Name: Jennifer Reich, MPH, CHES®
Job Title: Health Educator
Years’ Experience: 4
Career Sector: Government
NCHEC: What is your current job title and what sort of duties do you complete during the course of your work?
Jennifer: I am a Health Educator for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health Department). My normal work focuses on zoonotic and vector-borne disease prevention. I work on materials such as webpage content, social media, and print literature for public and medical education. Additionally, my outreach work focuses on tick-borne disease prevention in Staten Island, a suburb of NYC, where local transmission of tick-borne diseases has increased in recent years. I conduct public speaking and tabling events, and designed and implementa children's educational program to spread awareness about tick-borne disease prevention.
NCHEC: How has your role changed because of COVID-19?
Jennifer: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic I have transitioned to working on communications to medical providers for the NYC Health Department. I author content in the form of alerts, newsletters, fact sheets and webinars to provide updated guidance and information to health care providers. I have also taken on several additional roles, including working to advance health equity within our response activities and during the initial vaccine distribution phase in 2021 as a site manager at one of the city's COVID-19 vaccination centers.
NCHEC: Can you give an example of how your organization is providing health education & support to schools and communities?
Jennifer: Much of the efforts of the NYC Health Department focus on providing updated information on COVID-19, preventative measures, testing, and vaccination to New Yorkers. The agency has utilized social media and paid digital and print media to inform residents of all they need to know about COVID-19. I have worked specifically on efforts to provide medical education to clinicians in order to keep them abreast of the scientific literature and clinical recommendations.
NCHEC: Do you have any advice to share with other certified health education specialists, or young practitioners in the field?
Jennifer: Health educators are truly needed in every institution. We are trained communicators with skills that are transferable to every occupation and organization. One of the lessons learned during the pandemic is the value of clear health messaging which is needed now more than ever. While public health has the eyes and ears of the world upon us, now is the time to implement effective health communication and educational programming to protect and promote the health of all communities.