Oct 16, 2018 8:00 AM


Health information can be hard to understand, especially when it’s about a complicated disease like cancer. The sheer number of news stories, websites, articles, and other sources of info can be overwhelming. How do you know what it all means and which sources to trust? Enter health educators. These trained professionals provide accurate, trusted health information in an easy-to-understand way.

What is a health educator?

A health educator is a professional who provides health education to people. Health educators receive training at a bachelor, masters, or doctoral level in public health, health promotion, or community health. On top of a degree, health educators can get further certifications such as Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES), and Certified in Public Health (CPH).

What do health educators do at Huntsman Cancer Institute?

Part of the mission at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care. Health educators at HCI play an important role in meeting this goal.  

Our health education team is composed of several programs:

Each of these programs uses health educators to teach patients, families, employees, and members of the public about cancer and cancer-related topics. Health educators at HCI have training specific to cancer. They can help patients, family members, employees, and the public find the most accurate, helpful information. Information empowers people to make decisions about treatments and take action to maintain or improve their health.

HCI health educators provide many services:

  • ​Research and respond to questions about cancer in person and by text, phone, social media, and email
  • Evaluate and provide recommendations for patient education materials
  • Perform health literacy reviews
  • Advise clinical teams regarding patient education strategies and materials
  • Create custom packets of materials for patients or clinics
  • Educate the public at health events across Utah and the Mountain West using evidence-based interventions
  • Promote healthy lifestyles through social media and community-based partnerships in culturally specific ways
  • Collaborate and engage with community partners to reach underserved populations
  • Navigate Spanish-speaking, American Indian, and adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients​​ through barriers in the health care system

For more information, live chat with a health educator or email cancerinfo@hci.utah.edu.

cancer learning center health education

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