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. This event 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 2015 video and written 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


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 in 2015 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 the 2015 HEI conference. Your work and dedication to this project did not go unnoticed– the planning committee is grateful for your contributions.




Above: HEI Memorial Walk/Run - 2014


Above: HEI Memorial Walk/Run 2015