Winter 2022 Bulletin



Winter 2022

Employer Spotlight: The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness

Funding received from the federal and state governments, businesses, and foundations has enabled a steady expansion of health and public health services, transforming the DHCW/MEMHC into a multi-site healthcare facility to serve the community. Specifically, in

The Newark Department of Health and Community Wellness (NDHCW) is a department within the Newark municipal government structure. Its co-affiliate, the Mary Eliza Mahoney Health Center (MEMHC), is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). The DHCW was estab- lished over 150 years ago and provides a

2012, in response to changes in the healthcare land- scape, the DHCW applied for and received Community Health 330(e) designation to serve the entire population, in addition to its 330(h) award serving the homeless popula- tion. MEMHC received funding in September 2018 under the Expanding Access to Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services program to provide Medica- tion Assisted Treatment services for the treatment of opioid use disorders.

wide array of public health, preventative, and treatment services to the greater Newark area, including primary medical care for children and adults, mental health servic- es, oral health care, rapid HIV testing, pre-exposure pro- phylaxis (PrEP) services, housing assistance, immunization, health education, and environmental health programs. MEMHC operates as a health pavilion located in downtown Newark, with adult, pediatric, dental practices, a mobile medical van that travels throughout the city, and a satellite site adjacent to University Hospital, Level 1 Trauma Center Emergency Department. A History of Health in the City of Newark In 1857, the City of Newark established a local board of health. Since that time, the NDHCW has expanded its pro- grams to protect and promote the health, safety, and welfare of Newark residents. As a city health department, it is re- quired by State law to conduct public health surveillance and enforce state health laws and regulations affecting Newark residents. In that regard, DHCW also delivers an array of environmental health services such as food inspections and animal/rodent control, etc., minimizing the spread of dis- ease, thereby improving the health, safety, and welfare of residents. The DHCW collaborates and partners with com- munity-based organizations throughout the city, county, and state to ensure aggregate, community, and population-based improvements in public health and healthcare outcomes. Services are provided on a continuum-of-care service model, in a compassionate and professional manner.

Nikeysha Harris-Neal, MPA, CHES ® Nikeysha Harris-Neal has worked at NDHCW for over 17 years, starting as an Intern, then being hired as a Health Educator. She was soon promoted to Public Health Practice Standards Coordinator, and then Super- visor of Health Education. Mrs. Harris-Neal is the cur- rent Manager of Health Edu- cation & Community Engage- ment within the Department.

Her responsibilities include planning, developing, monitoring and evaluating health education programs for the NDHCW,

“It is a requirement of the NJ Civil Service Commission, for an employee to become permanent in the title of Health Educator, they have to be CHES ® or MCHES ® certified. I think that’s a big statement and sign of respect for the value of the certification from the City of Newark as well as the NJ Department of Health.” — Nikeysha Harris-Neal, MPA, CHES ® , Department of Health & Community Wellness

Credentialing Excellence in Health Education

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NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022

Newark Department of Health continued from page 1 and she functions in a supervisory capacity for a multi- dimensional team of health educators, assistant health educators, community health workers, a graphic design artist, data analyst and clerical personnel. Harris-Neal’s duties are intricately wrapped around all Eight Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Special- ists, from data collection and assessment, to training others and preparing and disseminating a wide array of public health messaging. COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness Recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) awarded $3,875,000 to the NDHCW to fight COVID-19 and improve health literacy among racial and ethnic minority and vulnerable communities in Newark. The Advancing Health Literacy (AHL) to Enhance Equitable Community Responses to COVID-19 initiative is part of the Biden/Harris Administra- tion’s National Strategy for COVID-19 Response and Pan- demic Preparedness. “These initiatives will focus on populations considered vulner- able to COVID-19 infection due to lack of dissemination and use of public health information,” said Harris-Neal. “We will also leverage local data to identify racial and ethnic minority populations at the highest risk for health disparities and low health literacy, as well as populations not currently reached through existing public health campaigns.” The Minority Serving Institution that will collaborate for pro- gram evaluation is Rutgers University-Newark School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA), supported by Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. The evaluation team includes the school’s dean, Rutgers research faculty and graduate students who will use a mixed-method, utilization- focused approach to assess factors influencing health

“Ms. Harris-Neal exemplifies everything a leader should be. With a passion for public health combined with a tireless work ethic and a strong sense of community, I know that we will do what it takes to improve the health of Newark residents. I am proud to be a member of her team.” — Raphael Pareja, B.S. CHES ®

literacy, track statistics and survey adherence to public health recommendations.

CHES ® and MCHES ® Within the NDHCW The City of Newark and the NDHCW recognize the value of having certified CHES ® /MCHES ® staff, who are equipped in effective needs assessment with communities. CHES ® / MCHES ® staff improve the health of our city through pro- grams focusing on effectively reducing health risks, prevent- ing and managing diseases, and identifying community health education needs. Currently, the NDHCW is only hiring Health Education Specialists who are CHES ® or MCHES ® certified. “It is a requirement of the NJ Civil Service Commission, for an employee to become perma- nent in the title of Health Educator, they have to be CHES ® or MCHES ® certified,” said Harris-Neal. “I think that’s a big statement and a sign of respect for the value of the certifi- cation from the City of Newark as well as the NJ Depart- ment of Health.” The Advancing Health Literacy and COVID-19 grant allowed the department to recruit specifically for CHES ® / MCHES ® staff. When asked about current openings, Harris-Neal said, “We have advertised through NCHEC, colleges/universities, hospitals, INDEED, websites, etc. We have fulfilled all but two vacancies and are still actively looking for qualified candidates!” Forward Thought on Professional Development The NDHCW covers the cost/fees of the annual renewal of the CHES ® or MCHES ® certification. In addition, the com- pletion of 12–15 Continuing Education Units/Credits per year is required and integrated into each team member’s tasks and standards as well as their annual performance evaluation. “Staff members are also allowed and encour- aged to complete CEU’s during working hours,” said Harris-Neal. “So staff are being compensated to continue learning and building their knowledge and skillsets.”

"Ms. Harris-Neal has a wealth of knowledge through her years as a Health Educator for the City of Newark. Her dedication and passion for Public Health motivates and excites me as I restart my journey as a Health Educator." — Sandra Enniss, B.S. CHES ®

NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022




Accomplishing Our Mission During a Pandemic Written by: Carolyn Rodgers, PhD., MPH, MHS, MCHES ® , NASM-YES & GPTS NCHEC BOC Chair

Back Together Again in Denver, Colorado Written by Linda Lysoby, MPH, MCHES ® , CAE, Executive Director of NCHEC

As I sit down today to reflect on the events of 2021, I am truly filled with a sense of pride. The year marked great strides in health education and promo- tion as our many CHES ® and MCHES ® credential-holders stepped forward in the wake of COVID-19 to assume critical roles in communication and the dissemination of information, including long hours of service to many communities and fam-

It has been two years now since the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. More- over, it has been about a year and a half that the National Commission for Health Educa- tion Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) Leadership has revisited and revised our newly developed strategic plan to adjust to the COVID-19 paradigm shift. Our first order of business was mak- ing sure our overarching pur-

ilies across the U.S. and beyond. NCHEC staff members were able to document many of these stories – your stories– through our COVID-19 Spotlight Interview Series, and I invite you to view these incredible accounts and perspectives here:

pose as an organization continued to be met. As a national credentialing organization, we needed to assure that poten- tial credential holders could still fulfill this goal, even in the midst of a pandemic, and we did this by making sure live remote proctored examinations were an available and equitable option. Furthermore, we continued our partner- ship with Prometric, our testing vendor, to meet this goal, and we have successfully charged ahead. Additionally, we needed to make sure that our current credential holders could still achieve equitable and quality virtual opportunities for continuing education credits as in-person opportunities waned, which we were able to do. Next, we began focusing on the three main priorities iden- tified within our revised strategic plan. We began working on Priority 1, which delineated the implementation of initia- tives that promote reimbursement for health education serv- ices. Thus, we hired a consultant to develop a toolkit of resources to help CHES © and MCHES © credential holders

I am also thrilled to report on our recent trip to Denver, Colorado, for the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Expo in-person. This event was monumental to NCHEC, as it was our first national in- person event since the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020. This year, the APHA confer- ence moved to a hybrid set- up, allowing for those who could not yet travel access to the many opportunities and sessions through an online portal.

to successfully navigate reimbursement for services in a primary care setting. We hope to release this groundbreaking toolkit to you in early 2022 and to contin- ue with our efforts on Priorities 2 and 3. As another tumultuous year comes to a close, we wish you and your families well, as we transition into 2022 with a renewed vigor to strive for excellence in health education and promotion.

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CHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022

An Interview with Vannessa Fuentes, Certified Health Education Specialist

Certification Spotlight:

NCHEC is extremely proud of the many health CHES ® and MCHES ® who serve as essential personnel in many different sectors across the US. Health Education Specialists have assumed critical roles in the identification, control, and assurance of the needs of indi- viduals and communities. They advocate immensely for public protection measures, and support many other critical health education

itive (to learn more about how they may have been exposed to the virus and if there are others who may have been exposed to it) 3 proofread, edit and translate contact tracing script from English to Spanish to provide Spanish speakers with accurate wording and information 3 train/mentor new contact tracers in Spanish and English v HEALTH EDUCATOR AND LIAISON TASKS 3 provide technical assistance (in regards to COVID-19) to principals, directors and school affiliates in reopen- ing Los Angeles County schools safely 3 schedule Los Angeles County Department of Public Health school site visits for School Technical Assistance Team (STAT) members 3 arrange meetings between COVID-19 emergency response school teams and STAT 3 attend weekly COVID-19 update tele-briefings and STAT meetings 3 Create and adapt messages with technical terms to send out to Los Angeles County school personnel 3 participate as health educator in the Public Health Task Force- a NaCo Award Winning Program (pro- gram focused on educating and informing high school students about public health issues and pre- vention strategies) NCHEC: Can you give an example of how you and your organi- zation are providing services to your community? Vannessa: The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) is continuously providing the community with health education and resources through programs, social media, in-person services, and other methods. The program I am involved with is connected to the school system. I have taken part in the School Technical Assistance Team, the Public Health Task Force, the Youth Advisory Council, and Emergency Management Unit. I have helped in providing community members with correct information and technical assistance regarding COVID-19. The LACDPH Wellbeing Center program also collaborated in the Ambassador program to teach parents about COVID- 19. My team also helped LA County schools reopen safely by providing site visits, answering inquiries and addressing complaints.

and health behavior measures. The following interview is part of an ongoing series to highlight the remarkable work efforts of our credential-holders. Name: Vannessa Fuentes, MPH, CHES ® , CPH

Job Title: Health Educator Career Sector: Government Years’ Experience: 7 NCHEC: What is your current job title and where do you work? Vannessa: My current job title is Health Educator and I work for the Los Angeles County Depart- ment of Public Health. I develop and deliver edu- cational programs for youth in high schools on such topics as mental health, substance use, and reproductive health.

NCHEC: How has your role as Health Educator evolved as a result of COVID-19? Vannessa: I began to wear many hats as a result of the pandemic! My tasks include:

Vannessa at the official opening of the Wellbeing Center at a par- ticipating LA County high school.

v PUBLIC HEATH SPECIALIST TASKS 3 work with the Public Health Department's Patient Inter- view Team, interviewing patients who have tested pos-

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NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022


Certification Spotlight continued

NCHEC: What advice do you have for newly certified health education specialists ready to enter the current work force? Vannessa: You have what it takes. If you make a mistake, take it as a learning lesson. Just know that you don't have to know everything. Health is ever-evolving. You are ever- evolving. Take time to heal and grow. It is fine to take a break. As you get more experience, whether it be volunteer- ing or a full time job, you will figure out what works best for you. Remember that: 3 It might take time to get the job that you want. 3 You do not have to be on your A game all the time. 3 Yes, volunteer experience is considered work experience. 3 Eventually, with patience and determination, you will accomplish your goals. 3 Focus on yourself and things will fall into the right places. 3 Just remember to know your worth and take care of yourself! Back Together Again in Denver continued from page 3 NCHEC staff and board mem- bers completed three sessions that covered such topics as reimbursement for health edu- cation services, a summary of preliminary results from the COVID-19 claim forms sub- mitted by CHES ® and MCHES ® as a continuing education option, and the process by which NCHEC revises its health education certification examinations. In addition, I, along with long-time exam coordinator Tanya Cole, manned the NCHEC exhibit booth, where we saw many familiar faces, as well as newly-certi- fied and fresh-faced talent entering the workforce, all rep- resenting our certifications with pride and enthusiasm. I invite you to view a slide show of those who visited us this October at the NCHEC booth in Denver at NCHEC’s YouTube Channel here: =bRjYujdKyFA&t. I hope that the New Year will bring new opportunities, new connections, and the continued advancement of the pro- fession of health education and promotion. Encourage a colleague or student to obtain an NCHEC credential so that we can continue to widen our professional sphere and the knowledge that CHES © and MCHES © will continue to make an impact on the welfare of our communities.

NCHEC: Have you experienced positive change or strides made in public health/community health over the past year? Vannessa: Despite public health having a rough year with misinformation, I am amazed by how our youth have responded to this pandemic. They know so much more than I did about public health at their age. The questions I receive from future health professionals are so detailed and specific that I have to really ponder my answer. I also feel that people are more conscious of their health and prevention strategies. It is amazing to see that they want to learn more. Additionally, I have noticed that there has been an exponential growth in health education and resources. It is inspiring! NCHEC: Have you seen an increased recognition of the role of the health education specialist since the onset of the pandemic? Vannessa: Yes, I have because I have received many ques- tions and people are genuinely curious about my job. Before the pandemic, many people were not familiar with public health, but I'm glad that things are changing. I feel that it will benefit our society as a whole. It fills me up with great joy and hope when community members ask me about my journey as a health educator. There are many people that want to earn a degree concen- trated in health, and so I do my best to explain the steps I took and how to accomplish career goals. Vannessa received emergency response training through the FEMA Community Emergency Response Team Program in January of 2020.


NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022

Helen P. Cleary Scholarship Recipients Announced

NCHEC Ambassador Program – A 2021 Year End Review by Tilicia Mayo-Gamble & Cynthia Narh

Four outstanding students selected by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) to receive registration fees and study materials for the Spring 2022 CHES ® examination .

NCHEC’s Division Board for Professional Preparation and Practice (DBPPP) wishes to thank all of the Ambas- sadors who participated in the virtual townhall. The townhall included an ambassador program overview, panel discussion, and a discussion of student engage- ment activities. To date, NCHEC has over 200 Ambas- sadors at major universities across the U.S. Since its in- ception, this program has served as an awareness cam- paign for the value that the CHES ® credential can pro- vide students as professional health education special- ists demonstrating an understanding of the core Com- petencies and Responsibilities necessary for successful practice. We would like to share some memorable and significant ideas provided by our Ambassadors for engaging students: 4 I partnered with the health education honorary, Eta Sigma Gamma, to facilitate discussions about CHES ® and MCHES ® . Since the organization aligns with health education, it is a great way for stu- dents with similar interests to learn about the cre- dentials. Tilicia Mayo-Gamble, PhD, MPH, MA, CHES ® 4 I love incorporating practical assignments into our courses. I added an infographic task into Com- munity Health so students could prepare for the NCHEC Infographic Competition if they want to. Anita Sego, PhD, MCHES ® For additional ideas presented, please view townhall recording on the NCHEC YouTube channel: On behalf of the NCHEC leadership, we express our gratitude to the Ambassador Program participants for their service. Our division board applauds your efforts, as together we serve our students by providing sound guidance on career choices and professional prepara- tion strategies. Did you know that serving as a NCHEC Ambassador is not limited only to professionals in academia? NCHEC has opened up opportunities for practitioners who serve as preceptors for interns to serve as NCHEC Am- bassadors. If you or a colleague would be a good match for this program, send an inquiry to, or submit an online application at

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) has announced the names of three recipients for the Helen P. Cleary Scholarship for the April 2022 CHES ® examination. This award, first instituted in 2019, is designed to assist full-time un- dergraduate or graduate students with the fees associated with the examination. Applicants for this award were to demonstrate both financial need and a passion for

Helen R. Cleary

their chosen field of Health Education and Promotion during their academic careers. NCHEC sponsors this scholarship opportunity, offered twice yearly, and the awards process is administered by the Society for Public Health Education. (SOPHE) Awards Committee. The names of the April 2022 scholarship recipients are: Gabriel Sosa; Lakeysha R. Mutcherson; Celena Slowick; and RoShonda Welch .

Gabriel Sosa is an under- graduate student at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, pursuing a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Health and a B.S. in Health Systems Manage- ment and graduating in the spring of 2022. He is a member of La Unidad La- tina, Lambda Upsilon Lam- bda Fraternity, Inc. a Latino- based organization that pri-

marily seeks to take a leadership role in meeting the needs of the Latino community through academic achievement, cultur- al awareness, community service and promotion of the Latino culture and people. He also serves as an intern at Camino Research Institute, conducting research and evaluation on Latino immigrants through Community Based Participatory Research in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022


2022. Ms. Slowick loves teaching and watching her students learn and develop a better understanding of their health and wellness, and sharing her knowledge and experience in pub- lic health and in healthcare. “Obtaining the CHES ® certification will help me to be- come a more qualified educator in my field and ensure that I have a complete grasp and sound understanding of pertinent health topics,” said Ms. Slowick. “Knowl- edge is power, and I feel that having the CHES ® creden- tial after my name would make me a prominent candi- date for any health education opportunity following graduation.”

“As a future public health professional, I seek to reduce dis- parities and address inequities among the Latino popula- tion through health education and providing the resources they deserve,” said Mr. Sosa . “With the help of CHES ® cre- dentialing, I will be provided with the opportunity to further serve as a catalyst to better the quality of life to those that have similar cultural backgrounds as myself.”

Lakeysha R. Mutcherson is a current Doctoral Can- didate at Georgia Southern University, where she is pur- suing a DrPH with a con- centration in Community Health Education and Be- havior. She is a current member of Chi Pi Zeta Sor- ority Inc. and a U.S. Army Veteran, hailing from Ellabell, Georgia. She has previously completed in-

Roshonda Welch is a graduate student at Geor- gia Southern University, pursuing her DrPH in Com- munity Health Beavior and Education. She has a pas- sion for health education, especially among minority Maternity and Child Health populations.

ternships at St. Mary’s Health Clinic and The Savannah Commons retirement living community, which served to strengthen her recognition of the importance of community educational support. “In the long term, I would like to build a program that empowers women and minority groups through incorpo- rating self-help classes, counseling, and health literacy along with other aspects that will add value to them- selves and their community,” said Ms. Mutcherson. “Being certified in community education will aid in the knowledge and skills I need to achieve my career goals and objectives in healthcare research and community policy development.”

She has completed HIV Peer Educator Training with the Florida Department of Health and Great Indoors Training with Miami Children’s Initiative. In addition, she served as an intern for both The Community Health and Empowerment Network and Carrfour Supportive Housing, where she was able to conduct health and wellness presentations with a formerly homeless population as well as serve on a planning committee for a fundraising gala target- ing women’s health and HIV/AIDS awareness in African American and Black Women. “In the words of Shai Reshef, when you educate one per- son you can change a life, when you educate many, you can change the world,” said Ms. Welch. “Pursuing CHES ® certification will allow me to give back to the community by educating minority populations living in low socioeconomic status communities through outreach programs and interventions.” The Helen P. Cleary Scholarship launched in March of 2019, and continues on a bi-annual basis. The next application period for the Helen P. Scholarship will run from April 11-15, 2022, for the October 2022 CHES ® examination. For more information about the Helen P. Cleary Scholarship, please visit, or

Celena Slowick is a sec- ond-year graduate student enrolled in a Public Health program at Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbon- dale. Currently, she serves as a Graduate Teaching As- sistant at SIU and teaches foundations of human health to undergraduate students. She will also receive her cer- tificate in college teaching upon graduation in May of


NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022

Communication is an essential part of contemporary practice in the field of health education and promotion, and in the most recent health education practice analysis (HESPA II), communication was validated as a standalone Area of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists. Infographics are a powerful communication tool that provides graphics and text to clearly explain or showcase important informa- tion, and they can be used to summarize a complex process/concept in a visual format that is easier for individu- als to comprehend. Infographics are now utilized by many practicing Health Education Specialists to improve health lit- eracy among families and communities. Since 2018, NCHEC has sponsored an annual infographic contest. NCHEC’s yearly contest gives our MCHES ® , CHES ® (and aspiring CHES ® ) an opportunity to display their cre- ative talents. NCHEC’s Marketing Committee, which both sponsors and judges the annual contest, has announced the winners of the 2021 competition. Entries in two cate- gories, Certified and Non-certified (Student), were judged based on the following criteria: 1) if the design was com- pelling and sharable, 2) if the infographic clearly commu- nicated an idea or concept, 3) if sources were cited accu- rately, and 4) if the infographic could be of value to certified individuals or those considering certification in the future. With 26 entries, the 2021 NCHEC Infographic Contest was once again a resounding success. Winners received Amazon Gift Cards, with the 1st place winners each taking away a $100 prize. Below is the recently released list of winning entries: Certified Category (active CHES ® and MCHES ® ) 1st Place: Brandi Vogt , CHES ® , Huntley, Illinois 2nd Place: Alina King , CHES ® , Sacramento, California Runners Up: Sierra Elston , CHES ® , Oxford, Mississippi and Kristi Reale , CHES ® , Hamilton, New Jersey Brandi Vogt’s winning entry in the CHES ® category was intended to highlight key roles of CHES ® and MCHES ® professionals in the area of Advocacy, including collabo- ration, assessment, education, and inspiration. “These roles have helped me in beginning my own personal and professional advocacy in grassroots organizing and non- profit work,” said Brandi about her infographic topic. Infographic Contest Announcement

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NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022


Infographic Annoucement continued

Student or Non-certified Category 1st Place: Jamie Zeldman , Student, University of Florida 2nd Place: Sharon Buchman , Student, University of Mississippi Runner Up: Maria Chavez , Student, University of Arizona Jamie Zeldman’s winning entry in the Student/Non- CHES category was created with the intention to empow- er students to begin applying CHES ® principles through- out his/her program of study. “While on the path to become a health specialist, there are still various oppor- tunities to get involved and begin practicing skills that a health specialist will utilize,” said Jamie. “When consid- ering the Eight Areas of Responsibilities, there are direct actions that a student can take to begin gaining experi- ence in these areas.”

Tell a colleague or student that the CHES ® and MCHES ® exam dates are April 21-May 3, 2022 and October 13-22, 2022

APRIL 2022

MAY 2022


For more information, visit or contact the Exam Coordinator: 888-624-3248, ext 12


NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022

N C H E C W E L C O M E S N E W C H E S ® - FALL 2021 The following is a list of those who earned the title of Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES ® ) in the Fall 2021 examination. Those who opted not to be published are excluded from the list. Carla Acosta Leahwailea Adent Laura Agnew

Sabrina Debas Jomarie Dela Pena Danielle DeSantis Danielle DeVizio Celina Diaz Gonzalez Kaylee Diefenderfer Na'Kima Dixon Bria Dobbs Brianna Dolinar Nicholas Dowhaniuk Sarah Doyle Rosemary Dukes Heather Dziewit Corey Edmonds Tamara Edwards Rushia Edwards Veronica Eisenmann Hala Elagha Elizabeth Elsmore Chelsea Ely

Donovan Cousan Nicole Coutouzis Jordan Crawford Victor Crisanto Rebecca Crowder Suzanne Culbertson Jenny Cullumber Melissa Cummings Jasmine Dailey Amirah Dales Melisa Damcevska Shante Dannil

Joanna Caysido Miranda Chance McKenna Chandler Po-Hsu Chen Cristy Chen Sarah Cherukury Donna Chetta

Keith Brown Nicklaus Browning Shelby Brueck Christen Bruening Leah Brunner Mary Buchanan Thai Bui Lori Bulpett Catherine Burrup Emma Burton-Hopkins Lydia Byrne Yarenys Camilo Emily Campbell Karelys Canales Birriel Nyeesha Carney Jade Carrion Mojica Megan Cassell Pina Bradley Caison Elaina Calloway Laura Calvert

Jennifer Aguilar Kristina Aguirre Imke Ahlf-Wien Olusegun Ajibade Jennifer Alberti Ihechi Alilionwu Candace Allison Alyaa Altabbaa Susan Altamirano Dianna Alva Evelynn Amabeoku Adam Amado Isaac Ampadu Emma Anderson Martin Arandia Julia Armanino Joel Arvizo Danielle Augustin Brittany Aukerman Kimberly Austin Alyssa Avalos Lindsey Azar Erika Azpeitia Sara Bageant Christina Bailey Brook Baldwin Melanie Baylis Deborah Beete Ann Belardinelli Jennifer Bennett Taylor Berends Joanna Bernal Mohini Bhakta Addison Biason Sara Bigelow Eric Bilder Tanisha Bisbee Elizabeth Bisio Meghan Blackburn TeMerae Blackwater Nichol Blanch Anna Blasco Autumn Boik Lamkaie Bolden Anneliese Bolland Heather Bossie Nikita Brancato Johndee Breedlove Lydia Brenneman

Bhanu Chintala Kimberly Chong Sarah Christian Alexa Christopher Iuliia Churakova Marcie Clark Kimberly Clark-Richardson Lauren Claus Alexandrea Clendenin Abbigale Clifford Rachel Colorafi Susan Corbin Samantha Coston

Kiran Darai Nella Davies Sofia Davis Jessica Davis Beth Davis Aaron Davis Alyssa Dean Zachary Dean

Sofia Davis, CHES ® • CHES ® High Scorer, Fall 2021

Sofia Davis graduated cum laude from the University of California, San Diego in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Global Health. She went on to complete her master’s degree in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion & Health Education from California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM) in May 2021. During her grad- uate training she interned with the Tobacco Control Program at a local clinic, where she saw health education in action. She also volunteered as a Contact Tracer for the Risk Management Department on her cam- pus during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sofia first learned about health education while participating in a medical volunteer trip in Peru.

Sofia currently works as Lead Scribe at a family medicine clinic and will start medical school in Fall 2022. She hopes to become a primary care pediatrician and is interested in preventive care and child development. Having interned at a local hospital for over 7 years, she has seen the value of public health measures, such as community flu clinics, as well as the need for health education on an individual level. She hopes to draw on her public health and health educa- tion background as a physician. Sofia is thankful for the support from her family and friends as well as the guidance from her classmates and professors in the MPH program at CSUSM—that is where she first heard of the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES ® ) certification! “I chose to take the CHES © exam because I want to demonstrate my competence in health edu- cation. In addition, I want to be able to stay up-to-date with the field, have opportunities to bol- ster my skills, and network with others even though I will be transitioning into medical school in a few months. I think health education plays a large role in the primary care setting and I believe my health education background will allow me to better serve my future patients. I would like the opportunity to promote CHES ® in the medical community as the field is so impor- tant to the health of individuals and populations.”

Haley Brickner Donald Brock

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NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022


Erin Mecham Kacie Meekhof Mallory Melchi Emely Melendez

Alexis LaPrelle Giovanna Lara Jayna Lattig

Graciela Jimenez Tamren Johnk Jill Johns Phil Johns Jr Destiny Johnson Veronica Johnson Drew Johnson Destinee Jones

Janice Hata Taran Haut Juanita Hawkins Traci Hayes

Chuka Emezue Britnee Eskew Jasmine Estrada Gladys Estrella-Ayala

Karley Laverty Mary Leacraft Jasmine Lee Hollie Legee-Cressman Kaitlyn Lehrke Neneh Leigh Kirsten Lezama Carmen Linarte Gabrielle Lindgren Yanique Linton Michelle Liu Carolina Llamas Nicole Llinás Nicole Lopez Amanda Lopez Amanda Loving Kjersti Lukens Catherine Lusky Jasmine Luttrell Embedzayi Madhiri Melissa Manquero Olivia Marchioni Bridget Marley Geraldine Marmolejo Nicholas Marshall Brannette Marshall Franchesca Martinez Kimberley Mason

Lyanne Melendez Garcia Matthew Philips Menchavez Monica Merante Nicole Mercado Anazagasty Lauren Metelski Mia Millard

Lacey Hellenbrand Sarah Henderson Venus Henderson-Hughes Kayla Henry Brooke Hensel Lindsey Hensley Justin Herbert Jacqueline Hernandez Olivia Hernandez Drew Hernandez-Thompson

Sarah Evans Michelle Eyre Elizabeth Fallon Monica Farias Mica Farley Kuann Fawkes

Kaitlyn Jones Ashley Jones Kristyana Jones-Lawson Jessly Joy Cynthia Juarez Nunez Kristine Jubilag Megan Jula Hanako Justice Mariah Kaiser Michelle Katz Katherine Kazlauskas

Jennifer Miller Madison Mills Camille Mitjans Esther Moats Jessica Molina Ashley Monie Kristy Monier Edelma Morales Catucha Morand Victoria Moreno Sarah Morgan Richard Morgan Meagan Morton Ricardo Moss

Connie Fee Iris Feinberg Alexandria Fequiere Katelyn Flores Shelby Flores-Thorpe Samantha Fowler Elizabeth Frakes Nia Francis Elizabeth Frayne Courtney Freeman Aisha Freeman Anna Fritschen Daniela Fuenzalida Jackson Fuller Sammantha Fuller Matthew Fyffe Sierra Flournoy Sarah Fountain Stephanie Garcia Jacquelyn Garcia Adriana Garcia Emily Gerhardt Leighanne Gerstbrein Colleen Giesbrecht Emma Giri Carly Glunz Shelby Gluth Lina Gomez Pena Veila González Emily Gordon Ashira Greenberg Christine Greenberg Kayla Greer Abigail Griesdorn Breanna Grimes Jill Grospierre Jennifer Grubb Kayla Guerra Sarai Ordonez Morgan Gumble Laurel Gumpert Mariana Gutierrez Analise Gutierrez Emya Gwathmey Jennifer Hager Stephanie Halvorson Mouhamed Halwani Joenesha Hardman Madison Harris Breecia Hartman Heather Harvey

Jessica Herpst Ashley Hertrich Natalie Hetrick Kathryn Higgins Jenesis Hiltscher Amanda Holm Ryan Hooper Emily Hoover Amy Horstman Brandon Horton Misozi Houston Tracy Howard Kapyu Htoo Lauren Huffman Chelsey Hughes Meaghan Hurley Marissa Huth Nicole Ireland Ashlie Irvin Raina Jain Abubakarr Jalloh Staci Janous Ashanti Jefferson Tonya Jenkins

Tyana Kendrick Brittny Kimball Erin King Magdalene Kish Courtney Klepp Shareese Knight

Kim Moss- Linnear Michael Mowbray Savanah Mueller Rebecca Munoz Jessica Murphy Anne Myatt Milan Myers Nakpane Nbohn Kess Nelson Kirsten Newkirk Nhi Nancy Nguyen Namphuong Nguyen Beau Nguyen Alina Nhouyvanisvong

Tiffany Knight Michaela Knoll Anna Kohlnhofer Kelly Kollmer Salomé Koloffon Tella Leanna Komoroske

Sybil Masse Justin Mateo Erin Matteau Hayden Matz Kathleen May Elizabeth Mazur Jill McArthur

Wendy Kong Valerie Kryger Diana Lam Courtney Lamb Laura Langford Kori Lannaman Sharleen Laporte

Marilyn Werner, MMPH, CHES ® • CHES ® High Scorer, Fall 2021

After completing her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University, Marilyn spent a year working as a women’s health care coordinator at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. Her experiences in health education and communication in that role solidified her decision to pursue an MPH at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, where she focused on behavioral, social, and health education sciences. Marilyn is now a Presidential Management Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as a health communications specialist in the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.


“For me, the CHES ® certification signals my interest in and commitment to health education – to my employer, my colleagues, partners, and to those I serve through my work. As someone just beginning my career in public health, this certification is also a promise to grow throughout my career through continuing education.”

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NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022

Destinee Ward Ariel Washington Tiana Washington Julia Waters Allita Watkins Anna Watson Calle Weddle Marilyn Werner Margot White Andrew White Jennifer Whitmire Roxanne Wilcox Sydney Williams Tanoa Williams D'Ericka Williams Jaclyn Williamson Regime Willis Kevionta Wilson Madison Witczak Brianna Wolfle Jack Wong Melanie Wood Caroline Woods Tenny Yangdron Elizabeth Yeackle Rachel Yee Natasha Yonley Chelsea Young James Young Brittany Young Aniyah Zaman

Joi Stinson Adrienne Stokes Elizabeth Stones Andrea Sumaray Victoria Szczesna Kameron Talley Jillian Taylor Kelly Ternent Heather Thedford Kaylin Thomae Lauryn Tilghman Amanda Touma Grace Townsend Jillian Trapp Courtney Travaglini Amy Trinh Emily Tucker

Maria Rosendo Rachelle Rubin Trystan Ruiz Samantha Ruiz

Ryan Nichols Jazmine Nova Monicah Nyanumba Malaka Nzinga Cornelious O'Bryant III Monica Ochapa Austin Odom Rachel O'Leary Arilene Ortiz Luis Ortiz Leandry Nancy Outsen Ashlyn Owens Jazmin Ozuna Chavez Jace Packer Savannah Panagopoulos Jayce Panowicz Umapattie Parasram Malini Patel Kelly Patrick Norma Patterson Andrew Paul Brittany Pazdan Chinnipha Pengpring Yazahira Pérez Rodríguez Cydney Parker Danielle Parker Velna Parrish Elizabeth Peters Jordan Petersen Hannah Peterson Anna Marie Petruncio Nelson Phaly Pichota Brandi Perry Claire Perry

Anna Piper Kianna Pirooz Gregory Pitts Supattra Planker Nana Pokuaah Whitney Pollard Heidi Poon Maegan Powers Kristen Pratt Corinne Pruett Lara Quintanar Francis Ramirez Flora Ramsey Dajanelle Ranger Floydreka Ray Sophia Raygoza Meghan Razimoff

Edwin Ruiz Colon Leyshla Ruiz Llanos Grace Ryan Stephanie Saintilien Anahita Salemi Abby Schieman Teri Schlosser Jordan Sedgwick Rose Selko Catherine Selvaggi Fakhteh Shahmirzadi

Vinita Sharma Sana Siddique Meghan Siemers Sonita Simelus Emily Simeon Talia Smith Brenna Smith Madison Snitker Emily Soape

Khadija Turay Sarah Urdiales Carlos Valdovinos Alexie Valle Kacee Van Konynenburg Patricia Varner Mathew Varughese Angelica Vazquez Yazmin Vega Christina Marie Vega Román Andrea Carolina Vilorio Brandi Vogt Donene Vukovich

Ashlynn Redd Shristi Regmi Nicolas Reyes Makeva Rhoden Tia Rice Venesa Richards-Johnson Katherine Richardson Bailey Rickels Chasity Riddick Jolene Rios Heather Ripley Mikayla Ripling Isamarie Rivera Garcia Jalonna Robinson

Sanaz Soltani Aprille Sonnier Catherine Sorenson Michelle Spann-Nieves Angelitta Spells Karley Ann Spillers Fabia Stafford-Ilevbare

Brianna Walker Lacey Wallace Emily Walsh Holly Wanek

Emily Zeglen Virginia Zell Robin Zikoski

Ally Stallman Gabriel Stark Joyce Steinberg

Felipe Rocha Alia Rodgers Jenna Rosenbaum

Invitation to submit manuscripts for a special issue of The American Journal of Health Education Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses within Health Education Guest Editor: Elise Eifert, PhD, CHES ® • University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The guest editor is interested in receiving papers on topics relevant to a broad range of health education issues con- sistent with the chronic disease mission of AJHE. Papers, including Commentaries and Feature Articles, that offer advances in systematic review methods, refinements of prior systematic review research, or fresh perspectives of systemic review research in the context of health education are welcome. Papers must emphasize how the systematic reviews and meta-analyses articulate with the Responsibil- ities and Competencies for Health Education Specialists established by the National Commission for Health Edu- cation Credentialing, Inc. ( For more information on the special issue and the submission process, please visit: journals/ajhe/default.aspx.

The American Journal of Health Education (AJHE) seeks manuscripts for a Special Issue on Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses within Health Education. The Editorial Staff and SHAPE America believe that the in-depth under- standing of important topics in health education through systematic reviews and meta-analyses will significantly advance the health education profession. Systematic reviews focus on a defined research question by collecting and summarizing all published empirical evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria while a meta-analysis uses statistical methods to summarize the results of these studies. Both systematic review and meta- analyses papers can enhance our understanding of important health education related topics and advance health education research and practice. This type of research also can strengthen the broader body of litera- ture on timely topics that are currently impacting the health of individuals, communities, and societies.

NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022


N C H E C WE L C OM E S F A L L 2 0 2 1 N EW M C H E S ® The following is a list of those who earned the title of Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES ® ) in Fall 2021 examination. Those who opted not to be published are excluded from the list. Olaide Mary Ajayi Anna Alikhani Salah Alshagrawi Bilqis Amatus-Salaam Shayla Anderson Leslie Archer Marianna Grady Julie Grubaugh Marcus Stanley Jillian Sullivan Michelle Swapp Crystal Thomas Erin Thomas Angela Todd Pedro Tomas-Domingo Janette Valladolid Danielle Vibbert Heather Vilvens Paula Walker Shana Walsh Felicia Warren Greta Watkins

Kasandra Guilbeau Daphne Guillaume Heidi Hancher-Rauch Shannon Haselhuhn Ashley Hash Carmen Head Thornton Kimberly Hill Stephanie Holden Gigi Holder Jerry Holt Chelsie Howe

Danielle Artinger Francesca Austin Olumayowa Azeez

Shawna Hite-Jones, MPH, MCHES ® MCHES ® High Scorer, Fall 2021 Shawna Hite-Jones, MPH, MCHES ® , is a Training and TA Associate at the Education Development Center (EDC) where she serves as a Senior Prevention Specialist for the Suicide Prevention Resource Center project. In this role, Shawna provides support and consulta- tion to U.S. communities on planning and implementing a public health approach to

Brittany Badger Michael Ballard Erin Barrett Erin Bascom Zundra Bateaste-Sutton Bonnie Beezhold Misganaw Beyene Nicole Bihler Nikita Boston-Fisher Brittney Brooks Hillary Bryan Taryn Buckley Meghan Burroughs Amanda Busack Jesse Bush LaTonya Bynum Amanda Capitummino Bonnie Carleton Laura Castillo Tara Conlon Melanie Cuchna Vanessa Cummings Jacque Currie Rebecca Dahl Isabel De La Cruz-Conley

Rebecca Jensen Jessica Johnson

Shawna Jones Lorena Kaplan Zach Kast Jennifer Kennymore

suicide prevention. Shawna also develops resources, engages in ongo- ing needs assessments, and leads online and in-person learning opportunities to inform evidence-based suicide prevention practices. “I chose to become MCHES®-certified because I believe in the long-term impact of applying a public health approach to suicide prevention,” said Shawna. “I feel that the MCHES ® certification and its associated continuing education will support me in bringing evi- dence-informed theory, research, and practice to my daily suicide prevention work.”

Jessica Kruger Heather LaJoie Molly Lancaster Michelle Larsen Grace Lasker Geoffrey Loomis Lizbeth Lopez Jonathan Lu Robyn Manning-Samuels Rebecca Mathis Kala Mayer Jennifer McClendon Faviola Mercado Brooke Montgomery Michelle Moseley Grace Neequaye Oluwamurewa Oguntimein

Elizabeth DeMeo Alyssa DePhillips Thanh Mai Dinh Aimee Donnelly Teresa Drake Frances Everhart

Holly Parker Terri Patrick Leonor Perea Jordan Perry Tamika Powe Amy Proud

Dana Fischer Gloria Flores Erin Fogarty Viviana Fontanez Pereira Heather Foster Allison Foust

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NCHEC Bulletin • Winter 2022

NCHEC Welcomes Newest Board Members in 2022

Let us all extend a warm welcome to our newest board members elected to leadership positions beginning in 2022! The Division Board for Professional Development (DBPD), the Division Board for Professional Preparation and Practice, and the Division Board for Certification of Health Education Specialists (DBCHES) filled open positions this year. Please take a moment to read about their back- grounds. Board of Professional Preparation and Practice (DBPPP):

management support and public health expertise in state- level programming and protections for North Carolina’s historically marginalized populations and communities. She earned her B.S. degree in Public Health Studies, her B.A. degree in Spanish, and received her CHES ® certification which has been instrumental in program planning and implementation. She is experienced in farmworker health and health education. In public health practice, she values cultural sensitivity and community engagement. Division Board for Professional Development (DBPD): Ty Oehrtman

Holly Turner Moses Courtney Peragallo

As a lifelong learner who is pas- sionate about always becoming a better and more competent pro- fessional, Ty Oehrtman, MPH, CHES ® is excited to be joining the NCHEC Division Board for Pro- fessional Development (DBPD) with more than 20 years’ experi- ence as a health educator. Throughout his career, Ty has

Dr. Holly Moses, Ph.D., MCHES ® is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Education and Behavior at the University of Florida, where she serves as the internship coor- dinator for the undergraduate program, and the coordinator for the online MS program. Dr. Moses is a member of several

served in various roles with multiple national health organiza- tions, as well as state and county health departments. Ty has also served in leadership roles in numerous professional asso- ciations, including two years as president of the American School Health Association. In his current capacity, he supports health education program planning, curriculum development, and evaluation for Inland Empire Health Plan, one of the largest Medicaid managed care organizations in California. Ty has particular interest in serving high need, underserved populations to promote health literacy, and eliminate health disparities. When not working, he loves being outdoors hik- ing, camping, enjoying cultural events, exploring the world. Division Board for Certification of Health Education Specialists (DBCHES): Carla Valdez Wanda Carter-Calhoun

professional organizations including National Eta Sigma Gamma, the American School Health Association, and the Society for Public Health Educators. She is currently serving in the final year of a six-year Presidential term for the National Eta Sigma Gamma Board of Directors. Dr. Moses’ primary research and instructional areas of interest include professional preparation and career development for health education majors; health education advocacy; foundations of health education and health promotion; community health; school health; child/adolescent health issues; bully- ing and cyberbullying; hazing and victimization. Outside of work, Dr. Moses enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, and their two boys, Turner (9) and Duke (5), as well as the family dog, Champ. You can find the Moses family in attendance at UF sporting events donned in orange and blue, and cheering on their beloved Gators.

Courtney Peragallo, MPH(c), CHES ® is a current fellow at UNC Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health where she is pursuing her Masters of Public Health degree. She is concen- trating in leadership as well as epidemiology. Courtney works for the state public health system where she serves as a public health analyst, providing project

Harit Agroia Alexis Blavos Sarah Toth

Dr. Carla Valdez Ed.D, MPH, MCHES ® has been a lecturer at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) in the De- partment of Health Sciences since 2007 and is an adjunct

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