The Georgia Society for Public Health Education (GASOPHE) is an organization for health educators and other public health or community health professionals. It is an official chapter of the Society for Public Health Education. GASOPHE brings health educators together under a common cause – advancing the health education field and creating healthier environments for Georgia residents. GASOPHE is unique from other professional development organizations, because it focuses on health education for Georgia communities, including schools, places of worship, neighborhoods and families.
GASOPHE shares many of Georgia Shape’s priorities, including promoting physical activity as a foundational healthy habit for Georgia’s children. In 2017, the GASOPHE board made this a policy priority by supporting the S.H.A.P.E. Act. This legislation allows for annual physical fitness testing for students in grades one through 12 who are enrolled in a public school physical education program. The GASOPHE board members advocated among legislators for the S.H.A.P.E. Act and the Georgia Shape initiative and were pleased with its passage.
As professional health educators, the GASOPHE board and members bring the expertise and skills necessary to help Georgia schools create sustainable, lasting changes that promote wellness throughout the school environment. As a result, GASOPHE plans to continue its work promoting physical activity for children throughout 2017 and 2018. They will support schools that have implemented Power Up for 30, a statewide initiative supported by the Georgia Departments of Public Health and Education to increase physical activity during the school day by helping schools adopt healthy policies and practices that facilitate a healthy environment for students, staff members and teachers.
In addition to advocating for healthy habits, healthy schools and healthy communities, GASOPHE provides opportunities for professional development, networking and mentoring for health educators at all career levels. They also provide opportunities to advocate for policy, systems and environmental changes related to tobacco prevention, asthma management, nutrition and physical activity. Ultimately, their commitment to furthering the profession of health education gives Georgians increased access to information, resources and professionals needed to create a healthy community and state.
To learn more about GASOPHE and membership, please visit: http://www.gasophe.org/membership-account/membership-levels/. To learn more about policy priorities, please visit: http://www.gasophe.org/legislative-priorities/.