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT, while I chaired the Electronic Health Records Committee. More locally I have served as SAHM Regional Chapter President. This work has allowed me to develop group-work and leadership skills; key for a role on the Board.  Work outside of this organization has prepared me for further advocacy development work and public speaking. This includes working with Physicians for Reproductive Health for over a decade, including their Leadership Training Academy to further develop advocacy and leadership skills and the Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Education Program delivering reproductive health workshops in the U.S. Work with the AAP Section on Adolescent Health and AAP workshops has also rounded out these experiences. Local work with the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies has provided more locally grounded adolescent and reproductive health community work. Finally, recent leadership training with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has informed my direct and indirect leadership styles which I expect would impact the interactive work required on the Board. 

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

Goal # 3: Be the leading advocate for adolescents and young adults and the health professionals who care for them. 

Specifically, Objective #1:Increase the visibility of advocacy efforts to internal and external stakeholders. 

I would hope to work on this goal and objective during a tenure on the Board. Past experience in advocacy training with Physicians For Reproductive Health and my current role as Vice Chair for Community Health and Advocacy would bring value added to this component of the strategic plan. Our collective voice within and outside of SAHM are the strongest medicine we have for change.  

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

Standing firm in our advocacy of youth and our providers. 
These need to be core values and clearly seen in all of our work. This also means accelerating processes for dissemination of advocacy work and extending this work beyond position papers into routine media and other sources that reach larger audiences than ourselves.  

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

Besides the ongoing clinical and academic professional development, and resources SAHM provides, more important is the community built now of close friends and colleagues. It is a “safe zone” for Adolescent Medicine providers when so often our work is questioned and even vilified outside of our immediate professional community. That respite, year after year is critical to many who attend the Annual Meeting or interact with SAHM in other ways.

Renee Sieving, PhD, RN, 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 1991, joining during my adolescent health fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Over the years I have served in various capacities, including on the Scientific Abstract Review Committee (member, 1998-2001 & 2005-present; Co-Chair, 2015-2017; Chair, 2017-2019), Program Committee (2008-2009 & 2017-2019); Research Committee (2005-2009); Young Professionals in Adolescent Health task force (2002-2003); and Membership Committee (1998-1999).  I have given many research presentations at the SAHM annual meetings, and have co-led multiple educational workshops and institutes. Collectively, these experiences have allowed me to witness many facets of SAHM.

As a Professor with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and Department of Pediatrics, I have extensive experience educating both clinicians and scholars in adolescent health.  I direct a MCHB-funded Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) training program, involving fellows from disciplines of medicine, nursing, nutrition, psychology, public health, social work, and other fields. I also direct the CDC-funded Healthy Youth Development – Prevention Research Center (HYD-PRC), which conducts community-partnered research and disseminates actionable knowledge to promote positive youth development and health equity among young people. The SAHM annual meeting is an important venue for sharing our HYD-PRC research.  I am member of the steering committee of the CDC Prevention Research Centers, a network of 25 centers funded by the CDC to develop, test and evaluate public health interventions for widespread application, particularly with underserved communities. Collectively, my professional experiences validate the importance of community-engaged, interdisciplinary team approaches to addressing important adolescent and young adult health issues. 

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 to Goal 2: SAHM will be the leading resource for innovative education and professional development for adolescent health professionals. I am passionate about training future health and public health professionals involved in adolescent and young adult health. I direct a MCHB-funded Leadership Education in Adolescent Health fellowship training program at the University of Minnesota. For more than 20 years, I have served as faculty in externally funded training programs in the fields of nursing and adolescent health. I have advised and mentored more than 170 graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior investigators with adolescent and young adult health interests.  

I also have a wealth of experience with continuing education and professional development of current health and public health professionals. For over two decades, I have led a talented team of people in planning and implementing an annual Minnesota Adolescent Health Summer Institute (AHSI). This 3-day CE course is designed to help learners examine research on adolescent health-related behaviors, add new skills in evidence-based practice, and generate new strategies for programs and policies. While the emphasis shifts each year, the AHSI is consistently oriented towards a social determinants perspective, emphasizing protective factors that promote adolescent health and positive youth development. AHSI evaluations from two decades show consistent themes: relevance of topics to clinicians, educators, administrators and advocates; range and innovation of teaching/learning strategies; and array of disciplines represented among participants and faculty.  I believe that my experiences can be useful to SAHM in achieving its goal of being a leading resource for innovative education and professional development in the field of adolescent and young adult health.

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

As an organization, SAHM includes an incredibly diverse group of professionals from around the world who share a deep commitment to supporting health and healthy development of all young people.  Collectively, we have many strengths and vantage points – from providing clinical services to implementing community-wide programs, from conducting community-engaged research to leading systems change.  SAHM helps us capitalize on those strengths by providing venues to connect, listen, learn, and collaborate in arenas of advocacy, clinical services, education, program development, and research. 

The current political climate – both in the US and internationally – fuels discrimination, divisiveness, fear and hatred of ‘the other’, especially young people and families from refugee and immigrant communities, LGBTQ young people, and other marginalized groups. This climate compels SAHM to continue to speak out on behalf of the health and well-being of all young people. We must continue to unite with allies and like-minded groups in coordinated public advocacy efforts. As an organization of clinicians, educators, researchers, and systems-change experts who recognize the value of advocacy grounded in evidence and of authentic engagement with youth and communities, we have both the will and the capacity to be a strong voice for the young people, families, and communities we serve during this challenging time.

To sustain its members during this particular time, I see great value in SAHM continuing to support committees and SIGS as venues for work on specific interest areas related to the health and well-being of young people. I believe that SAHM should continue to foster the development of position papers to both educate and support local advocacy efforts. To support advocacy around public policy matters,  SAHM can offer an array of resources such as advocacy trainings in conjunction with its annual meetings; electronic ‘action alerts’ connected to policy-oriented research published in the Journal; and an online advocacy ‘tool kit’ to help members speak out about health and social justice issues impacting young people.  

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

My SAHM colleagues and friends! Throughout my 29 years as a member, SAHM has provided me with rich opportunities to develop connections with mentors, role models, colleagues, peers, trainees and students from various backgrounds -- all of whom share a clear passion and a strong commitment to promoting the health and well-being of young people. The work, perspectives, energy, and creativity of my SAHM colleagues truly inspires me.

Pierre-Paul Tellier, 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 am a Canadian family physician who completed a Fellowship in Adolescent Health, in New York City.  I have been given 500 words to write a brief statement about myself.  My goal, as a member of the Board of Director would be to work to improve the quality of life of adolescents and young adults by enabling SAHM to work at its best.   I would like to continue advocating for all minority youth, especially GLBT youth, as they are living in a world where too many people in power are saying and doing things that directly impact on their well being.   I also want to give a voice to family physicians who, in most countries in the world, are the primary care givers to most of the youth.  Their work needs to be acknowledged, they need to have easy access to continuing professional development by their peers, as well as by specialist in the field, who understand the need of young people in the community.   I believe that this needs to be accomplished by working in a multidisciplinary environment and I applaud the fact that two nursing colleagues have been nominated for the same position that I am seeking to be elected to.    

I have some experience in leadership positions and within committees whose goal it is to improve care, educate others and do research to better the lives of patients.   I served, in SAHM, as a member of the Membership Committee, a member and Chair of the Fellowship Committee and currently Chair of the GLBT committee.  I also was the co-chair of the GLBT SIG, chair of the Family Medicine Sig and Chair of the International Chapter.  As part of the Program Committee, as well as reviewing abstracts, I am working with others to give young people a presence and a voice at our annual meeting and maybe even in the governance of our organization.  In my own country I chaired the Family Medicine Forum (FMF), for the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). The FMF is the premier family medicine conference, in Canada and annually welcomes between 3000 and 5000 people. I am also a member of the Foundation for the Advancement of Family Medicine, the philanthropic arm of the (CFPC).  This year, I became chair of the Joint Action Committee for Child and Adolescent Health, a conjoint committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society and the CFPC. On an international level, I cofounded the Adolescent SIG of WONCA, the World Family Medicine Association and was chartered member of the new GLBT SIG.  Yes, I have some experience and I believe I can contribute to the work of the Board of Directors of SAHM.   However, I do recognize that in joining a new Board there is much to learn and I am willing to do this.  Thank you for considering me for this position, as you vote.

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

Of the three goals it is evident from my statement that the one that I primarily identify with is Goal #3: SAHM will be the leading advocate for adolescents and young adults and the health professionals who care for them.  In 1948, the United Nations proclaimed the International Declaration of Human Rights to which all member states, in theory, adhere to.  However, this document is not legally binding and local laws supersede it.  Hence, essentially enabling many to contravene the Declaration.  This is occurring all over the world, in every country.   While it may be more evident in some than others, we must acknowledge that the rhetoric and actions of our elected leaders, as well as others in position of powers, is aggressing our youth both on a micro and macro level.  As an organization we need to continue advocating for safe schools, free of guns, the freedom to love, in respect, who we choose, irrelevant of race, religion, gender, or sexuality, and also have readily access to health care.   We must speak up about institutionalized sexual assault of child brides, the imprisonment and death sentences applied to sexual minority youth, the killing of child soldiers, and the abuse of those who are trafficked.  I applaud the public statements, when these rights have blatantly been contravened, penned by our presidents over the last few years. I believe that we need to continue to speak up and I want to be one of those whose voice is heard.    I would want to use the skills I have acquired to do so.  This is why Goal # 3 of the Strategic Plan is the one I most closely relate to.  I want young people to not be called a faggot in the school yard, to not be afraid to be physically attacked as they walk down a street, holding the hand of a love one and to be legally allowed to marry the person they most care for.   

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

SAHM while an American organization is becoming a world leader in adolescent health.  Every member has a role to play in its commitment to attaining this position.  Our responsibility, as an organization, is to provide everyone with the tools to address the needs of the community they serve thus attaining skills, as they are doing so, that can be exported nationally and internationally.   These skills include having the knowledge to provide appropriate, evidence-based care to adolescent and young adults. This is and can be attained by supporting the training of a variety of care givers, at the undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education levels.  We must, as a group, encourage our  health professional education institutions to provide more time in their curricula to the approach and care of this population. For physicians, this must also be accomplished within residency programs in family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and others.  Fellowship or graduate programs need to be accessible to all learners.  A broad range of continuing development opportunities has to be made available to all practitioners throughout the world.  Hence members have to present clinical workshops, and research at a variety of conference, exporting their knowledge beyond the SAHM meeting.  We need to assist our members locally and internationally to develop advocacy skills to counter the impact of the current political and social climate.   Hence, while American members are learning how to speak to their elected members while in Washington and elsewhere, there should be workshops for international members on how to advocate within their own environment.  A space must me made to discuss issues that are relevant to their own milieu, to be aware of local political climate and how this may affect the safety of advocates and how effective advocacy can be done without putting themselves and others at risk. Finally, we need to actively listen to the community that we are caring for.  It is important that we institutionalize the participation of young people in our organizations allowing them to say, in a safe, respectful environment, what their concerns are, and how they want to be cared for.  We need to learn to export the rules of participatory research to our every day work.       

What brings you back to SAHM, year after year?

I attended my first SAHM meeting when I was told by my Fellowship Director that she was being given an award and that she expected me there.  I paid my fee, packed my bags and flew to New Orleans and since then I have only missed two meetings.  At first, it was intimidating sitting a room surrounded by people who were leaders in this field, who had published a variety of books and papers I had read, and by peers who were eager to be recognized for the work they were doing, however, I soon learned that this was a welcoming bunch.   I attended presentations and workshops, felt comfortable asking questions and went back home excited, my head full of new ideas.   Over the years I learned to present within the SIGs I was a member of, then write and submit abstracts for the conference itself and eventually for other meetings internationally.   Annually I networked with new and old colleagues who had similar interest and who came from everywhere in the world.  We could discuss common issues and make plans to collaborate.  I made friends and these friends not only helped me professionally but were there to support me at difficult times in my life as I was there for them.  We partied, hugged, laughed and cried together, and had oysters and prosecco all over the US.  Hence, I come to SAHM annually to learn a little, meet new people in my field of work, but more importantly I come for a surrogate family reunion that includes a diversity of people, Anita, Ranee, Maria, Russell. Seth, Deborah, April, Jenny, and so many others.         

Nomination Committee Candidates



Cherrie Boyer, PhD, FSAHM 

I am a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
I have training in the areas of Social and Health Psychology with over 30 years of experience and commitment to promoting inclusion and diversity of underrepresented racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities through interdisciplinary teaching, training, mentoring, and research. My overall program of research addresses health disparities in adolescents and young adults with a focus on biopsychosocial and other determinants of sexual and reproductive health risks and the role that these factors play in STIs and other health outcomes. My research also focuses on the development and evaluation of intervention strategies utilizing both culturally competent and resilience-based frameworks to promote sexual health and to reduce the risk of STIs/HIV. This research has largely focused on minority groups and has utilized community engaged approaches, which point to my leadership experience and ability to work collaboratively within broad and complex organizations and communities. 

Within our Division I serve as the Associate Director for Research and Academic Affairs and the Director of Interdisciplinary Training for our Maternal and Child Health Bureau-funded Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) training program. Additionally, I have served in other leadership capacities within our Division and Department, which demonstrate my commitment to promoting inclusion and diversity, including serving as a chair and member of various faculty selection committees and committees for selecting interns and fellows. I am also a research and career mentor for a number of fellows and early career stage faculty who are underrepresented in medicine. My commitment to and promotion of diversity and inclusion is also evident in other leadership roles that I play at the University level through service on high impact committees, including the Institutional Review Board, the Campus Council on Faculty Life, the University-wide Faculty Development Day, and the Academic Senate’s Committee on Privilege and Tenure. On a national level I serve on the Steering Committee for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), which is focused on underrepresented minority undergraduate students and persons with disabilities to pursue advanced graduate training in STEM fields. I also serve an Associate Editor for our society’s Journal of Adolescent Health and have served on the Editorial Boards for JAMA Pediatrics and STDs. Additionally, I have provided service to a number of national organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and I currently serve on the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States. 

As an active member of SAHM since 1990 and I have served in various roles, including moderator for platform presentations, membership on the Abstract Review Committee, Career Sub-Committee of the Awards Committee, Research Committee, Program Committee, and a faculty mentor for the Research Mentoring Forum. Importantly, between 2011-2014 I served as a member of SAHM’s Board of Directors and chaired the Policy and Procedures Committee during my tenure on the Board. Currently, within SAHM, I am a member of FSAHM Selection Committee and the SAHM Governance Review Committee.  Collectively, with my wealth of experience and my longstanding commitment to SAHM and other academic, government, and professional organizations, I am qualified to serve as a member of SAHM’s Nominations Committee with the goal of continuing SAHM’s rich traditions and its mission to improve the health of adolescents and young adults through professional development of an inclusive, diverse, and multidisciplinary workforce of healthcare providers, researchers, educators, and advocates, at national and international levels.


Yolanda Evans, MD, MPH 

Thank you considering me to serve on the SAHM Nominations Committee. The Committee offers vital decisions on determining SAHM leadership, and as an active SAHM member, I have gained an understanding of the qualities needed in its leaders that will support growth, equity, and continued perseverance towards ensuring the health of all adolescents and young adults. I have been a member of SAHM since 2008, when I joined as a first year fellow. In addition to presenting research on social media and physician blogging, running workshops how to effectively work with an interdisciplinary team and prevention of burnout, and being an active participant in the national meeting, I have gained an understanding of the organization and leadership skills needed to enable SAHM’s success through my history of service in SAHM. 

During SAHM 2010 and 2011, I took the lead in organizing the Minority Providers Dinner, a networking event for providers from underrepresented backgrounds. In 2013, I joined the Media Communications Committee and participated through 2014. I was placed into my first leadership role in my local NW Pacific SAHM Chapter when elected Secretary in 2016. I held this position through 2019 and while in it, organized our first newsletter, created a communication pathway for announcing local educational events, and helped create a structure for electing future leaders in the Chapter. From 2017-2019, I served as the Chair of the Program Planning Sub-Committee for the former Meet the Professor session at the national meeting. In this role, I lead a group that renamed the session, emphasized the task of promoting professional growth and tips for success (both personally and professionally), and re-structured the session to create a format that offered CME and MOC in order to increase attendance. During my time as Sub-Committee Chair, SAHM celebrated its 50th anniversary in Seattle, where I live. It was an honor to meet leaders in the organization and to be a part of planning the joyful celebration. Finally, in 2019, I was elected President of the NW Pacific SAHM Chapter and am currently working with my colleagues to continue growing our membership, having more presence in our wide geographic region, and create a structure for continuing to be able to offer a scholarship to support allied health professionals attendance at the national meeting. I feel I am a strong candidate to serve on the SAHM Nominations Committee and appreciate the opportunity. 


Jonathan Klein, MD, MPH

Dr. Jonathan D. Klein, is the Savithri and Samuel Raj Endowed Professor of Pediatrics and Executive vice head (Chair) of the department of pediatrics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine. Jon is a pediatrician and a specialist in adolescent medicine and a health services researcher known for his leadership and for his expertise and scholarship in adolescent preventive services and tobacco control, and for translation of research into clinical and public health practice and policies.   He has agreed to stand as a candidate for the nominating committee 

He joined the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2017, having spent from 1992–2009 on the faculty of the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and 2009–2017, as Associate Executive Director at the American Academy of Pediatrics, where he had oversight for tobacco control, research global health and publishing. He also designed and helped launch the Academy’s efforts to address diversity and inclusion.   

Jon served as founding chair of the Resident Section of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and as chair of the Advocacy committee for the Society for Adolescent Medicine (now SAMH) and as SAMH’s liaison member of the AAP Committee on Government Affairs. He was lead author of SAHM’s first position paper on access to care, and was a member and then chair of the AAP Committee on Adolescence. His current SAHM activities include serving on the planning committee and as a reviewer for the Annual meeting.  

Jon serves as North American Vice President for IAAH, and is co-chair of the planning group for the IAAH Congress in Lima, Peru, in November 2020.  He also current serves as a member of the Leadership Committee for the American Pediatric Society, and as an elected member of the Executive Committee and Standing Committee of the International Pediatric Association, a global organization of 186 national and regional pediatric associations and global specialty societies, including IAAH.

Jon has dedicated much of his career to identifying and developing leaders in medical and public health organizations, and to helping facilitate the translation of evidence into practice and policy, and looks forward to bringing these skills and experiences to the work of the SAHM nomination committee.


Renata Sanders, MD, MPH, ScM

I am an Associate Professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. My areas of clinical expertise include: adolescent sexually transmitted infection and HIV, adolescent transition to adult care, caring for sexual and gender minority youth, and school-based health center needs. I have a joint appointment in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Departments of Epidemiology and Health, Behavior and Society. I serve as the Medical Director of the Pediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS Program and the Director of the PrEP Program ( located in the Harriet Lane Clinic at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and the co-Director of the Adolescent and Young Adult Scientific Working Group Center for AIDS Research. National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Baltimore City Health Department fund my work. I have served as a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as representative for Maryland Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics to the Maryland General Assembly to make recommendations regarding HIV testing laws in Maryland, and has worked locally with the Baltimore City Health Department to improve HIV testing strategies in youth aged 15 to 24. 

I would be excited to serve as a member of nominations committee of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM). My first SAHM meeting was in 2003 when I was still a resident. Since that time, I have served in multiple roles, including serving on the SAHM Abstract Review Committee (2009-2013),  Regional President of the Chesapeake (2014-2016), LGBTQI Special Interest Group Leader (2014-2019), Governance Review Subcommittee of SAHM (2019-current), and Member-At-Large Representative, Board of Directors, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (2016-2019).  I have been active in other organizations as well – serving on the Adolescent Medicine Subboard or the American Board of Pediatrics (2014-2019), as abstract reviewer for International AIDS Society, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), Board (2019-current). From these experiences, I have learned what is needed to develop professional organizations and partnerships to impact and improve the health and well-being of adolescents world-wide. 

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