Community Health Education

Community Health Education

Community Health Educators inform people about healthy choices in behaviors and help them achieve the goal of making those behaviors into habits. They work in a variety of different settings from hospitals to offices to academic settings and they work for for-profit (such as a doctor’s office), not-for-profit (such as the local chapter of the American Hemi Association) and governmental organizations (such as the Women Infant and Children office or the U.S. Department of Agriculture) as well as starting their own consulting businesses as  Health and Wellness Coaches.

The primary job duties include teaching individuals and groups about healthy behaviors such as nutrition, exercise, disease prevention and how to access needed health care. They also work with people to develop behavior changes that support healthy behaviors. In some organizations, Community Health Educators will also analyze data about health outcomes in the community and advocate for changes and programs that would improve the overall health of the community. The exact duties of a Community Health Educator would change depending on the organization and setting in which they work, with a large variety of possibilities available for both.

The Department of Labor, in the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2018) report that the job outlook for this profession over the next 10 years has a projected growth of 16%, which is much higher than average with nearly 20,000 new jobs being created in the next decade. The median pay for Community Health Educators in 2017 is reported to be $53,000. Community Health Workers do not have the same level of education as Community Health Educators and do not require a Bachelor’s degree, but do need a background in the field, such as an Associate’s degree, since they perform some similar job functions. The median salary for Community Health Workers in 2017 was $38,000.

Because the settings and job duties of Community Health Educators vary widely, students may wish to direct their career path in a variety of directions and this comprehensive program allows them to obtain the degree as a generalist or concentrate their studies in one of four different directions. Additionally, since Community Health Educators use a variety of knowledge, skills and abilities, many non-major students may have an interest in this area and may wish to pursue a minor or a certificate in the program as well.

Dr. Grayson Lipford
Coordinator, Community Health Education

Contact the Program Coordinator

Dr. Grayson Lipford

Grayson Lipford, PhD

Associate Professor of Physical Education & Exercise Science
(910) 630-7450
Riddle 209S
Dr. Grayson Lipford
Grayson Lipford, PhD

Associate Professor of Physical Education & Exercise Science

B.S., Longwood University; M.S., James Madison University; Ph.D., CSCS, Virginia Commonwealth University

Bio:

Dr. Gray Lipford is a native of Virginia, having lived in Tidewater, the Shenandoah Valley and, more recently Richmond. After obtaining a B.S. in Physical Education - Sports Communication at Longwood and a M.S. in Athletic Administration at James Madison, Dr. Lipford spent the next 15 years working as a personal trainer and managing fitness programs and facilities at both for-profit and not-for-profit venues. Just before returning for his Ph.D. he was the Operations Director for the James Center YMCA in downtown Richmond and trained the fitness staff for the Richmond YMCA Association branches.

Dr. Lipford earned his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from Virginia Commonwealth University where he researched the effects of resistance exercise on vascular function on obese and non-obese individuals.

Before coming to Methodist University in 2011, Dr. Lipford was a visiting professor in the Exercise Science department at UNC Chapel Hill.

At Methodist, Dr. Lipford coordinates both the Exercise and Sport Science and the Community Health Education programs. His research interests are varied, but include resistance exercise, cardiovascular fitness testing and effective teaching methods in physiology.

Dr. Lipford is an avid lifter, runner, and cyclist and enjoys spending time with his wife, Lauri (whom he met playing volleyball) and his son, Logan.

(910) 630-7450
Riddle 209S