NCHEC is extremely proud of the many health CHES® and MCHES® who serve as essential personnel in many different sectors across the US. Health Education Specialists have assumed critical roles in the identification, control, and assurance of the needs of individuals and communities. They advocate fiercely for public protection measures, and support many other critical health education and health behavior measures. As our nation continues to move forward in addressing and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of a competent certified health education workforce is as significant and essential as ever before.
The following interview is part of a new series to highlight the remarkable work efforts of our credential-holders.
Name: Amy Moore, MS, CHES®
Job Title: Wellness Consultant Supervisor
Years Experience: 26
Career Sector: Government
NCHEC: What is your current job title and where do you work?
Amy: My job title is Wellness Consultant Supervisor for the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management. I also function as a CommonHealth Wellness Consultant for the Northern Virginia region. CommonHealth provides wellness programming to employees of the Commonwealth of Virginia as well as local government entities. We work within the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) and within the Office of Workforce Engagement (OWE). Virginia employs over 100,000 people and our Wellness Consultants are located in various regions of the Commonwealth.
NCHEC: What typical job duties do you perform as a Wellness Consultant?
Amy: I develop and deliver health education topics to employees, in addition to presenting at state-wide conferences. My work also involves engaging employees and the general public through social media.
NCHEC: What do you enjoy about your job?
: I love being part of the health and wellness profession. I feel that my experience in the clinical world allows me to serve my employee population on another level. I enjoy working with anyone interested in improving/maintaining his or her quality of life.
NCHEC: How has your role changed as a result of COVID-19?
Amy: Our team had to quickly shift from in-person sessions to offering virtual programming via Google Meet. We provided support to our 500+ agencies by bringing specifically tailored topics, like ‘Germ Warfare’ and ‘Coping During Uncertainty.’ We continued our tradition of weekly supportive and encouraging email messages to our points of contact at each agency. We developed a video series on Facebook to keep employees connected, active and to help them relax. We increased our video library on our YouTube channel as well. Our target audience is employees, but we always encourage those employees to share information with their families and the community.
We also offered a spirit week event (dress in themes) in September 2020 as well as a pumpkin-carving contest in late October 2020 to help with employee morale and connectedness.
NCHEC: Have you seen positive change or strides made in employee health and wellness over the past year?
Amy: Yes. The pandemic brought mental health to the forefront in some areas where it had not really been addressed before. As employees had to learn to work from home, they began to see both the benefits and disadvantages of being in their own home and trying to balance work and for some, additional caregiving roles including virtual school for children.
NCHEC: Have you seen an increased recognition of the role of the health education specialist since the onset of COVID-19?
Amy: Unfortunately, not really. But the increase in free continuing education webinars benefitted me as a CHES® and my entire team when I shared information with them from those sessions.
NCHEC: What advice do you have for newly certified health education specialists ready to enter the current workforce?
Amy: Being engaging, personable, and enthusiastic goes a long way. So does flexibility – you never know when you may have to pivot and adapt to an unexpected circumstance. Keep a sense of humor too. Personal connection in the world of wellness is a big part of success.