Dr. Anna Torrens Armstrong, a USF College of Public Health (COPH) alumna and assistant professor of community and family health, was recently elected to an at-large commissioner position with the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC).
NCHEC certifies health education specialists, promotes professional development and strengthens professional preparation and practice.
The two credentials offered through NCHEC include the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES). While certification through NCHEC is voluntary, it establishes a national standard for individual health education specialists and attests to the individual health educator’s knowledge and skills.
The Board of Commissioners, which is comprised of 11 members, governs and is accountable for all NCHEC activities.
“I’ve been an NCHEC member since 2001, when I first got certified in health education,” said Armstrong. “But this role will give me more insight into how the credentialing side works. I’m really excited for the opportunity to develop my leadership skills at this new level.”
This year, NCHEC celebrates its 30th anniversary as an organization and currently has over 14,500 actively certified individuals.
“It administers the health education certification exams [CHES and MCHES exams] and is the only group accredited by two agencies [the National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the International Accreditation Service],” commented Armstrong. “It didn’t pop up overnight. It’s been through some rigorous assessments. The NCHEC regularly performs practice analyses to ensure the competencies students are tested on are still relevant to the field. We want to make sure that excellence in credentialing doesn’t get lost.”
Armstrong was elected in November to a five-year term.
“This will be a great professional growth opportunity,” she said, “and I’m really thrilled to take part in it.”
Story by Donna Campisano, USF College of Public Health