Since 1995, the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) has celebrated National Health Education Week (NHEW) during the third week of October. NHEW is focused on increasing national awareness on major public health issues and promoting a better understanding of the role of health education. This year’s theme is “Health Education as a Catalyst for Change.”
“Whether collaborating with community partners to conduct community needs assessments and develop community health improvement plans, educating new parents on the importance of a properly installed child passenger safety seats or working to address and prevent the spread of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19, our DHEC Health Educators are a critical part of our agency and the work we do,” said Suzanne Sanders, Community Health Services External Systems Manager. “They serve as catalysts for change within their communities every single day.”
About 30 employees serve on this team at DHEC.
Health education specialists offer knowledge, skills and training that complement health care providers, policy makers, educational experts, human resource personnel and many other professionals whose work impacts human health. Health education specialists promote and improve health literacy and equity through research, education and advocacy. Health equity and literacy are important determinants of health status.
“Health educators are key players in promoting DHEC’s mission to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians by protecting and promoting the health of the public and environment,” Sanders said.
Regional Community Systems directors are planning activities and recognitions throughout the week in their respective regions.