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Dr. Beth Canfield-Simbro Awarded Scholarship to Attend SOPHE State Health Policy Institute

March 18, 2009

canfield-simbroDr. Beth Canfield-Simbro, assistant professor of human performance and sport business and co-director of the honors program, has been awarded a scholarship to participate in the first-ever Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) State Health Policy Institute (SHPI).

The scholarship, awarded to 20 new State Health Promotion Policy Experts throughout the nation, will provide intensive training and education at the first SHPI to be held on May 6, prior to SOPHE’s Midyear Scientific Meeting, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The selected applicants represent a diverse cross section of the country and display a deep understanding of policy, collaboration and an urgency to educate policymakers about evidence-based strategies to address chronic diseases and help control health care costs. 

“We’re at a critical time in our nation’s history when we must educate policymakers about chronic disease strategies and interventions that work, especially those impacting health disparities,” said M. Elaine Auld, MPH, CHES, SOPHE’s chief executive officer.  “We are confident that deploying this new cadre of health promotion experts will help catalyze important community-based changes to improve the public’s health.”

Following their training, the State Health Promotion Policy Experts will begin developing and implementing plans to address one or two major chronic disease problems by joining with state/local coalitions and community members.  Their training at the Institute will help them understand critical nuances in state/local policy change, working with media, sources of state/local chronic disease data, social determinants of health and the latest research on systems changes to support healthy lifestyles.  The new initiative is part of a broader SOPHE effort, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to make more evidence-based information about chronic disease available to policymakers and other key opinion leaders.

Founded in 1950, the Society for Public Health Education’s mission is to provide leadership to the profession of public health education and to contribute to the health of all people and the elimination of disparities through advances in health education theory and research, excellence in professional preparation and practice, and advocacy for public policies conducive to health.

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