Job Title: Director, Health Promotion & Senior Health
Education: BS University of Richmond MS The American University Health and Fitness Management
Previous Experience: I worked as a Health Fitness Specialist for the United States Postal Service Headquarters Fitness Center. I also worked as an instructor for the National Center for Health Fitness and Alexandria Hospital's Wellness Program.
Job Tasks: As the Director of Health Promotion & Senior Health for a hospital I coordinate the following programs that are offered in our departments: Corporate Wellness, Community Wellness, Employee Wellness, Senior Wellness and Lifeline (Personal Emergency Response System).
In our corporate wellness program we offer a variety of health education lectures and health screenings (ex: cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat, bones density etc) to various businesses at their worksite. For our community wellness programs we offer a variety exercise programs (ex: prenatal yoga, pilates, tai chi, body sculpting etc.) and disease prevention and wellness lectures (ex: smoking cessation, stress management, diabetes education etc.)at the hospital. In addition we provide wellness programs to schools and community groups. Our employee wellness program involves providing a variety wellness programs to the employees of the hospital. These programs include exercise classes, weight loss programs, health screenings, walking groups, etc.
Our senior health programs include a mall walking program, healthy aging lecture series, Alzheimer's & arthritis support groups and Lifeline which is a personal emergency response system.
The Director is responsible for the smooth operation of all the programs. This individual develops the budget for Health Promtion and Senior Health and is responsible for operating within those budgetary constraints. He/she works to develop new programs and services and ensures the current programs continue to grow. He/she interviews, hires and supervises all staff; develops and implements operational policies and procedures, and formulates a business plan. He/she implements a marketing plan. The Director also has the ability to teach a variety of health education classes, perform health screenings and is also trained to install Lifeline machines and troubleshoot problems when necessary.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being able to work with a wide variety of people in many different settings to educate them on improving their health. Through the Lifeline program we are also able to provide seniors the ability to remain independant in their homes and provide peace of mind to both them and their families that help is immediately available when needed.
I can't think of a worst part.
1. Take advantage of internship opportunities that are available while you are pursuing your degree. They provide great experience.
2. It is helpful to get some type of fitness certification through ACE, AFAA or ACSM.
Additional Thoughts: The field of health promotion continues to grow as the cost of healthcare rises. There are opportunites in many different areas including corporate wellness, hospital-based wellness, health insurance wellness programs and many more.
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