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Health Education Careers: an Interview with Jeana Neu, CHES®, Grant Specialist

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: 

  1. Being able to impact whole communities through increased funding for health related programming.
  2. Using health education and promotion to influence funders to support important public health causes.
  3. 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! 

Posted by Jessica Wessner at 14:00

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