Our Chapter


Who is Ohio SOPHE?


The Ohio Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education (OSOPHE) is a professional membership organization that exists to provide professional development, leadership and advocacy for public health education.  We are a 501c3 nonprofit group whose members are employed in urban, suburban and rural Ohio communities. Our members are employed by hospitals, colleges and universities, health insurance companies, health-related non-profits, local and state health departments or other government agencies that promote health and wellness, private worksites, or they are employed as independent consultants.


MISSION  We are officially one of several state chapters that are connected to the National Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE).  The Ohio Chapter was formed in the 1980s to promote healthy communities & environments through professional development opportunities, networking and strong partnerships with allied health organizations in Ohio.  Together with the national organization, we work towards the overall mission which is to promote, encourage, and contribute to the advancement of the health of all people through education.


NETWORKING  Each year in the fall, OSOPHE members elect the leaders of OSOPHE.  The executive board is comprised of a president, president-elect, past president, secretary and treasurer.  There are also several committee chairs and statewide coalition representatives, and a National SOPHE representative, who is our connection to the National SOPHE organization.   A major part of the board members' role is to engage members and connect with each other to get our work done.   Some committees meet over conference calls once a month, others like technology, advocacy or professional development and membership meet as needed.   Joining a committee helps members meet each other, feel connected to our chapter and get the most out of your membership!


CONTINUING EDUCATION   We have no paid staff and are proud of the accomplishments that our 100% volunteer board and committees accomplish each year.  Each year our professional development committee organizes four quarterly meetings, held in a central Ohio location.  All members as well as nonmembers are invited to attend the quarterly meetings where board members organize a free professional development session and a quarterly business meeting.  Our continuing education committee reviews and approves applications for CHES/MCHES credits, which are available at each quarterly meeting.  

CONNECTIONS  We also organize an annual two-day conference, entitled the "Health Educators' Institute", (fondly known as HEI for over 30 years) which is the premier continuing education event for Ohio’s public and community health education workforce. The HEI planning committee, led by the OSOPHE President-Elect each year, provides participants with new skills, information and resources to provide comprehensive health education services to their respective communities. This annual conference, as well as our quarterly professional development meetings, are both designed to provide training based on the seven areas of responsibility and advanced sub-competencies of a Health Educator (http://www.nchec.org/credentialing/responsibilities/).

SCHOLARSHIPS   For over 20 years, the OSOPHE scholarship committee has reviewed hundreds of student scholarship applications and awarded more than 32 student scholarships totaling over $30,000. Many of these funds have been raised through numerous fundraisers coordinated by dozens of members who feel passionate about supporting higher education.


RECOGNITION   Each year the past president organizes a committee that solicits nominations and chooses the winners for our annual "Awards of Excellence", which include the "Health Educator of the Year" award, the "Contributions to Public Health Education" award, and the "Patty Kuun OSOPHE Spirit Award". The Heath Educator of the Year Award is the highest honor that Ohio SOPHE can give to a member.  The award recognizes members for their contributions to system, policy or environmental change, volunteer and leadership roles within the community and health education profession, or contributions to the body of scientific health education literature and research.  These awards are usually presented to the awardees at the fall HEI (Health Educator's Institute) conference.




Ohio SOPHE Southwest District Social, Dayton, OH  12-1-15



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Download this file (OSOPHE+Brochure_new+logo+may+2015-3.pdf)Ohio SOPHE Membership Brochure 259 kB

Every year, we provide two types of scholarships: Student Academic and Travel Scholarships.  

1) Academic Scholarships   Celebrating 21 years of Student Scholarships!   1995-2016  

Each year since 1995, Ohio SOPHE scholarship committee has awarded between 1-3 student scholarships to students from all over the state of Ohio. The purpose of the Karen H. Evans Memorial scholarship is to recognize and support community and public health education students who exemplify academic excellence, leadership and community service.  This scholarship serves as a tribute to, and in honor of, the many contributions Dr. Karen Evans made to the Ohio Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), the field of Health Education and Health Promotion, and to other agencies and organizations such as the Ohio Department of Education and the Association of State and Territorial Directors of Public Health, which awarded her the Health Promotion Medal of Excellence in 1988.

Karen H. Evans, Ph.D., was Chief of the Bureau of Health Promotion at the Ohio Department of Health at the time of her death.  Under Dr. Evans leadership, the annual Comprehensive School Health Conference and the annual Health Educators’ Institute were developed.  During her years with the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Evans also initiated the Healthy People 2000 Data Capacity Assessment Initiative, served as a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Risk Appraisal, and provided strong leadership to public health promotion and education. 


 2015 Undergraduate Student Scholarship Awardee – Grant Serendick


Grant Seredick is a junior majoring in Public Health at Otterbein University. He tries to stay involved in the community by participating in educational events for Somalian families in the Columbus area. Educating people on different health topics, that may help improve their quality of life, has been extremely rewarding to Grant, and it is what has attracted him to Public Health. As an Eagle Scout, community service was always important for him growing up and Public Health gives Grant the opportunity to continue to help people in the communities around him. 





2015 Graduate Student Scholarship Awardee – Andrea Costin

Andrea is very thankful to be named the recipient of the 2015 Karen H. Evans Memorial Scholarship. Andrea found inspiration to work with community health issues from her internship experience within the Right-to-Know Program at the Ohio EPA, where she helped to solidify their hazardous material database as part of Ohio's emergency preparedness plan. She was proud to contribute to this public health work. From her experience as a volunteer in the House of Representatives, she learned that she can make the most impact by meeting with community members directly. After graduation from The Ohio State University with her master's degree, Andrea intends to find a job that prioritizes contact with community stakeholders in resolving their health needs. She is applying to be a Legislative Service Commission Fellow, where if accepted she will understand more comprehensively how to become a public servant for the state of Ohio. After more experience through a fellowship, she aims to work in a regulatory agency (such as ODH, Ohio EPA, ODOT, etc.) where she can help lead their public health initiatives that involve consultation from community stakeholders. Andrea is primarily interested in public health work that either aims to lower health disparities within a community or is involved with emergency preparedness. 


Questions?  Email Sarah Krygowski, Scholarship Committee Chair, by clicking HERE.

For the 2016-17 School Year Applications and Instructions, click HERE


Tessa Elliot (Undergraduate Student – University of Toledo)
Erin Krafka (Master of Public Health student, Wright State University)
Megan Glynn (Undergraduate Student – Community Health Services, Ohio University)
Ashley Merianos - (Ph.D. Candidate, U of Cincinnati)
Nichole Hodges (Ph.D. Candidate, Ohio State University School of Public Health)
Ashley Roberts (Undergraduate Student – Community Health Services, Ohio University)
Adam Knowlden - (Graduate Student – Ph.D. Candidate, U of Cincinnati)
Amy Nagle (University of Toledo, BS in Community Health Education)
Erin Smiley (Wright State University, MPH student) 
Jamie Fisher Belcher (University of Cincinnati, BS in Community Health)
Sara Pappa (University of Cincinnati, Ph.D. Student) 
Lauren Graham (Miami University Undergraduate, BS in Health Studies)
Ashley Townes (University of Cincinnati, BS in Health Promotion and Education)
Kristen Force (Ohio State University, MPH student)  
Amanda Michaud (Youngstown State Univ. Undergraduate) 
Ashley Berberich (University of Cincinnati, Masters of Education student) 
Janine Faber (University of Cincinnati, Masters of Education student) 
Dottie Meymann (University of Cincinnati, B.S. Health Promotion/Education)
Brandy Reeves (Ohio State Univ. MPH student) 
James Carey (OSU BS in Health Sciences)
Jennifer Bloomquist   (Otterbein College Undergraduate, BA in Community Health Education)
Joyce Balls (Univ of Toledo, Ph.D. in Health Education student)
Lisa Ambrosetti, U of Toledo, 
Erica Kachmar - Youngstown State University
Nichole Nichols, Sarah Nicole, Monica Roy
Julie Armstrong
Jayne Moreau
Ann Schroeder

2)    Travel Scholarships - for OSOPHE Members


As an organization, we encourage and support our members to continue their professional development, and to advocate for policy changes in public health.  


The Board will determine the total amount to allocate to the Travel Scholarship annually, and may deem it appropriate not to offer the scholarship based on the Chapter’s fiscal health. 


ADVOCACY EVENTS - During the 2016 year, the advocacy committee will offer, through the membership email listserv, mileage reimbursement for members who attend an established Ohio-based advocacy event.  Please direct questions to Advocacy Chair, Heather Vilvens.


NATIONAL SOPHE CONFERENCE - Ohio SOPHE members may apply for an Ohio SOPHE Conference Travel Scholarship to offset costs to attend the annual National SOPHE Conference. Members must submit a request in writing to the President, indicating the trip they would like to attend and how they intend to use the scholarship money. The maximum amount that can be requested is $500 annually. The request must be made at least 2 months in advance of the event. The Board must vote to approve the request and can decide to fund a portion of the request if appropriate. The member is responsible for submitting receipts to the Secretary for reimbursement. Questions?  Email OSOPHE President, Dan Davis, by clicking HERE



Each year, the Ohio SOPHE past president coordinates the nominations to recognize Ohio health professionals for excellence in the following three areas:

1)     The Outstanding Health Educator of the Year – Awarded to an OSOPHE member who has shown exceptional dedication and service both within and outside OSOPHE. 

Sara Warner, MPH, CHES, CPH has been named the 2015 Health Educator of the Year by the Ohio Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE).  The Heath Educator of the Year Award is the highest honor that Ohio SOPHE can give to a member.  The award recognizes members for their contributions to system, policy or environmental change, volunteer and leadership roles within the community and health education profession, or contributions to the body of scientific health education literature and research. 

Mrs. Warner earned her Masters of Public Health from Case Western Reserve University. She also has two national certifications by earning credentials as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and certified in Public Health. She is has been an active member of Ohio SOPHE since the beginning of her career. She has served on the Ohio SOPHE as the Northeast District Representative and continues to be an advocate for the organization and for CHES.

Mrs. Warner currently leads the way in the Division of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention as a Project Manager for Lorain County General Health District. Much of her public health work has been through health departments at the city, state and county level. Her successes in the field are numerous. Through the City of Shaker Heights Health Department, she coordinated and compiled a five-week training session for a volunteer-based Community Emergency Response Team. At the state level, she served as the trainer and company liaison for crisis preparedness and response.

At the Lorain County General Health District, Mrs. Warner has served the community in a variety of ways. She has assisted in bringing multiple streams of funding in to the district to strengthen efforts towards chronic disease prevention. She has recently been instrumental in building effective collaboratives in four Lorain County communities. She manages numerous environmental, system and policy change initiatives related to healthy eating, active living, and tobacco free spaces.

“Sara is an excellent young leader in public health, and a true role model to me and the other health educators on our team. Her work ethic, communication and facilitation skills, and supportive demeanor make her an excellent co-worker,” said one of her nominators and health educators, Ms. Kat Mastro, MS, CHES. Her public health commitment goes beyond environmental systems and behavior change, she also includes in her efforts access to care and serves on the Health Districts internal committee for access to care.

The impressive list of characteristics of Mrs. Warner as a health educator and her achievements could go on and on.She is model for the health education profession by staying up-to-date with research and best practices. “The field of health education is very fortunate to have Sara Warner as a peer and mentor,” added Mastro. Kat Mastro accepted the award on behalf of Sara Warner at the Annual Health Educator’s Institute Conference at Deer Creek State Park in Mount Sterling, Ohio on October 23rd. “Furthermore Ohio SOPHE is privileged to give the Health Educator of the Year Award to Sara Warner for her contributions, commitments, and hard work that have benefitted not only the communities of Lorain County, but the greater public as well,” said Ohio SOPHE President Rob Braun PhD., MPH, CHES.

Past Outstanding Health Educator of the Year Awardees

2014-Alexis Blavors

2013-Marilyn Hill

2012-Mary Lynne Zahler

2011-Sarah Krygowski

2009-Nichole Hodges

2008- Kathy Luhn 

2007- Ruth Dudding 

2006-Joanne Pearsol

2005-Jennifer Scofield & Rebecca Kille

2004-Joyce Davis

2003- Mel Milliron

2002-Patty Kuun

2001-Carol Gill

2000-Geri Rousculp

1999-Jon Jenney 

1992-Janet Bassitt

1986-Jane Snider

1984-Ellen Capwell

1983-Morris Stamm 


2)     The Outstanding Contributions to Health Education award is awarded to a member or non-OSOPHE member who has shown above and beyond efforts to further the science and art of public health education.  

Mr. Bruce Barcelo, MS, CTTS from Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County was awarded with the Ohio Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) 2015 Outstanding Contributions to Health Education Award.  The award recognizes an individual working or volunteering in any field for their efforts to initiate or support changes health education programs that lead to system, policy or environmental change that promote healthy lifestyles.

Mr. Barcelo is the Healthy Lifestyle’s Supervisor and he manages various community programs including: the Create Healthy Communities, Tobacco Prevention and Control, Violence Prevention, Diabetes Prevention and Control, Communities Preventing Chronic Disease and the GetUp Montgomery County. Mr. Barcelo also co-chairs the Montgomery county Tobacco Coalition and is Chair Elect for the Tobacco-Free Ohio Alliance. He has been called upon to give testimony in support of several tobacco control bills before the Ohio Senate and House. He is a Mayo Clinic certified tobacco treatment specialist. Mr. Barcelo’s successful and impactful work in public health has named him the Ohio Health Professional of the Year in 2011 and the 2014 Tobacco Free Ohio Alliance Advocacy Award Winner.

Individuals who receive the Outstanding Contributions to Health Education Award are leaders within their communities and organizations.  Health Education policy changes do not happen overnight or because of the work of a single person or agency.  Each of the professionals who have received this award understands the importance of collaboration and dedicates their lives to improving the health of a community. “Mr. Barcelo is one of the rare individuals who is not afraid to share his personal experience with health issues which helps him reach and engage individuals who are having some of the same struggles. He is a true “connector”, who is highly connected through both formal and informal networks and uses this advantage for positive public health change,” said Ohio SOPHE Technology Chair, Mary Chace, PhD., MPH, MCHES. 

Mr. Barcelo received his award on October 23rd at the Annual Health Educator’s Institute Conference at Deer Creek State Park in Mount Sterling Ohio. “Ohio SOPHE is proud to add Mr. Bruce Barcelo to the long list of previous recipients for this award. Mr. Barcelo’s hard work and dedication to the field of health education and his commitment to the betterment of those living in Dayton and Montgomery County, reflects the goal and purpose of this award,” said Ohio SOPHE President, Rob Braun, PhD., MPH, CHES. “We are delighted to have chosen Mr. Barcelo as this year’s recipient!” 

Past Outstanding Contributions to Health Education Awardees:

2014 – Jim Gross

2013 - Cresha Auck-Foley

2012 - Ellen Capwell

2010 - Kenneth Pierce

2009 - Teri Heard

2008 - Randy Cottrell

2007 - William Franks

2006 - Bonnie Hoppel 

2004 - Craig Wetherington

2001 - Melissa Thomas

1999 - Kristen Hildredth

1989 - Dr. Mary Beyrer


3)     The Ohio SOPHE Spirit Award was established in 2009 to remember the positive spirit of Patty Kuun's longtime dedication to our organization and is awarded annually to an Ohio SOPHE member who shows exceptional spirit and dedication to OSOPHE.

The 2015 Patty Kuun Ohio SOPHE Spirit Award has been granted to OSOPHE member Carrie Minor, MPH, CHES, who is a Health Educator and the Safe Communities Coordinator at Licking County Health Department. As the Southeast District Representative, Carrie took on this role enthuasitically and has volunteered for “ad-hoc” tasks throughout the year, including being the HEI registration co-chair, a large task in itself.

When our marketing chair position became vacant, unexpectedly, and in the middle of our re-branding efforts, Carrie volunteered to fill this role as well and picked up seamlessly.  Being an active board member can sometimes be difficult to balance with the jobs we are all paid to do.  Carrie has always been responsive to specific requests for help, general board discussions and has done a nice job of stepping in when we need someone the most.  Kudos to you Carrie- you truly embody Patty’s spirit, her love and dedication to Ohio SOPHE.  We are a better chapter because of your efforts!  

Below - Past OSOPHE President Dr. Megan Amaya presented Carrie with the OSOPHE Spirit award at the 2015 Health Educator’s Institute at Deer Creek Resort on October 22.



Past Patty Kuun OSOPHE Spirit Awardees:

2014 – Dan Davis

2013 - Mary Chace

2012 - Carol Gill

2011 - Jen Morel

2010 – Geri Rousculp

2009 – Patty Kuun


The Memorial 2 mile Walk/Run is the premier fundraising activity at our annual Health Educator's Institute that supports the Karen H. Evans Memorial Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarship. It celebrates and honors the good works and indomitable spirits of late Ohio SOPHE Members LeAnne Matvey, Patty Kuun, Bonnie Hoppel, Kay Parent, and Pat Navin.   See below for a video and a tribute to each of these OSOPHE leaders who helped make OSOPHE what it is today.


To view the 2:41 video, click on image above or https://youtu.be/6Wkif_As2Fk


2015 Ohio SOPHE Memorial Walk/Run Honorees:

LeAnne Matvey, 1954-2006

LeAnn was a health education specialist, cancer control advocate, women’s health crusader, as well as an activist for the underserved communities in Appalachia Ohio. She passed away in 2006 after a courageous battle with breast cancer.From 1994 to 2005, LeAnn coordinated the Southeastern Ohio Breast & Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) at the Noble County Health Department. She worked closely with physicians, mammography facilities and hospitals throughout a ten-county Appalachian area to ensure the availability and coordination of screening services for low-income and underinsured women.LeAnn served on the Board for the American Cancer Society (Guernsey & Noble County) and participated as a Reach to Recovery volunteer, I Can Cope facilitator, Special Touch instructor and co-founded RIPPLES, a Noble County support group. Her professional societies included being a charter member of the Ohio Breast & Cervical Cancer Coalition (OBCCC), and was a long-time member of the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE), Ohio Chapter.


Patty Kuun, 1948-2012

Many of us have heard the name, “Patty Kuun” before. Each fall, we award a OSOPHE member with the “Patty Kuun Spirit Award”, for exceptional dedication and service to OSOPHE. But WHO really was Patty? She was a “giver”, a positive force for public health and health education. There are countless current members who say SHE was the reason they got involved with Ohio SOPHE.Associated professionally with the OSU College of Nursing and their Smoking Cessation and Appalachian Health Programs, she held almost every leadership role we have. In 2001, when Patty was the President, she helped with the planning of the National SOPHE mid-year conference, which took place in May 2002. In her role as president, she also helped get OSOPHE established as one of the five Ohio public health associations, initiated the formation of what is now the official 501 (c)3 organization, and The Ohio Pubic Health Partnership.In 2009, Patty lent her expertise as a part-time administrator for Ohio SOPHE for six months. Her major job responsibilities focus were to support the OSOPHE board, support the HEI chair, day-to-day book- keeping, oversee the updated OSOPHE website, and work with committees to assist with their goals and responsibilities. She also helped facilitate the first updated strategic plan.Her strongest passion, however, was for improved communication among our members and awareness to employers about the unique skill set that health educators bring to the table. Affectionately known as the “Web Mistress”, Patty created and managed the member email listserv, from its inception in 2000 to her sudden passing in 2012. She initiated a technology committee in 2009 to create and run our website. Her vision was that it should not only be a placeholder with information about who OSOPHE is, but also a venue to actively promote and lift our members, get people excited about advocacy for health and our profession, and that it could function as a membership and event registration tool. Even though she is no longer with us, there are several veteran Ohio SOPHE members who still hear Patty’s voice of inspiration!


Pat Navin, 1953-2011

In January, 2011, the bundle of energy we knew as Pat Navin passed away after years of dedicating her life to helping others obtain and maintain a healthier lifestyle. She shared her vision of healthy living in her many communities in Hawaii, California, Arizona and lastly - and most fortunately for Ohio SOPHE - Lancaster, Ohio.
Pat was last employed by the Fairfield County Department of Health as Director of Community Health Development. She was past president of the Ohio Chapter - Society for Public Health Education; past chair of the local Safe Routes to School; past board member of FairHOPE Hospice; Safe Communities/Safe Kids; Action for Healthy Kids; and the Governor's Office for Women's Initiatives and Outreach. Her Energizer-Bunny spirit also kept her active in The Lancaster Cause and West After School Center- Healthy Living for Kids. She was a member of many health-related organizations and led classes on women's health, yoga, pilates and fitness.Pat served as OSOPHE President-Elect, President and Past President, was an active HEI committee member and HEI Chair. Ohio SOPHE members miss Pat’s dedication to her profession, enthusiasm and passion for healthy living, kind spirit, leadership and friendship.


Bonnie Hoppel, 1951-2012

Bonnie Hoppel was a shining example of a health educator "par excellence". Bonnie graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education/health education from Bowling Green State University. She began her career as a physical education teacher in NorthwestOhio. After marrying her husband Jim, they moved to East Liverpool where Bonnie worked as a health educator for the Columbiana County Health Department. In 1988, Bonnie joined the Ohio Department of Health as a health education consultant for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant projects in Northeast Ohio. While working at the Ohio Department of Health Bonnie earned a masters degree in community health education.Bonnie was a member of Ohio SOPHE, serving as HEI Chair and OSOPHE President. She was known by her peers as a passionate health education professional with exceptional organizational and presentation skills. She loved to encourage and mentor new health educators. She also had a flair for taking a meeting/conference and turning it into an "event" with a creative theme for the agenda and (always) food and decorations!When Bonnie's husband decided to run for the elected position of Columbiana County Commissioner, Bonnie enthusiastically helped him campaign and continued as a very supportive Commissioner's wife for Jim's three terms. Bonnie passed away in 2012 after an eight year battle with breast cancer. She is lovingly remembered by her family, her church, her community, and many health educators across Ohio.


Kay Parent, 1948-2013

Kay Parent, MPH, RN, CHES, served as director of the Health Education Department at Allen County Health Department, director of Health Promotion at the Center for Healthy Communities at Wright State University, President and Treasurer of the Ohio Society for Public Health Education, and was the Inaugural President of the House of Delegates for the national Society for Public Health Education.After attending a presentation by the National Assault Prevention Center, Kay decided to do something about child abuse. She founded the Lima Area Child Assault Prevention Project, supervising 30 volunteers, planning and conducting volunteer training, coordinating fundraisers, writing, grants, and keeping financial records. She then became vice chair of the Allen County Children Services Board, and served as a leader in public health programming. Kat started Allen County Healthy People and 25 years later it is still a successful commitment to improve the health of Allen County residents.In 2012, Kay was awarded the Hero in Health Education for her foundation of the Lima Area Child Assault Prevention Project and Allen County Healthy People, writing grant applications to grow the Health Education Department, directing the Dayton-Area Action for Healthy Kids initiative, and volunteering for the Breast Cancer Task Force of Greater Miami Valley. Kay was also awarded the Community Leader Award from The Ohio State University College of Public Health.Kay was a woman of integrity. She spoke her mind and stood behind her beliefs and passions. She truly cared about people. After her cancer diagnosis she devoted time and energy to the Noble Circle Project to support cancer survivors.


 Ohio SOPHE would like to extend a special thank you to our members who wrote the beautiful tributes to honor our late members and more importantly, friends: Laura Rooney, Mary Kramer, Carol Gill, Melissa Thomas, and Geri Rousculp.

An additional heartfelt thanks is sent to Geri Rousculp for her generous donation to the Karen H. Evans Memorial Graduate and Undergraduate Scholarship to support public health students while honoring her long-time friends.

The final thank you is sent to Kasey Bowser who coordinated the efforts to more appropriately honor the memories of Le Anne, Pat, Bonnie, Patty and Kay during this year’s conference. Your work and dedication to this project did not go unnoticed– the planning committee is grateful for your contributions.

Ohio SOPHE Committee information.

Ohio SOPHE History

Ohio SOPHE offers both academic and conference travel scholarships.