The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) announced the results of its inaugural Outstanding Service and Leadership Award in recognition of one individual and one organization displaying exemplary commitment to the advancement of the profession and of the CHES and MCHES credentials. The NCHEC Service and Leadership Award was instituted to highlight the implementation of programs and policies that promote the role of certified health education specialists within communities, populations, and/or organizational structure.
Dr. James F. McKenzie, PhD, MCHES, was selected as the award winner in the individual category. Dr. McKenzie has a distinguished record as a valued leader in the field of health education and promotion, with over 44 years of teaching experience, as well as many years of devotion to the development and improvement of the CHES and MCHES examinations through dedicated board service at NCHEC. He has served on NCHEC’s Division Board for Certification of Health Education Specialists (DBCHES), the NCHEC Board of Commissioners (BOC), as well as various job analysis task forces. In addition, Dr. McKenzie was instrumental in leading the process of exam creation for NCHEC’s advanced-level credential, the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was chosen as the award winner in the organizational category. The MD Anderson Patient Education Department is responsible for the education of over 100,000 patients per year, utilizing documents, videos, and decision-aids that are developed by Health Education Specialists who are CHES or MCHES-certified. CHES and MCHES are utilized in a variety of settings within MD Anderson, and the certification of its employees is strongly encouraged. The organization covers exam fees, annual certification fees, continuing education costs, and even bestows a “certification pay” in addition to base pay for the continued maintenance of the employee’s CHES or MCHES certification. By utilizing CHES and MCHES-certified individuals to deliver such programs, MD Anderson strengthens the message to patients and the community, and highlights the organizational belief that well-prepared, credentialed employees make a valuable difference in patient care.
The inaugural year of the award was a great success, and provided an opportunity to highlight the outstanding achievements made by Dr. McKenzie and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to others in the profession of health education and promotion. NCHEC will be announcing the opening of nominations for the second Outstanding Service and Leadership Award later this summer.