*Welcome from the President and Program Planning Committee Chair


Welcome to the SPR 2017Annual Meeting!

This year’s conference theme Prevention and Public Systems of Care: Research, Policy and Practice offers the opportunity to consider ways in which the prevention science community can effectively contribute to improving health and promotion practice, reducing health disparities, and achieve health equity within and across populations around the world through public systems of care. This theme emphasizes how public policy and systems of care are integral for the implementation and dissemination of evidence based strategies for prevention and promotion of population-level health. Government and public health care systems are increasingly focusing on the importance of prevention in improving the health of all. For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the National Prevention Council and called for the development of the National Prevention Strategy to realize the health benefits of prevention for all Americans. Through these types of initiatives and other health-care reform initiatives prevention science has the opportunity to lead in the integration of prevention in health care and shift from a focus on treatment of disease to one focused on prevention and promotion of population-level health. Prevention science is uniquely positioned to inform science-based efforts for implementation and integration of evidence-based prevention programs and policies in health care systems and communities to create opportunities for improved physical, emotional, and social health for all.

There are a few new aspects to the conference this year. First, as we continue our efforts at producing less waste, we are no longer printing a conference program and have a new and improved conference APP. Second, we are introducing a new category of presentations, late breaking topics. In February, we had a call for abstracts for research, methodology, policy, or new data that represented late breaking or emerging trends related to the overall conference theme. There are 2 sessions for late-breaking topics on Wednesday. Third, we have a new format, TED-like Talks. These talks are an opportunity for commentary, presentation of new ideas and directions, or emphasize a take-home message from prevention science that transcends single empirical papers. Keep an eye out for these sessions! Finally, it is our pleasure to designate Abstracts of Distinction. After primary scoring and a secondary review of the overall scientific impact of the research, 22 abstracts were awarded the Abstracts of Distinction designation and represent topics that are particularly salient to the conference theme. Abstracts of Distinction are highlighted in the program.

The Planning Committee is honored and pleased that Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, the director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (Wednesday at 8:30 am), and Dr. George F. Koob, the director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Thursday at 4:45 pm) will give the Presidential Addresses.

We also draw your attention to the three plenary sessions that spotlight the themes of this year’s conference:

Plenary I:   Building Healthier Communities Through Investments in Prevention (Wednesday, 10:00 -11:30 am, followed by roundtable 1:00 – 2:30 pm). This plenary will examine the link between research on early home visiting and federal and state policies in addressing the needs of vulnerable children and families.

Plenary II: Prevention in Primary Care: Investments, Policy, and Implementation (Thursday, 8:30 -10:00 am, followed by roundtable 10:15 -11:45 am). The purpose of this plenary session is to provide an overview of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) strategies and overall goals, policies, and processes related to integrating evidence based prevention into primary care. Presenters will describe research addressing implementation and policy initiatives of prevention in primary care.

Plenary III: Promoting Health Equity and Decreasing Disparities Through Public Systems of Care and Policy. (Friday, 10:15-11:45 am, followed by roundtable, 1:00-2:30 pm). The plenary presentations will explore approaches that address assumptions regarding the scale-up of evidence-based interventions and policies that may improve our ability to promote health equity and decrease disparities.

In addition to the plenary and invited sessions, please note a number of special events in the schedule. The first is the Annual NIDA International Poster Session (Tuesday evening). In addition to its annual reception (Wednesday evening – all are welcome!) the Diversity Network Committee is sponsoring an invited symposium, Prevention Pathways to Health Equity and Reducing Disparities: Exploring and Promoting Health and Well-being on Thursday at 3pm. The ECPN has developed a number of sessions and events of particular interest to early career prevention scientists. Three SPR Mapping Advances in Prevention Science (MAPS) taskforces are having roundtables, the Economic Analysis of Prevention taskforce, (Wednesday, 4:30-6:00 pm), the new MAPS IV Stimulating Advances in Dissemination and Implementation of Evidence-based Interventions (Translational Research) taskforce, (Thursday, 1:15-2:45 pm) and the new MAPS V Big Data task force (Thursday, 10:15-11:45 am).  A fourth taskforce, Prevention Science’s Role in Reducing Disparities and Promoting Equity, will hold its roundtable Wednesday at 2:45 pm.  All four taskforces seek member input on next steps for the Economic Analysis of Prevention taskforce and for input on initial conceptualization for the Big Data, the Translational Research, and Disparities and Equity taskforces. The 12th Annual SPR Cup (Thursday, 10:15 – 11:45 am) is a friendly competition amongst teams of researchers and is one of the most popular annual sessions. Don’t forget to stop by one of the “Brown Bag” Special Interest Groups (SIGs). These discussion sections, held during the Wednesday and Thursday lunch breaks provide opportunities for informal networking and brainstorming on diverse topics related to research and evaluation, methodologies, funding and engaging people in the work of SPR. There will be a viewing of the HBO documentary, Risky Drinking, sponsored by NIAAA. Check out the times that it will be showing Wednesday through Friday. Lastly, don’t miss the 16th Annual Fundraising Dance with The Mothers of Prevention (Thursday, 9:30 – midnight). We would like to encourage all members to buy a ticket (whether or not you attend) as proceeds from this benefit dance go to support minority travel awards.  Let’s make this year our best fundraiser ever!

We want to acknowledge the network of people who have volunteered their time, engaged in collaborative and innovative thinking, and shaped this year’s agenda. We would like to thank the dedicated conference committee members: SPR members Amie Bettencourt, Rhonda Boyd, Thomas Dishion, Laura Griner Hill, Jeff Jenson, Sharon Lambert, Leslie Leve, W. Alex Mason, Brenda Miller, Hanno Petras, Jeff Temple, John Toumbourou, Marie-Helene Véronneau, and Elizabeth Weybright; and federal agency representatives Nicole Denmark and Aleta Meyer, ACF, Greta Massetti and Alana Cantor Vivolo, CDC, Emily Doolittle, DOE, IES, Eve Reider and Wendy Weber, NCCIH, Elizabeth Ginexi, OBSSR, Robert Freeman, Michael Hilton, Ralph Hingson, Marcia Scott, and Mariela Shirley, NIAAA, James Griffin and Karen Lee, NICHD, Bethany Deeds and Belinda Sims, NIDA, Tamara Bavendam, NIDDKD, Jennifer Alvidrez and Dorothy Castille, NIMHD, Deborah Young-Hyman and Elizabeth Ginexi, OBSSR, Rachel Ballard, Dionne Godette, Andrew Kuzmichev, and Ranell Myles, NIH/ODP, Leah Miller, ORWH, and Ingrid Donato, SAMHSA.

A special thanks to Amie Bettencourt, who organized and coordinated the review of abstract submissions and to all of the SPR members who volunteered their time to review abstracts and to participate in the thematic review subcommittees. Finally, we appreciate and thank the efforts of all those who helped to create ‘special’ sessions: Laura Griner Hill and Marie-Hélène Véronneau for organizing the Annual SPR Cup, ECPN members for the sessions aimed at early career participants, Diversity Network Committee members for organizing the annual DNC reception and invited symposium, all those who submitted organized poster forum and symposium, roundtables and the pre-conference workshop organizers.

On behalf of everyone who worked on the program and all attendees, we extend our heartfelt thanks and sincere gratitude to Jennifer Lewis, the Executive Director of SPR. Jennifer’s organization, support, and guidance throughout the development of all aspects of the conference are immeasurable.

Finally, it is with great appreciation that we acknowledge the support from our funders and sponsors. Please take a moment to read the conference acknowledgements that lists the organizations providing support for the annual meeting, and thank their representatives when you see them at the conference for their ongoing support!

We hope you enjoy the conference, meet new people, and think about prevention science in new ways because of your experiences over the next few days!  Don’t forget to buy a ticket to the fundraising dance!

Best regards,

Rico Catalano, PhD

Susan M. Breitenstein, PhD, RN
Chair, 2017 Program Planning Committee