Advancing health through science, education and medicine

2018 ACSM Election

Trustee Candidate: International 

Naama Constantini, M.D., FACSM
Associate Professor 
Hebrew University-Hadassah
Medical School
Director, The Heidi Rotberg
Sports Medicine Center
Shaare Zedek Hospital

1. Please list your previous service to ACSM.

My "romance" with ACSM started in the early 1990's when I spent two years in New York City doing research with Professor Michelle Warren on the female athlete triad at St. Luke's-Roosevelt and learning sports medicine at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine in Lenox Hill Hospital. I then realized that it was essential to attend ACSM’s Annual Meetings and present papers in order to be part of the biggest and most influential professional body in the world in sport medicine. Ever since then, I try not to miss these meetings. It was not easy at the beginning, flying all the way from Israel and leaving seven children behind, but it was worth every penny and every effort. Now it is much easier as I became a proud mother of an enthusiastic ACSM member who is earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology at Indiana University. 

My involvements with ACSM include several Team Physicians' courses, participation in interest groups, authoring as well as reviewing articles for Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®, making presentations at the Annual Meetings, and participating in the preparation of the Female Athlete Triad presentation in 2005. In 2002, I became an ACSM Fellow with the support of Robert Malina and the late Oded Bar-Or. 

In 2011, with the blessing of ACSM and Mark Patterson as representative, I organized the first RCEP course outside of the United States, which was led by Jim Skinner and Jason Conviser. Since then, we have organized two CPT courses which helped expose many newcomers to ACSM. Finally, yet most importantly, I am busy promoting Exercise is Medicine® in Israel via courses for health professionals, conferences and other activities. In June 2015 we received the recognition of EIM Israel as part of the global ACSM-EIM initiative and I serve as the chair of the steering committee. We had the honour to host some of the most prominent leaders in the field, including Barry Franklin, Bob Sallis, Steven Blair, Katherine Schmitz, Chip Lavie and Jürgen Steinacker, as our guest speakers in our EIM annual meetings.

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

ACSM is definitely the most important and powerful body of knowledge with regard to exercise, physical activity and sports. For me, ACSM books and guidelines are the "Bible," and the basis of my teaching of medical students, physicians, physiotherapists, nurses and other health professionals. My vision, as the international member on the Board of Trustees, would be to promote ACSM worldwide and expand the circle of people who use ACSM resources and attend ACSM meetings and courses.  As an international ACSM member, I have always felt that ACSM should interact and collaborate more with international members, and get more international students involved in its activities. Those young health professionals and scientists are the future of ACSM as a global organization. I shall definitely promote this aspect, if elected.   

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 am the chairperson of the Israeli National Council for Women's Health and often consult our Ministry of Health (MOH) with regard to physical activity and exercise.  I would like to increase the collaboration between ACSM and the Israeli MOH in order to implement ACSM-EIM ideas such as the physical activity vital signs in Israel. Success in this respect could be replicated worldwide and would promote ACSM, as an organization, in many different countries.

Other bodies in which I serve in the Advisory Board Group include the Dairy Council, Osteoporosis Association, Israeli Defence Force Physical Fitness Research Group, Israeli Heart Society Sport Cardiology Forum and others.

I also have good relationships with several food and sport companies, which help us fund our EIM activities in Israel.  Additionally, we currently work closely with Technogym to promote the concept of a “medical fitness room” in our hospital. 

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