Gustavus to Host Minnesota Public Health Education Summit

The Minnesota Society of Public Health Education's event on Wednesday, October 17 will tackle opioid use, gun violence, and hunger.
Posted on October 8th, 2018 by

Gustavus Adolphus College will host this year’s Minnesota Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) Health Education Summit on Wednesday, October 17. With the theme Inspiring Change: Unleashing the Power of Public Health Education, the conference will bring to campus leaders in public health from across the state who work to start conversations about public health issues.

“This event is specifically designed to address some of the major public health issues in Minnesota,” said Karl Larson, PhD, MCHES, Gustavus professor of health and exercise science. “The opioid crisis is a challenge for all of us in the health arena. Changing demographics and population mobility have created significant food access issues in Minnesota, especially in outstate regions like ours, so this conference will be on the front lines of those issues.”

Gustavus health and exercise science professor Karl Larson.

Larson, who also serves as the president of the Minnesota SOPHE chapter, is particularly excited about the opportunity for Gustavus students to attend the conference. With speakers including Michael Q. Patton, PhD, of the Claremont Graduate University; Kate Erickson, MPH, Opioid Overdose Prevention Director at the Minnesota Department of Health; and Chris Johnson, MD, from Allina Health, students can learn from and interact with cutting-edge leaders in the public health community.

Students interested in pursuing a career as a health professional in any capacity may face some of the issues addressed at the Health Education Summit this year. In addition to the opioid crisis and food access, the conference will also dig into the issue of gun violence. Each of the topics covered in the conference will look at the issue through an interdisciplinary lens, drawing solutions from psychology, nursing, sociology, and of course, public health.

As new public health concerns emerge each year, Larson uses the lessons learned from his peers at SOPHE to translate that knowledge back to the Gustavus community. To address the needs of the growing field, Gustavus offers a six-course public health minor that provides an introduction to the basic concepts and principles related to the provision and understanding of community-based health services and programs while equipping students with the tools to engage creative solutions.

“This is a super event for Gustavus to host,” Larson said. “It creates opportunities for conversation among students and professionals about where we go next and what approaches might be working throughout the state.”

The conference will take place on Wednesday, October 17. Student tickets are available on the conference website at the discounted price of $35. For students who become members of the Minnesota Society of Public Health Education, the price is further reduced to $20.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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