Advancing health through science, education and medicine

Vice President Candidate

Joseph Donnelly, Ed.D., FACSM
Director, Energy Balance Lab

Director, Center for Physical Activity and
Weight Management
Cardiovascular Research Institute
University of Kansas Medical Center
Department of Internal Medicine
Kansas City, KS



1.  Please list your previous service to ACSM.

I have been a member of ACSM since 1978 and have Fellow status. I have attended over 90% of the Annual Meetings and have presented at most. I review for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise®and Exercise and Sport Science Reviews. I submitted the application for the 2011 specialty conference “Moving students to better performance: physical activity, cognitive function, and academic achievement,” sponsored by ACSM, CDC, NIH, RWJ, President’s Council, and AAHPERD. I contributed chapters on overweight and obesity to the current ACSM’s Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. I was chair of the 2009 ACSM Position Stand “Appropriate physical activity intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain,” and I am the current chair of the pending ACSM Position Stand “Physical activity, cognitive function and academic achievement in elementary school children.” I am a past chair of the Central States Chapter of ACSM. I serve as a member of the ACSM Task Force on Obesity and am a member of the ACSM Board of Trustees.

2.  What is ACSM’s greatest strength and how would you make that aspect of the organization even stronger?

The greatest strength for ACSM is the support, promotion and dissemination of science for exercise, physical activity and sports and related topics. ACSM has emerged as the “go to” organization for the best science and has achieved worldwide recognition as the leading voice. The recent re-emphasis on basic sciences shows the scientific leadership of the organization. To compliment basic science, we should consider an equally vigorous venture with applied and translational science to match the emphasis of other health related organizations, such as The National Institutes of Health. It is important that recent advances in basic sciences are disseminated into practice to expand the reach and presence of ACSM as an organization. To support this effort, I would suggest exploring a journal dedicated to the more applied and translational aspects of science and believe that ACSM’s membership would support and benefit from such a scientific journal.

3.  What is a second area of ACSM that you would like for the College to make additional progress, and how could that best be done?

I believe Exercise is Medicine® is a terrific project and needs all the support we can muster. Moving exercise into mainstream medicine will have a powerful effect for how ACSM is viewed by other health related organizations and agencies. In particular, moving exercise/physical activity into standard medical education and into the “vital signs” of medical practice would be a tremendous achievement and has the potential to improve the health of millions.

4.  ACSM works closely with many other organizations, including associations, companies, philanthropies, and governmental agencies. Indicate those organizations/companies/agencies for which you play an advisory, consulting, or leadership role.

I have provided consultation for organizations and agencies across the years many of which are now forgotten. Currently I consult with Health Management Resources, Boston MA, regarding weight management issues and have done so since 1986. I am on the advisory board of The National Dairy Council and likewise GenYouth Foundation. These 2 organizations have partnered with The National Football League to provide the physical activity and nutrition program marketed as “Play 60” that is in use nationwide. I just recently consulted with Coca-Cola for their new physical activity initiative that will be initiated world-wide. I consulted with The Hallmark Foundation to create a $9 million Center in Kansas City to provide research, prevention and treatment programs for child overweight and obesity and directed the Center for 5 years. I currently consult with The International Life Sciences Institute for issues of physical activity. I have been an NIH reviewer since 1988 and am a past chair of study section “Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention.”  

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