During the third week of October, the Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE) celebrates National Health Education Week. The goal of NHEW is to increase national awareness of major public health issues and promote a better understanding of the role of health education.
Have you heard of the field of health education, or do you know someone who is a Health Educator? It can sometimes be a misunderstood title, but this is a profession with its own definition from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Health Educators focus on helping individuals and communities adopt and maintain healthy behaviors. They may do this through health education programs or policies. They might also focus on identifying the health needs of their community, or serving as a health resource person. Given their wide range of skills, Health Educators are important resources for communities and health focused organizations where they work.
What academic background do Health Educators have? Many universities across the United States offer bachelor’s degrees in fields such as Health Promotion or Community Health Education. Some Health Educators may have a Master’s in Public Health. In addition, someone with this type of background can become a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). Having this credential helps a Health Educator show their competence in many different health education responsibilities.
The role of the Health Educator is a natural fit with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s mission to promote equal access to health information. Health Educators can help their communities connect to trusted sources of health information and ensure understanding of this information.
Did you know that NNLM offers training for Health Educators and public health professionals? We do! In the last year, we have been approved by NCHEC to offer continuing education credit for Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES). Most recently, we have offered this credit for three of our courses:
We hope to expand our offerings in 2020, and continue engaging with our growing audience of Health Educators.
Celebrate National Health Education Week with us! If you are CHES certified and would like to be added to the NNLM email list to learn about future CE opportunities for Health Educators, reach out to Erin Seger via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about NHEW events, visit the SOPHE website.