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Health Promotion 101


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Health Promotion and Leadership M.S. degree

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 Welcome to the Department of Health Promotion. 

 We're so glad you want to know more about us!

The Department of Health Promotion is an integral part of EIU. We embody the mission of the University: our focus is on our students. Our faculty have over 200 years of combined experience, and we are dedicated to preparing out students for a variety of challenging and rewarding professions in the areas of Community Health Education, Emergency Management and Disaster Preparedness, and Health Administration.

We are excited about the new interdisciplinary major in Health Communication, a joint effort with the Department of Communication Studies and an outgrowth of our interdisciplinary minor in Health Communication. Starting in Fall 2017, EIU students will have the opportunity to be a part of the only undergraduate major in Health Communication in the Midwest.

Our online Master's degree in Health Promotion and Leadership is not quite a year old, and is already experiencing significant growth and high demand. We are currently exploring ways to expand our offerings to cohorts onsite at health care facilities and also to on-campus students who need face-to-face delivery rather than online courses.

In addition to a strong student focus in the classroom, our faculty are actively involved in research, publishing and presenting at regional and national conferences -- as well as finding ways to involve our students in research. Every year, our students present original research at local, regional, and national conferences, mentored by our faculty. Each spring, we take a team of students to the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) conference to compete in the national Undergraduate Case Study competition.

The Department commits time and resources into making sure our students have the experiences as undergraduates that make them better candidates for jobs and for graduate school. Our alumni are professionals in their fields.

Close student-faculty interactions are the hallmark of our Department. It doesn't matter how long it has been since a student has graduated -- once a Department of Health Promotion student, ALWAYS a Department of Health Promotion student. Faculty routinely serve as references for alumni as they apply for jobs or graduate programs. Even better is when we are able to work with alumni as colleagues. Many of our student's internship supervisors are alumni of our program. Even some of our faculty are alumni.

Want to know more? Feel free to contact any of the faculty with questions.

Not sure where to start? Feel free to email me. I'll be happy to answer your questions, or put you in touch with someone in the Department who can.


Dr. Julie Dietz



What is Health Promotion?

Health Promotion is a profession focused on promoting positive health behaviors by designing, implementing and evaluating educational programs and services in a variety of settings. Health educators teach health in schools and work in a variety of community settings such as health care, public health, business and industry and universities. People who have a sincere interest in health and who see the importance of preventing health problems before they become more serious are often involved in health education.

Among all the health professions, health studies is unique because of the focus on education. There really is no other health profession primarily concerned with teaching people how to be healthier. If you are interested in helping people make good decisions about their health and if you would like to work to improve health conditions in a community, then health Studies is for you.

With a degree in Health Promotion from Eastern Illinois you will focus on either becoming a teacher in schools or a community health educator. Please take the time to learn more about health education and contact our Department Chair if you'd like more information.

Why should I become a health educator?

You should become a health educator if you care about helping people live healthier, more complete lives. Health educators focus on holistic health and the issues and problems that impact quality of life. Health education is an applied interdisciplinary science that draws from the biological, environmental, psychological, physical and medical sciences to promote health and prevent disease, disability and premature death through education-driven voluntary behavior change activities.

Health educators develop individual, group, institutional, community and systemic strategies to improve health knowledge, attitudes, skills and behavior. The purpose of the profession is to positively influence the health behavior of individuals and communities as well as the living and working conditions that influence their health.

As a professional health educator, you will work to improve the health status of individuals, families, communities, states, and the nation. By focusing on prevention, you will help reduce the costs (both financial and human) that individuals, employers, families, insurance companies, medical facilities, communities, the state and the nation would spend on medical treatment.