Time and time again my colleagues want to know what steered me to take the CHES® exam, wondering how this certification has impacted abilities within my career and where I think it will lead me. The answer is this: every facet of my skillset, efficacy of practice and individual potential are strengthened because of continued education. To maintain CHES® certification I know I must accumulate Continuing Education Contact Hours (CECH), however I believe this requirement stands for something deeper. Philosophically, I find it vital to my success (and happiness) to pursue a career that challenges me to ask questions and seek answers, which I find through professional development and CECH opportunities.
As a Health Education Specialist (HES), my scope of work encompasses prevention efforts in a multitude of ways, but is specific to policy and communications in the arenas of school health and family and child wellness; I also have personal interests in reproductive rights and research. Yet, I understand the nature of public health is there will always be work to be done. As Thomas Frieden, M.D., MPH, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “It’s easy to miss public health successes - you don’t see the heart attacks that don’t happen, the years added to the lives of those who quit smoking, or the flu death avoided because of vaccines.” Our nation’s pursuit of health equity will not be seen immediately. However, when policy is put into practice and families are equipped with the wherewithal to make mindful decisions for their families, healthier behaviors and lifestyles can span generations; for this, I choose to be a HES.
Moving forward, my career objective is to practice the Seven Areas of Responsibility with emphasis on serving as a resource person by advocating research for health promotion and education. A long-term goal to complement this will be to obtain MCHES® certification. In the outcome, my indication of attaining advanced-level competency will be measured my ability to speak upon evidence-based theory along with boots on the ground field experiences.
Jordan Buckley obtained her CHES® certification in 2016. She is originally from central Pennsylvania, having completed a Bachelor of Science in Public Health: Health Promotion and a Master of Public Health concentrated in Community Health, and now works with Society for Public Health Education in Washington, D.C.