Jamie Michael, CHES®
“Public health is not cut and dry, it expands so wide – we are taught the skills to be diabetes educators, association managers, professors and so much more. It is so exciting to not feel boxed in!”
Jamie Michael is a Certified Health Education Specialist® from Appleton, Wisconsin and association director at Badger Bay Management Company. In her position, she serves as a connector and account manager for a variety of associations in the public health field
Jamie’s interest in community health began at an early age. Born and raised on a dairy farm, most of her days were spent actively outdoors, playing a variety of sports and serving her community through church committees.
Her exposure to public health was greatly influenced by her mother’s career at the local county health department, where she served as a breastfeeding coordinator for Women, Infant, Children’s Program (WIC) for the county. Jamie spent many days observing her mom’s passion, which organically grew into a desire for improving health, including obtaining certification in lactation consulting as well.
Jamie’s next steps following high school led her to the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse, where she planned to become an athletic trainer. It was not until she entered her ‘Introduction to Public Health’ undergraduate course, were she learned the variety of ways in which health educators contribute to improving the public’s health.
Jamie came to learn the variety of practices that impact public health outcomes, and that being a health educator meant “being a jack of all trades.”
The field of health education continues to excite Jamie because of the sheer number of career possibilities. She shared,
“Ten years ago, I thought my options were to work at a health department, and now health educators are needed everywhere.”
Jamie values continuing education as a top priority – to constantly advance her skills. She also explained that being CHES® certified creates opportunities to start a conversation with others because it validates the skills you acquired from your education.
Through many interactions, Jamie received invaluable advice from colleagues and mentors. Recently, Jamie has found value in the ability to “pause, listen more and let others take the lead.”
In turn, Jamie’s advice to young professionals is,
“Be open to possibilities and accept the challenge. You just need to lean into it, put yourself out there, ask questions, and trust in the experiences that have led you to your current role.”
In Jamie’s personal life, she enjoys going to the zoo or doing arts and crafts with her four-year-old twin boys. She is also actively engaged in her church community and enjoys the outdoors with family. Not only does Jamie’s passion and love for her career run deep, her perspective of the present moment allows her to connect on a deeper level to help others succeed.