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Public Health Epidemiology Conversations Podcast

Episode #81 Interview with Heather Flattery, Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)

Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) is a nonprofit, independent professional association that represents a diverse membership of nearly 4,000 health education professionals and students in the United States and 25 international countries.

Heather joins me on this episode to share with all of us about the organization’s focus, as well as the mission, vision, and values of SOPHE. She will discuss some of its major accomplishments and also how it uniquely serves the community of public health professionals.

Heather also shares her own personal journey into public health and provides yet another example of the many important ways that you can serve in this broad public health field. Heather completed her BS in public health with a focus in gender studies and health education from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She also completed her MPH from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. Be sure to listen in closely as she discusses her journey to discover her niche in public health.

As an organization, SOPHE:

  • Raises awareness of the connection between behavioral sciences, health education, health promotion, and the surrounding environment.

  • Builds knowledge and skills to help health educators respond to public health emergencies.

  • Fosters family, school and community partnerships to reduce risks associated with chronic disease among school-aged children.

  • Increases capacity among SOPHE chapters to work with local communities in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities.

  • Strengthens the connection between behavioral science and health education with more comprehensive approaches to unintentional injury and violence prevention.

  • Improves advocacy efforts by educating policy makers and providing training and resources to help public health workers improve advocacy skills.

Member Type Description

  • Practicing –First-time member; Health education professional with more than one-year experience

  • Practicing-Renewing/Returning - Health education professional who has previously been a member of SOPHE

  • Student* Full-time student in good standing with at least 6 months or more until graduation

  • Transitional** Health educational professional who has graduated within the last 24 months

  • Emeritus Retired professional

SOPHE serves health promotion and health education professionals from all backgrounds. SOPHE members work in schools, universities, voluntary organizations, health care settings, worksites, and in local, state and federal government agencies.

A majority of our members are either students or practicing members. A practicing member is anyone growing in their career post education or certification and pre-retirement. The purpose is to enhance any professional or soon-to-be professional looking to have an impact in health promotion or health education in whatever setting they find most appropriate for them.

Center for Online Resources & Education – CORE which provides access to earn continuing education contact hours online, 7 days a week. Choose how and when you want to learn. Aside from the on-demand access we do live webinars monthly.

SOPHE has 23 local chapters across the US that are individual organizations that support continued education, create their own conferences and hold regular meetings for networking and career support.

SOPHE publishes 3 peer reviewed journals:

Health Education and Behavior - a peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal that provides empirical research, case studies, program evaluations, literature reviews, and discussions of theories of health behavior and health status, and strategies to improve social and behavioral health. This journal also examines the processes of planning, implementing, managing, and assessing health education and social-behavioral interventions.

Pedagogy in Health Promotion - advances pedagogy through contributions in areas such as curriculum and course/program design, assessment, and administration relevant to teaching and learning. The quarterly journal welcomes works addressing the art and science of teaching and learning, and how it contributes to the formation and ongoing development of the health promotion professional working in any site and population.

Health Promotion Practice - is a forum for authoritative research, commentary, practical tools and promising practices that strategically advance the art and science of health promotion and disease prevention. Unique in its practitioner focus, HPP is committed to eliminating health disparities, achieving health equity, addressing social determinants of health, and advancing evidence-based health promotion practice.

Professional Development:

SOPHE’s Annual Conference – (Spring) SOPHE members save on registration fees. Annual gathering of health education and health promotion professionals, students, academics and others.

SOPHE’s Annual Advocacy Summit – (Fall) Annual gathering of students, academics and professionals to advance legislation to promote the health and well-being of Americans.

SOPHE is also working on a digital health summit that will likely be in the Summer 2019, so keep an eye on their website and calendar for more details to come!


Connect with SOPHE:

You may reach out to SOPHE directly at (202) 408-9804.

For more information or to connect with us as a business interested in affiliate membership, news, or products contact

For information on membership, pricing, ways to get involved or chapters contact

For more information on professional development, continued education credit, webinars and possible consideration for abstract submission, webinar presentation, etc. contact


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