SOPHE Conference Report 2015

This year’s SOPHE conference took place in Portland, OR.  The meeting’s title was “Blazing a Trail.”  Among the many topics covered, those who came before to carve the path that we now use in public health, were the center of the stage.
A few key points made by our own GA and CDC-based President, Kelly Bishop, are below.  I think that these serve as great reminders to why we get involved in local professional and national professional organizations.
A professional membership organization is a group of people who:
*  Voluntarily comes together to solve common public health problems,
* Access to health care and preven-tion programs
* Bullying and violence against disen-franchised populations
* Infectious diseases such as influen-za, HIV, Ebola, STDs
* and meet common needs
* continuing education and profes-sional development
* sharing and learning from research and practice
* socializing with our colleagues
* to accomplish goals
* prevent chronic diseases
* prevent or control the spread of in-fectious diseases
* eliminate health disparities
* impact social determinants of health
* improve the health of all people in our hometowns, states, nation, and world.
Kelly Bishop also talked about the type of member you currently are and what type you would like to be in the future.  At GASOPHE, the leadership is what drives everything that we put out into the state of GA.  We want to continue to recruit new talent and leaders as well as engage our current board and members to advance their level of membership by becoming more involved with  GASOPHE. See our opening board positions and contact us with questions.
If I ask you, “What type of SOPHE (GASOPHE) member are you?”  how would you respond?
You might answer with … I’m a regular, dues paying member; I’m a chapter member; I’m a representative of an Affiliate Organization Member; I’m a new member; I’m a lifetime member; or even I’m not a member (to which I’d say, oh my gosh, you really should become a member!)
We are the:
* The owners of SOPHE (GASOPHE)
* The customers of SOPHE (GASOPHE)
* The workforce of SOPHE (GASOPHE)
Think about it; it’s true!  Which are you? You might be more than one; you might be all three.
As owners, we take responsibility for the care and feeding of the Society.  We in-vest in it, help it grow, and encourage and help it succeed.  We determine its direction, and develop and monitor the implementation of the strategic operational and financial plans.
We assume leadership roles on the Board of Trustees, House of Delegates, and chair the Communities of Practice.  We invest our time, money, and other resources to ensure everyone knows that our product, SOPHE, is the best on the market.
We advertise/sell/promote SOPHE.  We encourage individuals and organizations to become shareholders by seeking out-side funding, we seek out and mentor the next generation of leaders, and we take pride when we’re recognized as a part of the SOPHE family.
As customers, we receive SOPHE’s goods and services when we pay our annual membership dues.
* newsletters and access to online re-sources and webinars
* discounted rates to attend the national meetings
* advertising in the journals
* post our position openings on the job bank
* access to free continuing education contact hours for CHES and MCHES
As the workforce for SOPHE, we help the Society carry out its mission to pro-vide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion.  It would be nearly impossible for SOPHE to do all that we do if we didn’t have a volunteer workforce to augment our paid staff.
As part of the SOPHE workforce, we voluntarily provide our expertise, skills and knowledge to implement the strategic and operational plans, and hopefully within our financial plan.  As the work-force, we are the committee and task force chairs and members.