Congratulations Anthony Lacina on Passing His Certified Health Educator Specialist Exam

lacina-bpmThe MCPHS School of Nursing community would like to congratulate Anthony Lacina on passing the the Certified Health Education Specialist examination. Anthony Camarota, Administrative Assistant and Beats Per Minute Co-Editor, interviewed Anthony on this experience.


AC: Tell me a bit about yourself! How long have you been at MCPHS?

AL: My name is Anthony Lacina and I have been part of the MCPHS University community for a little over five years. I am currently the Clinical Coordinator for the Graduate Nursing Programs and I also coordinate assessment for the Worcester, Manchester, and Graduate nursing programs, along with managing the social media outlets for the School of Nursing (SON). Previous positions that I have held in the University include Adjunct Faculty of Public Health in the School of Arts and Sciences, Manager of Operations and Administrative Assistant in the SON, and Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Activities (now the Center for Campus Life and Leadership).

I earned my BS in management from Eastern Nazarene College, MEd in the administration of higher education from Suffolk University, and MPH in community health from MCPHS. I have one more year of coursework followed by the dissertation phase in my Doctorate of Health Sciences program, which I am also pursuing from MCPHS.

After the DHS program, I would love to transition to be teaching public health at the undergraduate or graduate level while also working in the Boston community by fighting for health equity and for a built environment that fosters a high caliber of community health and wellness.

In my free time, I can be found traversing the city on my bicycle, exploring parks and other wildlife, gardening, cooking and baking, and working on a new do-it-yourself project.

AC: Can you tell me what is entailed in achieving a CHES certification? What was the process?

AL: Achieving the CHES certification confirms mastery in the Seven Areas of Responsibility for Health Education Specialists:

1. Assess needs, resources, and capacity for health education/promotion;
2. Plan health education/promotion;
3. Implement health education/promotion;
4. Conduct evaluation and research related to health education/promotion;
5. Administer and manage health education/promotion;
6. Serve as a health education/promotion resource person; and
7. Communicate, promote, and advocate for health and the profession of health education/promotion.

The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), which is the only organization offering an accredited health education credential, notes that the certification enhances professional integrity, demonstrates up-to-date knowledge, shows a strong commitment to the industry, fulfills a personal achievement, and raises professional confidence.

The process to become CHES certified requires that applicant is academically prepared in the area of health education and promotion. When applying to take the exam, NCHEC will evaluate the applicant’s transcript for eligibility and then allow the applicant to select a testing date of April or October. The exam contains 165 multiple-choice items, and the results are then provided to the applicant about six to eight weeks after (to which, the wait was a grueling process for me!)

AC: What are the opportunities that are available to someone with this certification?

AL: Opportunities with the CHES credential are endless! Although the CHES is health education focused, I have observed that the steps for promoting health education are quite similar for essentially any situation, which for me has solidified a systematic process. For example, when advising a nursing student organization about a future event, I immediately conduct a needs assessment that identifies available resources coupled with the abilities to which the students can effectively implement it in the time given. Then, research that includes past examples from other institutions and MCPHS is conducted, so that the best practices are apparent. The next step is to plan for the event, including objectives and theories, after which, the implementation and then evaluation phases are conducted.

AC: What is your favorite part about working at MCPHS and what advice do you have for current and future students?

AL: My favorite part about working at MCPHS is being immersed into a culture whereby all members of the community are committed to the advancement of healthcare. It is truly exciting that events like the Schwartz Center Rounds and MCPHS Wellness Clinic, among many others, are completely interprofessional, including disciplines such as nursing, pharmacy, dental hygiene, public health, medical imaging and therapeutics, optometry, physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, and more. It is a great feeling to be part of this forward-moving organization that has a common purpose that brings everyone together.

To the current and future students, please consider getting involved on campus! In fact, students who are involved with one-to-two on campus organizations are more likely to succeed academically, and they are provided with a wonderful opportunity to get to know their colleagues, faculty, and staff, which will only make the college experience so much better (also remember that you will need letters of recommendation in the future from your faculty  – so get to know them! 🙂 ). I encourage all students to take advantage of their time at the University and in the city of Boston, as these three years will fly by so quickly. If any student is interested in getting involved or exploring the city, feel free to stop by my office (G309) for suggestions!

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