Public Release:  Dr. Howard Koh to receive highest honor from Society for Public Health Education

SAGE Publications

WASHINGTON - The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) names Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, and Assistant Secretary for Health, as its 2013 Honorary Fellow. This award is the Society's highest honor presented to a non-member who has made significant and lasting contributions to health education, health promotion, and the public's health. Dr. Koh will accept the award and deliver a plenary address at SOPHE's 64th Annual Meeting, focusing on current initiatives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) including the agency's commitment to eliminating health disparities and implementing the Affordable Care Act.

Dr. Koh serves as the 14th Assistant Secretary of Health and oversees12 core public health offices, 10 regional offices, and 10 Presidential and Secretarial advisory committees. His efforts have catalyzed action across diverse public and private partners to strengthen our nation's public health systems of prevention and treatment including the areas of adolescent health, minority health, HIV/AIDS, chronic infectious diseases, nutrition, physical fitness, bioethics, and emergency preparedness.

"Dr. Koh's career has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to disease prevention and health promotion and the elimination of health disparities," says SOPHE President Kelli McCormack Brown PhD, CHES. "SOPHE is proud to recognize Dr. Koh for modeling comprehensive, collaborative, and community-oriented approaches that go beyond examining individual health behaviors to address the social determinants of health."

As the Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Koh is continuing to advance the Tobacco Control Strategic Action Plan, which has served as a framework for reaching the Healthy People 2020 goal of reducing adult smoking rates to 12 percent by 2020. SOPHE has used this initiative as a guide to launch its Smoking Cessation and Reduction in Pregnancy Treatment (SCRIPT) program, an effective, evidence-based program designed to be a component of patient education programs for prenatal care providers. SOPHE is delighted to welcome Dr. Koh as he shares his extensive knowledge and wealth of experience with fellow health professionals.

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About SOPHE's Annual Meeting

Held April 17-19, in Orlando, Florida, SOPHE's annual meeting will equip our nation's public health professionals to help all persons live healthier lives. Topics discussed will include characteristics of successful cross-sector public health collaborations; the capacity to create inventive, effective, and inspiring health promotion strategies in schools and communities; participatory approaches to transform health parity efforts, create new models in the field, and implement broad-scale prevention initiatives. Pre-registration deadline: March 18, 2013. For more information, go to www.sophe.org/2013meeting.cfm

About SOPHE

The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) is a non-profit professional organization founded in 1950 to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion and to promote the health of society. SOPHE's 4,000 national, international, and chapter members work in public and private organizations to advance health education theory and research, develop disease prevention and health promotion programs, and promote public policies conducive to health. SOPHE's two premiere peer-reviewed journals Health Education & Behavior and Health Promotion Practice are published by the independent academic and professional publisher SAGE. For more information, go to www.sophe.org.

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