SOPHE names Martha Katz, MPA its 2022 Honorary Fellow

This award recognizes a person who has made exemplary and lasting contributions to the field of health education and public health.

Washington, DC – February 3, 2022 – The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) will present its 2022 Honorary Fellow Award to Ms. Martha Katz, MPA, chair of the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, during SOPHE’s Digital Annual Conference, March 22-25, 2022.

The Honorary Fellow Award is SOPHE’s highest honor presented to a non-member who has made significant and lasting contributions to health education and the public’s health.

Upon receiving the award, Ms. Katz will provide her perspectives on the health education workforce and how attendees can apply their unique skills in addressing national and global health challenges.

“On behalf of our 4,000 national and chapter members, SOPHE is honored to recognize Ms. Katz for her lifetime of strategic leadership, capacity building, and advocacy for health education and promotion at the federal, state, and local levels,” says Dr. Deborah Fortune, SOPHE’s 2021-22 President. “She has designed changes in policy and infrastructure that have put health education at the nexus of research and practice.”

Throughout her distinguished career, Ms. Katz served at the highest levels of leadership in the public and private sectors, including under six CDC directors and working with the Healthcare Georgia Foundation, the CDC Foundation, the Georgia Health Foundation, the James & Sarah T. Fries Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She helped launch the Healthy People Objectives for the nation and later became CDC Deputy Director.

As a diplomatic “behind the scenes” architect, she applied health promotion theory and practice in the creation of evidence-based frameworks to advance the nation’s health. Her strategic endeavors contributed to the establishment of the CDC National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and building health policy and advocacy organizations in Georgia.

“I am honored and touched to receive this award from SOPHE,” says Ms. Katz. “It’s a tribute to the wonderful health educators who have taught me the principles of health education. Health education professionals are essential to our success in public health.”

Ms. Katz helped to establish the CDC Foundation and has served as vice-chair and now chair of the James and Sarah T. Fries Foundation Board of Directors. The foundation awards the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Prize to an outstanding health promotion professional and has been awarded annually at the SOPHE Annual Conference since the mid-1990s.

Ms. Katz will receive the 2022 Honorary Fellow Award at the SOPHE Annual Conference opening session. She will join the list of other honorees in SOPHE’s 70+ year history including U.S. Surgeon Generals Dr. C. Everett Koop and David Satcher; NIAID Director, Anthony S. Fauci, MD; The Honorable John Lewis and John E. Porter; and DHHS Assistant Secretaries Drs. Michael McGinnis and Howard Koh.

#   #   #

For more information contact: Brigitte W. Johnson, APR at

About SOPHEThe Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1950 to support leaders in health education and promotion to advance healthy and equitable communities across the globe. SOPHE represents a diverse membership of 4,000 professionals and students who work and learn in various public and private organizations and universities to advance health education theory and research, develop disease prevention and health promotion programs, and promote public policies conducive to health. For more information visit