In celebration of National Health Education Week, we are interviewing four accomplished CHES® and MCHES® in varying career sectors across the country. Today, we are chatting with CHES® Jeana Neu, Principal of NeuFunding, LLC.
NCHEC: How did you come to found your own practice?
Jeana: While studying health promotion and education in graduate school at the University of Utah, I was fortunate to work with my graduate advisor on her federal grants for health research. At the same time, I became a founding member of a small, child nutrition based non-profit: EATS (Eat Awesome Things at School). I immediately put my new grant writing skills to fund the health programs for EATS: cooking classes, taste tests, school gardens and even staffing. When I graduated in 2015, I launched my own consulting practice for funding development. NeuFunding is focused on non-profits with public health missions because that’s my passion – IMPROVED HEALTH - for our communities.
NCHEC: What are your main tasks in your current position?
Jeana: An average day consists of working on current grant projects - right now I have two - one for a capital campaign to build a new opioid treatment facility in Salt Lake City; and the other, funding a songwriter’s festival dedicated to reducing mental illness, suicide, addiction and alcohol abuse in the music industry. Funding involves assessment, program planning, implementation and a tremendous amount of evaluation. I work with my clients to develop programming that creates real impact, meets their actual goal and serves our community. I have evaluation in the forefront of what the programming should be designed to accomplish.
NCHEC: What do you love most about your job?
Jeana: Three things come to mind:
- Being able to impact whole communities through increased funding for health related programming.
- Using health education and promotion to influence funders to support important public health causes.
- Owning my own business and having the flexibility to raise my family while working.
NCHEC: What advice can you give to young professionals who wish to become health education specialists?
Jeana: CONS: Most importantly, be willing to go without income for unforeseen amount of time as your build your business and grow your clientele. Remember that working for yourself means sustaining yourself - health insurance, continuing education, marketing, vacations, etc. However much you put in is how much you get out!
PROS: It is very rewarding as far as setting your own schedule, determining the impact your are able to make, and how you will successfully grow your business!