Influential Individuals in Health Education: Past and Present

Dorothy Bird Nyswander
Dr. Nyswander was born September 29, 1894. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degree at the University of Nevada and received her Doctorate in educational psychology at Berkeley. She is a founder of the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Nysawnder pursued her interest in public health at the Works Progress Administration during the depression. She served with the Federal Works Agency contributing to the establishment of nursery schools and child care centers to accommodate young mothers working in defense plants. She set up these centers in 15 northeastern states. This did not happen quickly so she advocated all over the nation to train people to act as foster parents for the children of working women. Dr. Nyswander became the director of the City health Center in Astoria, Queens in 1939. She spent her time as director promoting the idea of New York City keeping an eye on the health of children. They would do this by keeping records that would follow them to whatever school they might move to. She wrote "Solving School Health Problems" which is an analysis of the health issues in New York children. This is still used in public health education courses today.

Mayhew Derryberry
Dr. Derryberry was born December 25, 1902 and earned his Bachelor's degree in chemistry and mathematics at the University of Tennessee. He began his career in 1926 with the American Child Health Association as the director of one of the first large-scale studies of the health status of the nation’s schoolchildren. A year after his work with the American Child Health Association he earned his Master's degree in education and psychology at Columbia University. He then went on to earn his doctorate and moved to the New York City Health Department as the secretary to the sanitary superintendent. He finally moved to Washington DC and joined the US Public Health Service as a senior public health analyst. He became chief of the Public Health Service and began assembling a team of behavioral scientists. They studied the nexus of behavior, social factors, and disease. Two scientists and Derryberry conducted the study of the role of health beliefs in explaining utilization of public health screening services. This work contributed to the development of the Health Belief Model. This provided an important theoretical foundation for modern health education. His legacy was very important because he engaged behavioral and social scientists in the problems of public health and gave importance to the role of that health education plays on human health.

Elena Sliepcevich
Elena Sliepcevich was a leading figure in the development of health education both as an academic discipline and a profession. She graduated from the University of Ireland in 1939 and received her Master's degree from the University of Michigan in 1949. She received her doctorate in physical education from Springfield College in 1955. After completing her schooling, Elena Sliepcevich worked at Ohio State University in 1961 as a professor of health education. There she helped direct the School Health Education Study from 1961 to 1969, and most health education curricula used in schools today are based on the ten conceptual areas identified by the School Health Education Study. These ten areas of focus include community health, consumer health, environmental health, family life, mental and emotional health, injury prevention and safety, nutrition, personal health, prevention and control of disease, and drug use and abuse.

Helen Agnes Cleary
Helen Cleary was born March 28, 1914 at Petersburg, South Australia. She trained as a nurse at the Broken Hill and District Hospital in New South Wales. She became a general nurse in 1941, and an obstetric nurse in 1942. She joined the Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service as a sister on November 15, 1943. Along with other RAAF nurses, she would partake in evacuations throughout New Guinea and Borneo, which earned the nurses the nickname "the flying angels", and were also known as the "glamor girls" of the air force. In April 1945, she was ranked No. 2 Medical Air Evacuation Transport Unit, and began bringing thousands of Australian and British servicemen from prisoner-of-war camps after Japan had surrendered. She and other nurses cared for many patients who suffered from malnutrition and dysentery. During the Korean War, Cleary was charge sister on the RAAF, where she organized medical evacuations of Australians from Korea, fought for better treatment and conditions of the critically wounded, and nursed recently exchanged Prisoners of War. On August 18, 1967, Ms. Cleary was made honorary nursing sister to Queen Elizabeth II. She had been appointed an associate of the Royal Red Cross in 1960, and became a leading member in 1968 for her contributions to the training of medical staff, and for maintaining "the high ideals of the nursing profession". She retired on March 28, 1969, and later died on August 26, 1987.

Delbert Oberteuffer
A long time health educator, Delbert Oberteuffer definitely made his mark on the physical education and health education world. He was born in Portland, Oregon in 1902 where he remained through college, attending the University of Oregon receiving his Bachelors Degree. His next step took him to the prestigious Columbia University where he obtained his Masters of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy Degree. He furthered his education by becoming a professor at Ohio State University where he taught from 1932 until 1966. During his time there, he was head of the Men's Physical Education Department for 25 years. After years of hard work, he was rewarded with numerous jobs including the President of the American School Health Association and The College of Physical Education Association. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1981 at the age of 79. He is Survived by his wife, Katherine, and his son, Theodore K. Oberteuffer.

Howard Hoyman
Howard Hoyman is mainly recognized for his work in sex education and introductions of ecology concepts. He is credited for developing the original sex education program for students in grades 1 through 12. The model Hoyman created heavily influenced the thinking of many health educators. Hoyman received his Bachelors Degree from Ohio State University in 1931. He then went on to earn his Masters degree in 1932 and Doctorate in 1945 from the University of Colombia. Throughout his career he wrote over 200 articles and was honored many times by multiple organizations such as Phi Beta Kappa and the American Public Health Association. Dr. Hoyman retired in 1970 as A Professor Emeritus.

Lloyd Kolbe
Lloyd Kolbe received his B.S. form Towson University and then received his Ph.D. and M.Ed. from the University of Toledo during the 1970s. Dr. Kolbe played a huge role in the development of many health programs applied to the daily life of different age groups. He received the award for Excellence in Prevention and Control of Chronic Disease, which is the highest recognition in his department of work, for his work forming the Division of Adolescent and School Health. Dr. Kolbe was the Director of this program for 15 years. He has also taken time to write and publish numerous books such as Food marketing to Children and Youth and School as well as Terrorism Related to Advancing and Improving the Nation’s Health.

Robert Morgan Pigg
University of Florida professor, Robert Morgan Pigg, started his health career in 1969 when he received his Bachelors Degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation from Middle Tennessee State University. A year later he received his M.Ed; also from Middle Tennessee University before moving on to Indian University where he obtained his H.S.D. in 1974 and his M.P.H. in 1980. He held many jobs at numerous Universities including Western Kentucky University, University of Georgia, Indiana University, and the University of Florida where he currently resides today. Pigg's main focus of interest is the promotion of health towards children and adolescents. After spending 20 years as Editor for the Journal of Health, he was given the job as Department Chair in 2007 for The University of Florida.

Linda Rae Murray
Linda Rae Murray holds her MD, and MPH. Currently she is the Chief Officer for the Ambulatory & Community Health Network. She was elected president November 2009. Dr. Murray has served in a number of Medical settings her most recent being Medical Director of the federally funded health center, Winfield Moody, serving the Cabrini–Green public housing project in Chicago. She has also been an active member of the board of national organizations. Along with this she served as Chief Medical Officer in primary care for the twenty three primary care and community health centers. Today Murray serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the Cook County Health & Hospital system. Dr. Murray has also been a voice for social justice and health care as a basic human right for over forty years.

Mark J. Kittleson
Mark J. Kittleson is a professor at New Mexico State University for Public Health Education. His interests include Educational Technology and Behaviorism; he attended the University of Akron and received his PhD in Health Education. Dr. Kittleson has experience as owner and founder of the HEDIR a place where people can hold discussions related to health and health education. His honors and awards consist of Scholar of the Year, American Association of Health Education 2008 and he is a member of the American Association of Health Education.

Elaine Auld
Elaine Auld has been a leading figure for over more than 30 years in the health education field. She attended the University of Michigan, MPH, and Health Behavior/Health Education, from 1976 to 1978 Elaine is the chief executive officer for the Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and has had many contributions in health promotion and health communications. She has been a certified health specialist since 1989 and in 1996 was an adviser to the first Health Education Graduate Standards. Elaine was involved with the Competency Update Project (CUP), which provided standards for the health education profession. Elaine’s interest and work are related to health education credentialing and standards, workforce development, public policy, and health equity. For the last decade Elaine has been a site visitor for the Council on Education for Public Health, and also strengthened the accreditation and preparation of future health specialists, which is key to an overall healthy well-being. Elaine has received two awards U of MI SPH Alumni of the Year Award in 2010 and SOPHE Distinguished Fellow in 2008.

Susan Wooley
Susan Wooley received her bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in health education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in health education from Temple University. Susan is the executive director of the American School Health Association and has been a member to ASHA for 31 years. She co-edited Health Is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs and co-authored Give It a Shot, a Toolkit for Nurses and Other Immunization Champions Working with Secondary Schools. Susan has had many previous jobs such as CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, Delaware State College, American Association for Health Education and Delaware Department of Public Instruction and is also a certified health specialist. Wooley spent four years on a curriculum development project for elementary schools, Science for Life and Living: Integrating Science, Technology and Health. Now Susan oversees the day-to-day operations of a national professional association and provides consultation and technical assistance to others working toward health education.