News & Events
October 15, 2012
With an ever-changing population of North Carolinians, health educators must adjust and adapt the way they work to assist the communities they are serving. Over 75 health professionals from across North Carolina did just that October 11-12, when they came to UNC Asheville to explore best practices for promoting a healthy quality of life to their constituents while focusing on social justice and health disparities. The North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville joined with the North Carolina Society of Public Health Education (NCSOPHE) to host the NC SOPHE Annual Conference in the Sherrill Center at UNC Asheville.
The conference began with a keynote speech by Dr. Forrest Toms, president and CEO of Training Research Development, Inc. Toms spoke on the diversity of the North Carolina population and ways to navigate the changing landscape. Toms exclaimed to the group, “Racial segregation concentrates poverty and isolates communities of color. It is now time to become comfortable with your uncomfortableness… cultural competency starts with self awareness.” The NC SOPHE Conference provided N.C. health professionals an opportunity to experience a new way of thinking about their field and how they work within that field.
The theme continued with a large portion of the conference focusing on social media and the role it plays in health promotion. Angela Connor, vice president for Capstrat, provided the group with social media tools to be able to reach out to their constituents, and also provided strategies to gain valuable insights on who they are serving.
Amy Crompton, health education specialist from the Jones County Health Department said, “I will be using the social media tools not only for the State of the County Health Report, but also in my daily programs to reach the teens I work with.”
Organizers hope attendees will take the information they gathered over the two day conference and implement their new resources into their respective health organizations. “We want them to work smarter, not harder to create and sustain healthy communities for everyone in North Carolina,” said Dr. Rebecca H. Reeve, director of research programs NCCHW. “We hope after attending the conference they will create partnership more appropriately, respectfully and wisely. Also, we would like everyone to use the best possible evidence we have provided to choose policies and programs that have the best chance of success, and share this knowledge with others across the state,” Reeve continued.
Please visit www.ncsophe.org and ncchw.unca.edu for more information.