Advancing health through science, education and medicine

2018 ACSM Election

Trustee Candidate: Basic & Applied Science

Janet M. Shaw, Ph.D., FACSM
Associate Professor
University of Utah
Department of Health. Kinesiology
and Recreation
Salt Lake City, UT

1.  Please list your previous service to ACSM.

ACSM is my primary professional organization, and I’ve continuously maintained my membership since 1992.  I became a fellow in 2002.  I co-authored a chapter for the 3rd and 4th editions of ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, and I served on the Education Committee for Exercise is Medicine®.  I chaired a free communications session at the 2000 national meeting and organized and chaired a symposium titled “Exercise, Women and Aging” for the 2007 Southwest Chapter meeting.  I will be giving an invited presentation titled “Physical Activity and Pelvic Floor Health” at the upcoming Northwest Chapter meeting in February 2018.   

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

If elected to the Board of Trustees, I will promote enhanced cross-pollination of exercise and clinician scientists.  Exercise is Medicine® is an ideal launch point for greater mingling of PA researchers and clinicians.  Cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, diabetes, obesity and cancer receive impressive research attention, and deservedly so, from the ACSM membership.  Yet other clinical conditions with high prevalence in the population may also have important links to PA, as I have learned firsthand in conducting research related to pelvic floor health.  For example, current PA guidelines for postpartum women are general and lack objective evidence to inform women on the return to exercise after childbirth.  The research team on which I serve is addressing postpartum PA and pelvic floor support and symptoms, and our students are gaining exposure to a non-traditional topic related to PA.  Ideally, such research synergy will further our understanding of the effects of PA in a greater proportion of the population.

The strength of ACSM lies in its large and diverse membership.  The international mix of clinicians, educators and basic and applied scientists elevates the level of research in physical activity (PA), exercise and sport.  The inclusion of and opportunities for students, trainees and early career researchers ensures the infusion of new ideas. I am the beneficiary of membership in a multidisciplinary team that includes physician scientists in urogynecology, and researchers in biomedical engineering, biostatistics, and nursing with the goal to understand how physical activity affects pelvic floor health in women.  We benefit from student engagement in our research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 2007.  Our strength as a team is similar to the strength of the ACSM membership because each member brings slightly different perspectives to our research.  In contrast, our team studies a clinical condition that does not receive mainstream attention in the broader context of sports medicine, despite the plausibility that skeletal muscle and connective tissues of the pelvic floor are as likely to be impacted by PA as other anatomical structures.

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.

For several years, I was an active member of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at the University of Utah, which originally extended and received funding from the federal Office on Women’s Health (OWH, DHHS).  From this relationship, and with a funding paradigm change within OWH, I served as project investigator for OWH-funded ASIST 2010 (1 ASTWHO70006-01-00), titled: Utah Women’s Health Information Network. I served on the Board of Directors for the Utah Chapter of the American Heart Association (2010-2013) and I am currently a member of the American Association of University Women. Within my academic department, I have leadership experience as director of graduate studies and as department chair.


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