UCHD Environmental Health Educator honored for 2014
PROVO, UTAH (December 2, 2014) -- Andrea Jensen, Utah County Health Department environmental health educator, was honored today as the 2014 Utah County Employee of the Year by the Utah County Commission.
Jensen started working for the Utah County Health Department as a volunteer intern for the environmental health promotion program. After graduating with a double major in public health and interior design, she was hired to work as a health educator for the Division of Health Promotion in 2009. Soon thereafter, the health promotion gang soon realized what a fun loving, charismatic person she truly is.
"Andrea excels in her responsibility of overseeing the asthma prevention program for the health department," said Eric Edwards, UCHD Health Promotion Division director. "In this capacity she has worked tirelessly to the point where she is now considered as the lead asthma resource for the state of Utah. She recently completed a 'Newly Diagnosed Asthma Education Packet', that is now distributed to concerned parents who have children with a sudden diagnosis of this chronic illness. This excellent resource is now available to parents in both English and Spanish."
Edwards explained that Jensen always serves as a wonderful health educational resource to the public. "One of her top priorities is to communicate critical health education resources to the public. In Andrea's asthma blog called 'My Life as an Asthma Mom', [http://asthmamomlife.blogspot.com/] she writes from one parents' perspective who has children with asthma to another. Having cared for her own three children who have severe asthma, she offers a wealth of advice to other parents on how to avoid the pitfalls they often face. Although she knows better, Andrea violate her own advice by allowing her two cat's to roam freely around her home, despite her cat allergy!"
Jensen's informative blog was recognized over the past two years as being one of the top 11 Asthma blogs on the internet by Healthline.com. Recently, the U.S. National Library of Medicine posted on Jensen's blog, asking if they could include Jensen's blog in a new collection of online archives of web content they are collecting as part of their mission to collect, preserve and make available to the public materials that provide information in medicine and public health. They wrote, "Including My Life as an Asthma Mom in this online archive will greatly enhance the value of the Library's collection." She has also written two educational articles that were published in a national parent's magazine.
In October of 2013, Jensen was selected to present her educational resources at the 15th annual ACCP Community Asthma Coalition's Symposium, in Chicago Illinois. Multiple states outside of Utah requested permission to use her educational resources in their local hospitals and communities.
"Andrea is constantly striving to stay on top of the newly emerging health Promotion theory and methodology by participating in professional associations," said Edwards. She has served on multiple conference planning committees for both the Utah Public Health Association and the Health Education Association of Utah. "We have received numerous compliments from colleagues from both associations that have recognized her valuable contributions in planning and implementing professional development opportunities for public health practitioners. She is the recipient of several awards that have recognized her outstanding work over the past five years."
When resources are very limited, Jensen has a knack for obtaining the critical funding necessary to address a programmatic need. She recently spearheaded local support for National Prevention Week, helping to secure a small stipend that was used to help educate local policy makers. Last fall, Jensen helped organize a Suicide Prevention Town Hall Meeting in Utah County. She has also served as Executive Secretary for the SMART Coalition. In this capacity she has helped coordinate multiple medication disposal take back events.
Earlier this year, Jensen applied for and received a mini-grant from the Utah Cancer Action Network to implement efforts to heighten awareness about the importance of testing homes for Radon gas. With this funding, she hosted a "green carpet" event honoring the Utah County students whose posters were chosen for the poster contest through an online voting system. Jensen received an overwhelming response from hundreds of students who submitted artwork for the poster contest. All three winning posters for the state wide contest were students from Utah County. The National winner was also a student from Utah County!
Jensen's idea of fun is to take on major home renovation projects around her historical home in Spanish Fork. Her husband Cory is a lead Architect for the State of Utah, managing the preservation of historical buildings for the National Architectural Survey register. When she is not knee deep in a home decorating project, you will find her at one of her husband's Irish rock band concerts, eating lunch at the top of the Eiffel Tower, or playing a mean game of bunko with her friends. She and her husband are wonderful parents to their three children.
"We are grateful for all of her hard work and dedicated public service," added Edwards.
The Utah County Health Department is committed to promoting the health of our community by preventing avoidable disease and injury by monitoring the health of our community, responding to public health emergencies, and assuring conditions in which people can be healthy. For information on UCHD programs or services, please visit www.UtahCountyHealth.org or call 801-851-7000. You can also now follow the UCHD at www.FaceBook.com/uchealth, www.instagram.com/UtahCountyHealthDept, www.twitter.com/uchd, or www.pinterest.com/uchd. The UCHD is a partner with Utah's Public Health Departments.