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COVID-19 Spotlight: Dawn Snyder, MPH, CHES®, Prevention Manager

Dawn SnyderCHES® Career Profile: Prevention Manager

Many practicing CHES® and MCHES® currently find their specialist abilities shining more than ever as they pivot their skills to adjust to the changing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dawn Snyder, a Prevention Manager for Broward House of Florida, has put her CHES® competencies to work through an amazing endeavor - a drive-thru coronavirus antibody-testing site in Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida.

We spoke with Dawn Snyder, a Prevention Manager for Broward House of Florida to learn more about how her experience and CHES® competencies led to her work with a drive-thru coronavirus antibody-testing site in Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida.

LEARN MORE: Advantages of CHES® certification

woman in nursing outfit and maskAbout Dawn

Dawn received an undergraduate and graduate degree from Montclair University of New Jersey, and received her CHES® certification in 2014. Her early career encompassed a position at a health department as well as teaching public health coursework at Montclair, which included a CHES® prep course that encompassed building resume and interview skills, as well as how to find job opportunities in the field.



What drew you to a career in health education and promotion?

“Even though I enjoyed teaching, my heart has always been in public health and prevention,” said Dawn. She made a career transition that included a move from New Jersey to South Florida to join the non-profit organization Broward House. Broward House strives to improve the quality of life for individuals impacted with chronic health challenges, including HIV. Dawn’s primary goal as a Prevention Manager is to reach people who are living with HIV and are unaware of their status. Studies indicate as many as 17% or more of individuals living with HIV are not aware they have it.

healthcare workers wearing covid-19 protection suits

What does your role as a prevention manager entail? How have recent events concerning the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work?

As a Prevention Manager, Dawn focuses on the counseling and testing portion of Hepatitis C, HIV, and STIs. 

Recently, Broward House received a call from CAN Community Health, an organization tasked with organizing a COVID-19 drive-through testing facility by the governor of Florida. As Broward House specializes in processing antibody testing, they were happy to assist in the effort, and staff members were quickly trained and mobilized for the task.

“We were asked on a Tuesday morning to spearhead the antibody testing site in Miami,” said Dawn. “By that afternoon, we were receiving training, and we were on site the very next morning.” Dawn’s team remained at the Hard Rock Stadium for two weeks, working ten hours a day to set up the massive effort.

nurse working in labAccording to Dawn, Broward House has not slowed a bit in outreach during these unprecedented times.  “We are still doing our testing, and we see that our clients truly need us right now. It has been an amazing team effort. It is only in teams that we accomplish great things in Public Health.”

“It was an amazing experience for our team, where we were able to utilize best practices in emergency response and testing, employ a whole new skill set, and simply be a part of something never before accomplished. I love that I never know what each day will bring.”

It is interesting to note that Dawn previously worked at a health department during the H1N1 outbreak and with Montclair University during the Ebola outbreak. She is now witnessing the enormous impact of this pandemic in her state, and around the globe. When asked about the enormous implications of coronavirus, Dawn commented, “This virus has affected so many people that I know, in so many ways.  It hits home very hard.

woman wearing mask next to line of people waiting to get tested for covid-19CHES® Certification for Public Health Educators

Are you seeking a fulfilling career that helps you make a difference in the world? Do you desire a way to make an impact on your community? Health education specialists are essential to our world, especially in times of crisis. As we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, health education specialists are particularly important when we face a public health crisis. 

READ MORE: The Value of Health Education Credentialing

Are you interested in becoming a public health educator? Consider CHES® certification. Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES®) are skilled in a variety of components of public and private health education responsibilities. Becoming a CHES® or MCHES® greatly increases your chances of finding employment in both public and private sectors. 

How to Become a Health Education Specialist

Posted by Jessica Wessner at 07:00

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