Convening influential leaders from across the state’s public health community, the State of the Public’s Health (SOPH) Conference at the University of Georgia is a day-long gathering focused on meaningful, constructive dialogue and practical solutions for Georgia’s public health challenges.

The SOPH aims to bring together the public health workforce, elected officials, policymakers, academia, community-based health organizations, the business community, and others passionate about improving the health of all Georgians. Its goal is to craft a practical, pragmatic plan of action for Georgia’s leaders that is realistic about the myriad of opportunities and challenges confronting the public’s health in Georgia.

To accomplish this, the conference focuses on driving discussion and idea-sharing through interactive, solution-driven workshops, poster sessions, and presentations.

This event is organized and hosted annually by the UGA College of Public Health’s Office of Outreach, Engagement & Equity at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens, Ga. 

Join us in 2021!

Mark your calendars as we go virtual once again for our 10th annual State of the Public’s Health Conference on Thursday, October 14, 2021.

Gain insights from our last conference…

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 9th annual SOPH conference on Tuesday, January 12, 2021Read our conference wrap-up here. We hope you felt as energized as we did from the insights shared. For those who missed out, you can find links to video recordings of all keynote and breakout sessions below. Download the agenda for the full program.

Conference Videos

Slide Presentations

About the 2021 Virtual SOPH Conference

Due to COVID-19, this year’s State of the Public’s Health Conference will be held virtually. We do not want to miss an opportunity to share success stories and continue our dialogue on how we can work together to improve health for all in Georgia. The pandemic that has highlighted the many barriers to health has also illuminated the path for the future work of public health — to focus on social determinants of health, forge new partnerships advancing public health efforts, and to address racial injustice as a public health problem.

  • When: Tuesday, January 12, 2021. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Where: Your computer via Zoom
  • Fee: FREE

Featured Keynote Speakers

  • Amber Schmidtke, Ph.D., science writer, microbiologist, and public health educator, will share how she is translating data into action through her work making COVID-19 data accessible and understandable to the public.
  • Renée Branch Canady, Ph.D, MPA, Chief Executive Officer of MPHI, will broaden the discussion on health equity, cultural competence, and social justice, sharing the insights she has gained as a public health advocate, researcher, educator, and facilitator.

Breakout Session Topics

  • Racial JusticeNadia Siddiqui, Chief Health Equity Officer at the Texas Health Institute, presents on the HOPE Initiative and improving health equity in Texas.
  • COVID-19 Vaccines (and Vaccine Hesitancy) – Glen Nowak, director of UGA Center for Health & Risk Communication, presents findings from a new national study.
  • Behavioral HealthJim Langford, executive director of the Georgia Prevention Project, presents work on the collision of COVID-19 on the Opioid Epidemic.


Stay Informed

Have questions?  Please email Grace Bagwell Adams.

Looking for recent updates on the upcoming conference? Visit the Virtual State of the Public’s Health Conference Facebook event page.

Highlights from past SOPH Conferences:
2019 SOPH Conference Briefs

The 8th annual State of the Public’s Health (SOPH) conference was held Thursday, October 22, 2019 and featured presentations from top national, regional, and state public health leaders.

Featured Keynote Speakers
  • Marcus Plescia, Chief Medical Officer of the ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials)​ – “Science and Public Health”
  • Leslie Kantor, Chair of Urban-Global Public Health at Rutgers School of Public Health – “The State of Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy and Rights In the United States: Implications for Public Health”
  • Karen Holbrook, Regional Chancellor, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee – “HealthTech: New Age Technology in Public Health and Medicine”
Conference Briefs
Briefs from Previous Conferences