Advancing health through science, education and medicine

2018 ACSM Election

Vice President Candidate:

Irene S. Davis, Ph.D., PT, FACSM
Professor, Harvard Medical School
Director, Spaulding National Running Center
Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Department of Physical Medicine and
Cambridge, MA

1. Please list your previous service to ACSM.

I have been a member of the American College of Sports Medicine since 1987 and have remained active in the organization since. During the past 30 years, I have authored/coauthored more than 100 ACSM podium/poster presentations, organized/presented over 20 symposia, and given keynote lectures at three Regional ACSM meetings. I have also presented at the Advanced Team Physician’s Meeting. I became a fellow of the College in 2001, was co-chair of the Biomechanics Interest Group (largest interest group in ACSM) from 2005 to 2008 and then chair from 2008 to 2009. During that time, I led an initiative to solicit outside funding from vendors to support student travel and research awards, along with a Career Award.  I have served on the ACSM Program Committee as the Biomechanics Topic Representative since 2010 to 2016.  It has been an extremely rewarding experience to serve on this committee, which reviews thousands of abstracts and session proposals each year and produces a strong, well-balanced scientific and clinical program. During the past three years, I have served on the Board of Trustees, and was an ad hoc member on several ACSM committees.  Finally, for the past two years, I have been a member of a working group focused on developing an EIM partnership with the American Physical Therapy Association.  Throughout the years, I have served many times as an abstract reviewer and session moderator, and participated in student mentoring sessions. 

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

I believe that ACSM’s greatest strength is its global leadership in the science of exercise and sports medicine. As the largest exercise and sports medicine organization in the world, ACSM has the opportunity to impact global fitness in a significant way.  ACSM attracts individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds, including clinicians and scientists. ACSM’s international membership spans a range of scientific areas including nutrition, physiology, epidemiology, military medicine and biomechanics, to name a few.  This is unique compared to most other organizations.  Most ACSM members also belong to organizations in their areas of specialization.  But it is the confluence and cross-pollination of these different groups within a single organization that further strengthens the College.

As a Vice President, I will work hard to continue to strengthen ACSM’s global reputation.  I am a strong advocate of the Exercise is Medicine® campaign. It is the perfect example of ACSM’s integration of research into practical application.  Exercise is a very powerful medicine that continues to be underappreciated by many within and outside of the United States. I will be devoted to continuing to promote the EIM initiative through encouraging community engagement and expanding our partnerships. Exercise is also a powerful prophylactic of disease and disability.  However, funding for exercise as a preventative measure is sparse.  I will advocate for increased federal funding for this important line of research.

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?

We are now seeing the negative effects that inactivity is having on our children and, consequently, our future.  I believe our College is ideally positioned to lead the advocacy of childhood activity. For example, I would like to see the College lobby for all states to impose regulations for school recess and physical education because this is not currently universal.  Additionally, the College could promote school campaigns to encourage kids to walk and bike to school together. I would also like to see campaigns to encourage parents to limit daily screen time for their children. Healthy exercise habits that begin in our youth can have a significant impact on the health of our society. We need another challenge such as the “Great National Effort” by John F. Kennedy to make America physically fit again!

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 am an active member in the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB), having served on the executive board and as the president-elect, president and past-president from 2007-2010.  I am also an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and have been serving in a work group to develop an EIM partnership with the APTA.  I am currently a fellow in both ASB and APTA.

Thank you for the honor of this nomination, and I pledge to diligently work to serve the College if elected as vice president.


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