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 join forces to fight obesity.
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), Jackson, MS (2015) and Houston, TX (2016).
The Southern Obesity Summit will be held in October 22-24, 2018 at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia. With a focus on Equity and Equality, this Summit will bring together leadership from across the south to share, learn and develop strategies for positive change around obesity prevention.
What happens at SOS?
500 participants from 16 southern states will convene to publicize effective and emerging obesity prevention and reduction 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, 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 youth leadership in obesity prevention.
Our focus is on strategies identified as having the most impact on obesity prevention: