Advancing health through science, education and medicine

Trustee Candidate: Basic & Applied Science

Andrea Kriska, Ph.D., FACSM
University of Pittsbugh
Department of Epidemiology
Pittsbugh, PA

 1. Please list your previous service to ACSM.

As a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, I have had the opportunity and the privilege to work in the area of physical activity assessment and lifestyle interventions in public health research efforts (mostly diabetes related studies)  involving diverse populations around the world.  It’s much easier to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship of physical activity and disease and the reasons why people are active or not active when the question is examined in a variety of settings across diverse populations. As an example of this, I was part of the national lifestyle core of the Diabetes Prevention Program in which lifestyle intervention was shown to prevent diabetes across 27 US sites in which 45% of the cohort represented a racial or ethnic minority group. 

Likely due to my passion for health promotion through physical activity, my professional, involvement in ACSM has always been a priority for me, validated by the fact that I have missed only one or two national meetings since 1978. In the earlier years of my membership, I served on the Annual Meeting Program Committee and the Research Review Committee. I was also an Associate Editor of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® for several years.  More recently, since spearheading the development of the ACSM minority scholarship, I became an invited member of the Task Force on Diversity Action and the Exercise is Medicine® Underserved Populations Committee.  I am also a member of the ACSM Minority Health and Research  and Epidemiology Special Interest Groups.  If nominated as an ACSM Trustee, I would continue to focus my efforts on furthering diversity of both membership and of scope in our great organization.

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

I truly believe that it is the mix of disciplines, individuals, and ideas, all brought together to promote exercise, wellness, fitness, and physical activity levels that has made our organization such an exceptional one.  Over the 35 years that I have been a member/Fellow of ACSM, I have witnessed the organization expanding its focus and involvement in public health and dissemination/implementation of scientific findings into the community.  Since prevention/translation is my area of expertise and my passion, I would like to have the opportunity to help ACSM continue to strengthen this aspect of its vision.

3. 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 served and continue to serve on many advisory boards and committees including that of the National Diabetes Education Program. I am also a member of a number of review panels and am a standing member of an NIH study section involving translation efforts. As a faculty member of the University of Pittsbugh of the Diabetes Prevention Support Center, I have been part of a team that has trained almost 2 thousand health care professionals nationally and internationally in the area of lifestyle intervention. In addition, I have mentored students and junior faculty locally and around the country who are now experts in their own right. If nominated to the Board of Trustees, I plan to bring my experience with such things as mentoring, solid epidemiological methodology, diversity issues in research, community translation efforts, and national policy to the ACSM table.        

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