Supporting research, scholarship and creative activity

Georgia Southern conference designed to inspire H.O.P.E. in HIV/AIDS care to rural communities

Georgia Southern University, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, will host the 4th Annual Rural HIV Research and Training Conference on Friday, Oct. 23, through Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah.

Over recent years, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment has been on the cutting edge of research in public health sectors. According to the National Rural Health Association, rural areas comprise five to eight percent of HIV cases in the United States, with a majority of those affected in the southern region of the country.

This two-day collaborative forum brings together a variety of professionals in health-related fields to address HIV/AIDS prevention, intervention, research and care. Key speakers and participants will share innovative strategies and discuss unique challenges in providing HIV/AIDS treatment, especially to those in rural communities. This year’s conference will focus on H.O.P.E., which represents

  • Health care – medical, social, and psychological realities in HIV/AIDS research
  • Opportunities – save lives with the latest in emerging research into HIV/AIDS care
  • Prevention – tools for primary care, mental health and social services
  • Empowerment – advocacy, prevention and intervention in rural communities

“During its fourth year, our goal for the Rural HIV Research and Training Conference is to provide an open forum to provide tools for professionals to use in the prevention and care of HIV/AIDS in our rural communities,” said conference chair Fayth Parks, Ph.D. Parks is also a licensed psychologist and she is an associate professor of Leadership, Technology and Human Development in the University’s College of Education.

The program will include Linda H. Scruggs, director of The Ribbon Consulting Group (RCG), as the keynote speaker sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Scruggs serves as a national leader with 20 years of experience working with women, men, families and youth impacted by health disparities including HIV and AIDS. Her work has led her to speak in front of heads of state including former President Bill Clinton, to be honored by President Barack Obama, and to travel to villages in South Africa.

Other featured speakers include Gregory S. Felzien, M.D., AAHIVS, medical advisor for Health Protection, Infectious Disease and Immunization and HIV at the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH); Sally Jue, M.S.W., from the American Psychological Association Office on AIDS; and Pat Gunn, master storyteller from the Geechee Institute.

Registration is highly encouraged for all health care providers including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, case managers, public health workers, psychologists, counselors, social workers, family therapists, educators, advocates, community leaders and policymakers. Registration fee is $160. For more information, please contact Georgia Southern Continuing Education at 912-478-5555 or visit

Credits applied for include Continuing Medical Education (CME), Georgia Nurses Association (GNA), National Association of Social Workers, Georgia Chapter (NASW-GA), Licensed Professional Counselors Association (LPCA) and Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit

Posted in Research Express News, Uncategorized

Share this:

GS Research • P.O. Box 8140, Statesboro, GA 30458 • (912) 478-5465 •