Celebrating Health Education – past, present and future

Since 1995, National Health Education Week (NHEW) has been celebrated during the third full week of October. Sponsored by the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE), this celebration focuses national attention on a major public health issue and promotes consumers' understanding of the role of health education in promoting the public's health.  

This year’s NHEW will pay tribute to Health Education: Past, Present, and Future on October 19-23, 2015. This toolkit can be used to promote NHEW, including the following daily themes:

Monday: Health Education Heroes

We begin National Health Education Week by celebrating the past – and the trailblazers who came before us and acknowledging public health milestones and successes.


  • Join our webinar by health education hero John F. Banzhaf III, a nationally-known public interest attorney and law professor who has been called the "Man Behind the Ban on Cigarette Commercials," the "Ralph Nader of the Tobacco Industry," "Mr. Anti-Smoking," the "Father of the Nonsmokers' Rights Movement," the “Dean of Public Interest Lawyers,” "a Driving Force Behind the Lawsuits That Have Cost Tobacco Companies Billions of Dollars," "The Law Professor Who Masterminded Litigation Against the Tobacco Industry," "One of the Most Vocal and Effective Anti-Tobacco Attorneys," (at one time) one of the "100 Most Influential Persons in Private Washington," and many other accolades.
  • Check out our new visual timeline highlighting Health Education and SOPHE history
  • Compete in Health Education History Trivia
  • Post pictures of your favorite Health Education Hero to #NHEW2015

Tuesday: This is Health Education

Lets celebrate the present of health education and acknowledge how far we’ve come. This day is about sharing and promoting current health education efforts and spreading awareness about the profession. What health education activities are taking place in your community?


  • Join our photo contest and share your “This is Health Education” story through pictures
  • Use #thisishealtheducation and tag SOPHE’s Facebook or Instagram as you share photos of health education efforts, issues, or events and your own photos on social media
  • For colleges, university: hold an event to promote your departments’ activities on campus and how your students are involved in health education

Wednesday: Health Education Today: Partnering for Success

Health educators can’t promote health, eliminate disparities and build healthy environments alone. Public health partnerships allow us to expand our resources and increase capacity to implement sustainable changes in communities across the nation. Let’s break down silos, establish new partnerships to connect people in support of common goals and collaborate.


  • Join our webinar on how organizations are working together to create change at the local level
  • Highlight a successful cross-agency collaboration that reduced health disparities and promoted healthy behaviors

Thursday: Advancing the Role of Health Education Specialists in ACA

As we look towards the future, health educators will need to continue to promote the profession as a critical component to addressing the health crisis in our society and educate decision-makers on national and state legislative issues related to the health of society. Health education specialists offer knowledge, skills and training that can assist individuals in understanding the ACA provisions and linking the uninsured with health insurance options available in their states.


  • View our webinar to learn about outcomes and progress made since the strategic meeting on ACA with APHA and NCHEC in May.
  • Show support for APHA’s resolution going up for a vote the week after NHEW.

Friday: The Future of Health Education: After celebrating our health education heroes and energizing tomorrow’s leaders, we will be honoring the future of our profession, demonstrating that health education will be more relevant in the coming years than ever before. Today is about highlighting and supporting the key players of the next generation.


  • Learn about our future health educators and find out why they chose their profession, the work they are doing and how they plan to shape the future of health education

As we celebrate this year's NHEW, we will honor the work of health education specialists. We recognize health education specialists for their contributions to promoting and improving population health and providing health education services for cost-effective prevention, wellness, and disease management.


Click here for the #NHEW2015 Schedule

Click Here for the #NHEW2015 Media Toolkit

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Click here to access Past National Health Education Week topics and toolkits