Executive Council

Kaye Murry, President
ADH-HHI Coordinator

Angela Dugger, Past President
ADH-Public Health Educator

Taniesha Richardson, Pres. Elect

Anna Haver, Vice-President
ADH-Public Health Educator

Barbie Brunner, Nat’l Delegate
UAMS-Patient Education

Misty Paschall, Secretary
ADH-HHI Statewide Coordinator

Janie Gannaway, Treasurer
UAMS-Media Specialist

Kim Miller, Historian
ADH-Public Health Educator

Jennifer Goodman , Mbr at Large
ADH-Public Health Educator

Dana Smith, Member at Large
UAMS-Patient Education

Misty Smith, Member at Large
UAMS-Cancer Research Center

Marion Evans, Member at Large
ADH- Public Health Educator


President's Column
Kaye Murry, CHES

The first annual Arkansas SOPHE Health Education Conference – “Spring Into Wellness” was a success.  Dana Smith and her committee did a fantastic job with this conference.  I heard many people talking about it and several offered to help next year with it.  Thanks again Dana for your inspirational leadership. 

The AR SOPHE board met with Karen Denard Goldman, National SOPHE President, during the lunch break.  Karen also had lots of praise for this conference.  She was very impressed and was asking questions about how we did it so she could share with other chapters.  She also discussed how we could work better with the National SOPHE chapter.  We offered several suggestions such as National SOPHE offering a scholarship to the National conference so more people at the local level could attend.  We also discussed the cost of joining National SOPHE kept individuals from joining.           

Deedra Smith has been busy working on the 501c3 status.  She has our tax identification number now.  Thanks Deedra!

Our next meeting is April 8th at UAMS at 11:00.  Please feel free to bring your lunch.  We will be discussing the conference and our plans for the ARSOPHE booth at APHA.  Our meeting at APHA will be on May 2nd at the Brickyard Grill as always.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on April 8th and May 2nd.

Good things are happening with AR SOPHE!  Please come join us for our meetings, help with the APHA booth, or let us know how you would like to be involved.


Kaye Murry

Back to Top of Page

National Delegates Report

By Barbie Brunner, MEd, CHES

SOPHE’s Strategic Plan

The SOPHE Board of Trustees and House of Delegates adopted a new strategic plan that will lead the Society from 2002-2005.  The new plan includes 6 broad organizational goals.


1.      To expand the reach and effectiveness of SOPHE’s advocacy efforts.

2.      To promote the use of health education to eliminate health disparities.

3.      To review, expand and promote a dynamic research agenda for health education and behavioral sciences.

4.      To support and enhance the professional preparation and training of health educators and public health professionals.

5.      To proactively market health education.

6.      To continually elevate SOPHE’s performance in operations, governance and resource development to achieve the strategic plan.

Building on accomplishments of the past three years, the newly adopted goals are similar in many respects to those of SOPHE’s previous strategic plan.  However, one new goal has been added: to promote the use of health education to eliminate health disparities.  Also new are 28 objectives, evaluation measures for each objective, committees or groups responsible for their accomplishments, and deadlines for completing the tasks.

The new plan is the result of eight months of data collection and analysis, two retreats, and monthly conference calls of the Strategic Planning Committee.  Several clear themes emerged for SOPHE:

·        To continue to play a major advocacy role.

·        To initiative substantive efforts to market the profession.

·        To be an active participant in addressing health disparities.

·        To play a major role in shaping research agendas for health education and public health.

A copy of the plan will be available on the SOPHE website: .


Arkansas SOPHE Health Education Conference

By Dana Smith, MS, CHES

The first annual Arkansas SOPHE Health Education Conference - “Spring Into Wellness” - was held on February 28 and March 1, 2002 in Little Rock.  The conference was targeted toward health education professionals in the medical, school and community settings.   Over 150 participants, exhibitors and speakers converged at the Holiday Inn Select to take part in the two-day event filled with information, networking, resources and fun!

National SOPHE President, Karen Denard Goldman, PhD, CHES, opened the conference with words of inspiration and encouragement.  In her keynote address, she urged those in the practice of health education to “stick their necks out” and become advocates for health education issues.  She also provided participants with an understanding of the role of the Society for Public Health Education and how attendees could get involved.

Other topics discussed during the conference included teen smoking cessation, car seat safety, cardiovascular health, coalition building, grant writing, networking consumer health information online, health education curricula, and many more.  Conference participants rated each of the sessions very high on their evaluations with comments such as, “Session addressed many of my needs;”  “The speaker was informational and knowledgeable;” and   “Thanks for some great learning experiences.”

The hotel atrium was filled with approximately 20 exhibits with various materials and resources.  The exhibitors included the American Lung Association, MidSOUTH Prevention Institute, Community Health Centers, Inc., UAMS School of Public Health, Arkansas Breast Care and numerous others.

Overall, the participants ranked the Arkansas SOPHE Health Education Conference very high in all areas evaluated.  Comments such as “Thank you for a great conference – looking forward to next year’s” were seen throughout the participant evaluations. 

Thank you to everyone who planned, participated and sponsored this rewarding conference!  We will soon be planning next year’s conference - be on the look out for information about the first planning meeting!! 

Back to Top of Page

National Public Health Week is a great time to celebrate the accomplishments of our profession and the public health profession in general.   Whether you are a consultant, or working in a local public health department, non-profit, worksite or governmental setting, there are easy ways you can celebrate this special week. 

The on-going theme is “Healthy People in Healthy Communities”.  What can we do as health educators to celebrate National Public Health Week and the health education profession?  In your work and personal life, take the time to talk with others, particularly young people, about what you do as a health educator and how it makes a difference.  Take on the role of an “ambassador” for health education!

  Over the next decade, significant shifts will be occurring in the public health workforce.  As the baby boom generation begins to head towards traditional retirement age, some health educators will be leaving the workforce.  This shift will have a real impact on our work as health educators.  Health educators, among other fields in public health, will be in short supply.

Back to Top of Page

Study Looks at Hispanic Health Care

By Brad Branan

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

SPRINGDALE -- Mario Vega worries that his reluctance to get medical checkups will haunt him someday.  He hasn’t visited a doctor in years even though he’s insured through his wifes health insurance plan.

Vega said his medical resistance is rooted in his native country. He relied on teas and herbs from his grandmother when he was sick in Mexico.  “I was raised like that,” said Vega, co-owner of the Lasting Impressions car shop in Springdale. “We didn't get sick very often, and we didn't worry about it.”

Vega’s avoidance of medical care isn’t unusual for Hispanics in Northwest Arkansas, a recent survey shows. State health officials have long suspected Hispanics avoid health-care providers in Arkansas.

The study, by Tulane University School of Public Health student Mary Ramey, found 64 percent of Hispanics didn’t visit a doctor in the past year. Of the 1,200 people Ramey surveyed, 70 percent had never received a physical checkup.

Ramey’s survey, which was done as a master's degree requirement, is the first systematic study of how many Hispanics in Northwest Arkansas miss out on medical care, officials with the state Department of Health said.

Ramey’s report tries to explains why Hispanics dismiss American health care. Most Hispanics --78 percent -- said it’s because they don’t have health insurance. Hispanics often skip out on insurance and doctor visits because they come from countries with attitudes about health care that are different from beliefs in the U.S., Ramey said.

“They think doctors and hospitals are for rich people,” she said. “They come from a culture that doesn't recognize the importance of insurance. They also come from places where illness is viewed as a result of sin, or an act of God.”

Doctors’ offices intimidate Hispanics, Ramey and health-care providers said. Physicians and nurses rarely speak Spanish, and they sometimes fail to understand important cultural differences, they said.

By avoiding doctors, Hispanics put themselves at risk for complications from diseases such as diabetes and other serious illnesses, they said. Medical screenings could prevent or alleviate the illness.

Cultural Differences

Area health-care providers advised Ramey what questions to ask in her survey. Ramey interviewed about 400 Hispanics in focus groups and had another 800 complete surveys at places such as Wal-Mart stores and poultry processing plants. The survey was supervised by Tulane professors and University of Arkansas professors.

Ramey recently presented her findings to the Northwest Arkansas Hometown Health Improvement Project, a group of health-care providers organized by the state Health Department. She plans to hold a seminar in October in an effort to get more medical care for Hispanics and to help physicians understand the needs of Hispanics.

Hispanics continue to rely on the health-care methods learned in their homelands, Ramey said. They turn to folk healers, who conduct ceremonies to rid them of illness. Folk healers believe illnesses can come from fright or loss of soul, and use eggs, lemons and herb branches as ceremonial tools, Ramey said.

Hispanics often turn to herbs, teas and vitamins. Some of them consider penicillin to be a vitamin, and many of them get the drug from relatives in Mexico where a prescription isn’t required. The survey showed 72 percent of respondents took the medication every day. That finding troubled many Arkansas health-care providers who heard Ramey’s report. Continual use of penicillin can render it ineffective when someone really needs it, they said.

Almost 90 percent of the survey respondents said they trusted the use of herbs and other folk medicine. Among the people who avoided doctors or clinics, every respondent listed a lack of sympathy or understanding from doctors as one of the reasons.

Alicia Rodriguez is among Northwest Arkansas Hispanics who are insured. She receives health insurance through Springdale's Rockline Industries, her employer.

Rodriguez said she recognized the need for insurance because she understands English, the language Rockline officials used to explain the health insurance program.

“Sometimes people don't get it because nobody explains it to them in Spanish,” Rodriguez said. “If they don't ask for it, they don't get it.”

Employers often fail to explain health insurance in Spanish or explain the importance of insurance, Ramey said.

That’s not the case at Tyson Foods Inc., where there are 1,750 Hispanic employees at plants in Benton and Washington counties, spokesman Ed Nicholson said. The company automatically enrolls new employees in health insurance programs, which are also available to family members. The benefits are explained in Spanish-language newsletters given to employees.

Still, some Hispanics don’t use the insurance they have. Rodriguez hasn’t visited a doctor since she joined the Rockline health program two years ago. Instead, she calls her grandmother in Texas when she gets sick.

“She buys me medicine in Mexico,” Rodriguez said. “I don't know why, but it works better.”

Health Risks

Hispanics are particularly at risk for diabetes and hypertension caused by pregnancy, administrators at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Fayetteville branch, said.

Complications from diseases such as diabetes are more likely to be avoided if they are caught early, UAMS officials said.

Hispanics consider pregnancy a sign of good health and a blessing. To Hispanics, the idea of prenatal care doesn't make sense, Ramey and UAMS officials said.

“The idea of preventative care is alien to them,” said Carla Mills, an interpreter at The Family Health Center, the UAMS facility in Fayetteville. The center has about 1,000 active Hispanic patients.

The center has taken steps to better serve Hispanics. It received a grant from the Community Care Foundation to provide prenatal care and hired two full-time translators to educate doctors on the Spanish language and culture.

Physicians and nurses need to understand Ramey’s findings to serve Northwest Arkansas’ growing Hispanic population, county health officials said 

“There’s a recognition that cultural sensitivity is something that's lacking,” said Loy Bailey, head of the Benton County Health Department.  Rick Johnson of the Washington County Health Department agreed.  “It’s pretty evident that Hispanics have different ideas about medicine,” he said.

Johnson’s ideas echo those of Fay Boozman, director of the state Health Department. Poverty and distrust keep Hispanics out of doctors’ offices, Boozman said at a conference last year in Fayetteville.

“For many, the modern medical system and its administration are intimating,” Boozman said at the conference on Hispanic health.

Northwest Arkansas doctors only a decade ago had less of a need to understand Hispanics or the Spanish language. The Census Bureau counted 1,769 Hispanics in Washington and Benton counties in 1990. The counties’ Hispanic population was counted at 26,401 in the 2000 Census.

“It’s critical that we understand these issues,” said Lynn Sallings, an administrator at the family practice residency program at UAMS. “I don't see how we can provide effective care without understanding them.”

She said she has doubts that private practice doctors will make the effort.  “It's economics,” Sallings said. “They have to see a certain amount of patients to get by. It takes twice as long to serve a patient who needs a translator.”

This article was published on Sunday, February 24, 2002

CEU Opportunities

May 1 - Engaging Arkansas' Hispanic Population.  8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - MidSouth Prevention Institute, 4 hours available.  Contact Alison Rose at 569-8237 for more information.

May 1 - 3, 2002 - Arkansas Public Health Association Conference.  Hot Springs.  5 hours available.  Contact Angela Dugger at (870) 251-2848 for more information.

May 7 - Cultural Competence for Prevention Professionals.  MidSouth Prevention Institute.  4 hours available.  Contact Alison Rose at 569-8237 for more information.

June 9 –14 - MidSouth Summer School - Contact Charlotte Besch at 569-8459 for more information.

Anyone who needs to change their address, phone number, or e-mail needs to let Marian Evans know so she can update the SOPHE membership roster.  

Dates to Remember

  • April 8, 2002-SOPHE Meeting

  • April 20, 2002- CHES Exam

  • May 1-3, 2002- APHA

  • May 2, 2002 –Meeting @APHA 11:30, Brickhouse Grill

Back to Top of Page


Get your official Arkansas SOPHE
T-Shirt now!!

Click on the logo below to order online!

Back to Top of Page

Join Arkansas SOPHE


The mission of the Arkansas SOPHE Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education is to promote, encourage and contribute to the advancement of the health of all people through education and to enhance professionalism through the standards of professional preparation and practice of health education.


  • To influence health policies and programs in which there should be identifiable health education component

  • To develop standards for the professional preparation and practice of health education

  • To encourage high quality practice through professional development, continuing education and training
  • To stimulate research in health education programs and methods, including evaluation
  • To assure that a mechanism for credentialing health educators exists and that it is used properly
  • To increase career opportunities for health educators
  • To maintain effective liaisons with other organizations having allied interests in health education
  • To encourage the development/implementation of multi-strategy health education programs in schools, communities and work-sites.


Individual - Individual membership is open to any professional with a graduate or undergraduate degree from a formal health education program or a professional who is employed or functioning in a health education capacity or an individual with professional education and experience as a health educator, who has been employed in the health field for at least one year.

Student - Student membership is open to any person enrolled full-time or part-time, either a graduate or undergraduate, in a health education program.


  • Affiliation with national SOPHE
  • The latest information on health education research, program development, and evaluation
  • Opportunities to participate in legislative action and information
  • Scholarships
  • CHES continuing education provider
  • Opportunity to know other members who are active at local, state, national, and international levels


  • Sponsor or cosponsor an annual health education conference

  • Provide an AR SOPHE membership directory

  • Publish quarterly newsletter

  • Sponsor study sessions for CHES/CPHE exam


Back to Top of Page