University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor Monica L. Baskin, Ph.D., has been selected president-elect of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Baskin was inducted as SBM president-elect during the society’s 40th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions in Washington, D.C. She officially began her one-year term during the society’s business meeting March 9. She will become society president in April 2020. Baskin was selected as president-elect through a vote by SBM members.
Baskin is a professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine at UAB and, in 2016, was named inaugural vice chair for Culture and Diversity for the UAB School of Medicine. Her research focuses on minority health and health disparities, community-based participatory approaches, and the intersection of health and place, as well as culturally relevant behavioral interventions for cancer and obesity. Baskin is the recipient of numerous research grants, including a nationally recognized NIH-funded research program to reduce health disparities through community-based research.
“It is a tremendous privilege to serve in this three-year leadership role for a dynamic membership of trainees, scholars and practitioners sharing a common goal to improve health and quality of life through proven behavioral science,” Baskin said. “I am excited to work alongside President Michael Diefenbach this year to help accelerate our science and help establish my platform for moving the needle on the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based prevention and intervention to those populations that are most burdened by poor health. Our membership has the scientific and clinical expertise for greater impact, and I look forward to helping the society to fully actualize that potential.”
Following her father’s death from cancer, Baskin decided to pursue health disparities as a field of research after completing her Ph.D., in psychology. Her research has shed light on numerous aspects of the effects of social determinants of health — race, class, gender and other factors — in changing health outcomes for disadvantaged communities. Baskin also serves as associate director for Community Outreach and Engagement at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB.
Baskin has been a member of SBM for more than 15 years and has served in a variety of functions within the society. She has served as an SBM member delegate, recently chaired the Diversity Leadership Working Group and currently sits on the Membership Council.
The Society of Behavioral Medicine is a 2,400-member organization of scientific researchers, clinicians and educators. Members study how behavior, biology and the environment interact, and they turn their findings into health interventions that improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities.