University of Maryland Extension

About the Conference

The University of Maryland Extension is hosting the 2017 National Health Outreach Conference in Annapolis, Maryland.  The theme....Navigating the World of Health:  A Sea of Opportunity....centers on understanding the complexities and interconnectedness of the world of health, and how we can collaborate in meaningful ways to address the dynamic challenges we face as we seek solutions that will ultimately result in improved health outcomes and healthier living for all.

History of the Conference

The National Health Outreach Conference began as the Priester National Extension Health Conference.  The conference was named for Jeanne Priester, who was a dyanmic force for moving forward a health agenda with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The long-standing national Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) first existed under her innovative effort to train community members as lay nutrition educators in Alabama.

Under her direction the program transformed from a regional program that impacted families throughout the south to a national program that impacted hundreds of thousands of families throughout the United States.

Beginning as early as 1993, a group of extension staff from around the country with particular interest in health education met, under Ms. Priester’s direction.

Eventually the group grew large enough that there was extensive energy to organize the first National Extension Health Conference and the organizers had no doubt that the conference should be named in honor of Ms. Priester, her vision, and her ability to organize and energize new ideas and projects. 

In 2015, the conference was renamed the National Health Outreach Conference.  This was done to bring in collaborators outside of Cooperative Extension who have the desire and drive to further health education and promotion nationwide.

In 2016, the National Health Outreach Conference convened for a second year in Roanoke, Virginia,  hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension and partners.  The focus was on broadening engagement  and partnership of educators, practitioners, and researchers with diverse areas of expertise and experiences so that all participants could learn from one another while gaining invaluable perspective.

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