What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.
The Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center (HEC) was created through the conviction that education is the key to a healthier community. As a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles, the HEC instills an appreciation of the incredible human body & gives people tools they need to make healthy choices. Our mission is to educate & inspire people of all ages to make healthy choices. The HEC opened in 1995 & was the dream of Susan Byrnes, RN, who after experience as an emergency department nurse & subsequently losing a family member to substance abuse, became passionate about preventative health education & was inspired to teach others about leading a healthy life. The HEC began as a field trip destination programs taught in 5 high-tech Teaching Theaters located at the HEC in York, PA. Programs are taught on a diverse range of topics such as nutrition, tobacco prevention, dental health, stress management, puberty, the 5 senses, anatomy, safety, & fitness, just to name a few. To reach additional students we began providing outreach programs delivered directly in school classrooms & in the community. Another aspect of the HEC's outreach initiative is Wellness Works, a comprehensive corporate wellness program. To dissolve geographic barriers to the HEC, we turned to the internet. Our site is designed to be fun & engaging while effectively communicating key health concepts to students. The site launched at the end of 2005, & has grown to over 46,000 members.
Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material
Susan P. Byrnes was 5 years old when she knew she wanted to help others as a nurse. She worked for 8 years as an Emergency Department nurse & became frustrated with treating disease. Knowing that many diseases could be prevented if healthy lifestyles were chosen, she knew that she could keep people healthy by teaching prevention. After suffering the loss of a family member due to unhealthy choices, she left the hospital & dedicated her life to helping others make healthy choices.
How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)
Our technology partner and developer--JPL Productions--informed us of this contest. In addition, our fundraising department heard about this from our local library.