March 01, 2019

Sign up now for SIU symposium focusing on school health

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Anyone involved in school health, student services, public health or related fields will find an upcoming event at Southern Illinois University Carbondale of interest.

The Elena M. Sliepcevich Centennial Symposium on the Future of School Health is set for April 5-6 and brings together local and internationally known experts in child and adolescent health and school health education. The symposium will be at the Holiday Inn Carbondale Conference Center, located at 2300 Reed Station Parkway in Carbondale.

This year would have been the 100th birthday of Sliepcevich, a pioneer in health education and public health who served on the SIU faculty from 1973 to 1992. This annual symposium offers a unique learning and networking opportunity for anyone with an interest in the field.

Public health employees, SIU faculty and students, people working or studying in special education, curriculum and instruction, kinesiology, social work and psychology will find the presentations particularly enlightening.

Diverse program planned

William Potts Datema, chief of the Program Development and Services Branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health in Atlanta will present the opening keynote address. His presentation is entitled “School Health Education – Examining the Present and Looking to the Future.”

Robert S. Gold, former SIU faculty member and founding dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, will present the closing keynote remarks. Gold was a member of SIU’s health education department faculty from 1980 to 1984. His presentation will focus on “Leadership for School Health Education – Finding the Innovative Path to the Future.”

Throughout the two-day event, there will be roundtable discussions, presentations by special guests, question and answer sessions and numerous opportunities to share and learn from school health experts. A wide variety of topics will be covered, from why school health needs epidemiology to integrating school health and wellness in urban schools to how advocates and researchers work together to improve school health education and much more.

Registration open now

Registration is now open for the symposium. The cost is $150 if paid by March 15. The cost is $75 for students. After that date, including at the door, the price is $175 for everyone. The fee covers all presentations along with a breakfast buffet and luncheon on April 6.

Access the registration form online at  For a copy of the symposium brochure and full list of speakers, email Heather Goelz at

All welcome for free at scholar lecture

After the symposium, the program continues with the Robert D. Russell Invited Scholar Lecture, which is free and open to the public. The 1:15 p.m. lecture on April 6 features Tabia Henry Akintobi, director of the Prevention Research Center at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She will discuss “Moving Community-Campus Partnerships Towards Health Equity: A Reflection on Trials, Triumphs, Processes and Outcomes that Move the Needle.”

No pre-registration is required to attend the lecture.

To learn more

For more information about the Elena M. Sliepcevich Centennial Symposium on the Future of School Health or the Robert D. Russell Invited Scholar Lecture, contact Heather Goelz at or 618/453-1868.