The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC) has announced the results of the 2017 Outstanding Service and Leadership Award in recognition of one individual and two organizations displaying exemplary commitment to the advancement of the Health Education Profession and of the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®) credentials. The NCHEC Outstanding Service and Leadership Award was first instituted in 2016 to highlight career achievements in the implementation of programs and policies that promote the role of certified health education specialists within communities, populations, and/or organizational structure.
Dr. Mary V. Brown, PhD, MCHES®, was selected as the award winner in the individual category for her significant commitment as an advocate for the profession of Health Education and Promotion, and for being a valuable resource to students entering the field, a champion of communities, and a strong supporter of the CHES® and MCHES® certifications. As Chair of her Department at Utah Valley University, Dr. Brown continues to promote NCHEC credentialing through professional development, CHES® preparation classes and study sessions, and curriculum development that meets the Areas of Responsibility, Competencies, and Sub-competencies that provide the foundation for the CHES® and MCHES® certification exams. Dr. Brown received glowing endorsement by the President of the Utah Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education (USOPHE) as well as the Utah County Health Department, and has served as a community volunteer with the Utah Public Health Association, the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and within her own county.
The Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) was selected as the 2017 Outstanding Service and Leadership Award winner in the organizational category. NCHEC was pleased to recognize SOPHE’s significant commitment to Health Education and Promotion through the implementation of programs and policies in support of the Certified Health Education S pecialist and the profession as a whole. In 2017 alone, SOPHE provided more than 35 webinars with approximately 2,000 attendees, many in collaboration with national public/private organizations. SOPHE's outstanding 2017 CHES resolution advocates that all positions with primary health education responsibilities require CHES® or MCHES® and has supported advocacy initiatives in Washington D.C. and beyond. In addition, CEO Elaine Auld authored a paper for the Health Promotion & Practice journal publication detailing the important role of CHES® professionals in health care reform. It is notable that each staff member at SOPHE has a professional development budget to support maintenance of their CHES®/MCHES® credential or earning CHES® competencies.
Populytics/BeneFIT Corporate Wellness was selected as the 2017 Outstanding Service and Leadership award winner in the employer/organizational category. The company was recognized for its significant commitment to the profession through the implementation of supportive organizational programs and policies, a core foundational focus on continuing professional development, and the continued advancement of its staff members who hold the CHES® or MCHES® certifications. BeneFIT’s organizational mission is to provide high-value health promotion and strategic wellness solutions for sustainable employee health behaviors and healthy worksite cultures. During the hiring process, the organization indicates the following job application requirement: “CHES® (Certified Health Education Specialist) or MCHES® required or must obtain CHES® within one year.” The company compensates for exam fees, renewal/recertification and continuing education opportunities. Populytics' BeneFIT Corporate Wellness services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lehigh Valley Health Network, and provides programming ranging from individualized health coaching, health fairs and screenings, to specialty services.
The 2017 Outstanding Service and Leadership Award proved to be a great success, and has provided an opportunity to highlight the career and industry achievements made by these individuals and organizations to others in the profession of Health Education and Promotion. NCHEC will be announcing the opening of nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Service and Leadership Award later this year.