The SOS is the largest regional obesity prevention event in the United States, drawing hundreds of participants from the 16 Southern States consisting of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Together, these states are joining forces to fight obesity.
The 12th Annual Southern Obesity Summit was held in Charleston, West Virginia October 22-24, 2018. With a focus on collective impact through the lens of Health Equity; we explored system impacts: Where we Live, Work, Learn, Eat, Play and Pray. This Summit will bring together leadership from across the south to share, learn and develop strategies for positive change around obesity prevention.
Participants from 16 southern states will convene to publicize effective and emerging obesity prevention practices in the region and energize grassroots efforts in each state.
Attendees will include policymakers, leaders from community-based organizations, federal and state government officials, health care providers, non-profits, youth and members from national and state associations.
SOS is a great opportunity for regional partnering, and provides each state access to technical assistance through learning collaboratives.
The three-day conference offers networking opportunities, fast paced breakout sessions, workgroup meetings, and plenary sessions that will focus on cross-state collaboration, best practices and significant leadership in obesity prevention.
For the past five years, we have spotlighted strategies having the most impact on obesity prevention under the pillars of:
Last year we are focused on the infrastructure and processes necessary to implement policy and practice in an effective manner with a result of positive system change, and an outcome of health equity. The 12th Annual Southern Obesity Summit had an overarching goal:
Help stakeholders strategize next steps to implement policy and program initiatives across all 16 states to support obesity prevention, decreasing health disparities and improving health equity.
We continue to support the following objectives to achieving these goals:
Promote cross-sector collaboration and partnerships to prevent obesity
Provide opportunities for practitioners to share successful policy and community-based intervention strategies
Further define a Southern Strategy to encourage effective inter-state initiatives and collaboration
The Southern Obesity Summit began with seed capital from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a spinoff project of the Southern Rural Access Program, a seven-year initiative to improve access to care. The Southern Rural Access Program’s National Advisory Committee was led by Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, and previous Surgeon General of the United States. Texas Health Institute (THI) and Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) partnered to put on the inaugural SOS in Little Rock in 2007. Since Little Rock(2007), SOS has been held in Birmingham, AL (2008); Austin, TX (2009); Atlanta, GA (2010); New Orleans, LA (2011), Charlotte, NC (2012), Nashville, TN (2013), Louisville, KY (2014) and Jackson, MS (2015) , Houston TX (2016), Atlanta GA (2017)