Convening the public health workforce, policymakers, academia, community-based organizations, and others passionate about improving the public’s health, the State of the Public’s Health Conference (SOPH) aims to drive meaningful, solutions-oriented discussion to advance the health of all Georgians.

Now in its 11th year, the conference will explore approaches to tackle the most pressing public health issues affecting Georgia communities today, including mental health care access, improving maternal and child health, and topics on health equity.

This work requires a multi-sector, collaborative approach. It requires you.

This event is organized annually by the University of Georgia College of Public Health and held at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel in Athens, Georgia.

Registration Now Open for the 11th Annual Conference!

  • When:  Thursday, October 27, 2022
  • WhereUGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel, 1197 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30602
  • Cost: 
    • $75 – Before 10/20/2022; includes lunch
    • $100  – On-site registration; does not include lunch
  • Need accommodations?  A block of hotel rooms will be held at the Georgia Center for conference attendees through September 29. Call for more details: (706) 542-2134.

Register Today

Meet our Keynote Speakers

Montrece McNeill Ransom, JD, MPH currently serves as the Director of the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training at the National Network of Public Health Institutes. Ms. Ransom will be discussing issues of health equity and incorporating equity into public health practice.

Dr. J. Marshall Shepherd is a leading international expert in weather and climate and is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor of Geography and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Georgia. He will discuss the art and challenges of communicating science today.













Preview our Breakout Sessions

The 2022 SOPH conference will include six breakout sessions that address –

  • Adolescent and Young Adult Mental Health
  • Federal COVID-19 Mandates
  • Improving Black Maternal and Child Health Outcomes
  • Structural Barriers to Health in Rural Georgia
  • Homelessness in Atlanta
  • Monkeypox

Call for Abstracts

The deadlines for submitting breakout session or poster presentation abstracts have now passed.

Poster Presentation Details

  • Primary poster viewing time will take place at 4 p.m., although posters will be on display during the length of the conference.
  • The presentation is an informal, one-on-one discussion with the author.
  • Each presenter is assigned a 5’ by 5’ section. Your poster must fit on the provided board (maximum poster size is 4.5’ by 4.5’). Please note: No special equipment, such as audio-visual projectors, are permitted. Your entire presentation must be attached to the poster board.

Selection Announcement

All submitters will be notified whether they were selected by mid-September 2022.

Stay Informed

Have questions?  Please email Cindy Humphries.

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

Highlights from past SOPH Conferences:

10th Anniversary SOPH Conference Oct. 2021: Videos + Presentation

About the 10th Annual Conference

When: Thursday, October 14, 2021, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Where: Your computer
Fee: Free

Thank you to all who attended the 10th annual State of the Public’s Health Conference. We hope the day offered new ideas and inspiration to take action in your communities. For those who could not join us or would like to revisit our presentations, video recordings of the main session and breakout sessions are now available here.

A written recap of the conference is also available here.

Thank you once again for sharing your time with us, and be on the lookout for future opportunities from the College of Public Health. 

Featured Keynote Speaker

  • Benjamin F. Miller, PsyD, is a nationally recognized mental health expert who advocates for the need to make mental health an integral part of health care. As President of Well Being Trust, Dr. Miller oversees the implementation of the foundation’s strategies to have a real-world impact on America’s mental health and addiction crisis. He is also the author of the weekly newsletter – Mental: Fighting the fragmentation of mental health one policy at a time, where hundreds of subscribers gather to read about how everyday happenings are connected to mental health, and what actions they can take to address them.

Breakout Session Topics

  • Minority Health
    • Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders on COVID19 and Getting Vaccinated: Results from a National Survey
      • Juliet Choi, Executive Director, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
  • Rural Health
    • Facing Three Salient Challenges in Rural Georgia: Aging, Mental Health, and Management of Chronic Conditions
      • On aging: Lisa Renzi-Hammond, Associate Professor, and Jenay Beer, Associate Professor, Institute of Gerontology, College of Public Health University of Georgia
      • On Mental Health and Suicide Prevention among Georgia Farmers: Andrea Scarrow, Director, Southwest District Extension, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia
      • On Managing Chronic Conditions: Henry Young , Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Georgia
  • Public Heath Law
    • “Public Health Law and the Response to COVID”
      • Fazal Khan, Associate Professor, School of Law, University of Georgia
      • Greg Sunshine, Public Health Analyst, Public Health Law Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      • Ani Satz, Professor, School of Law, Emory University
      • Stacie Kershner, Associate Director, Center for Law, Health & Society, School of Law, Georgia State University

Special Guest

Closing Reflection

  • Yvette K. Daniels, JD, Director of University Relations, Georgia Department of Public Health
Jan. 2021 SOPH Conference: Videos + Presentations

Gain insights from our 2021 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.
Briefs from Previous Conferences