Health Education

Health Education Goals

  • Empower the community to identify health priorities and implement activities to improve health status.
  • Promote wellness and healthy lifestyles through community wide programs of information and education to reduce risk behavior.
  • Provide educational materials, presentations and consultations on health related topics.


 New York State Department of Health Article 6 :  

Health Education 


Health education is one of the five basic public health services funded by the Article 6 program. Health education is the process of assisting individuals and groups to make informed decisions and build skills on matters affecting personal, family and community health. Health education provides information about awareness and prevention and spans the gap of knowledge between the consumer and the scientific community.

  All local health departments (LHD) are required to provide health education services. Health education services should follow the criteria below:

  1. A health promotion program should address one or more risk factors that are carefully defined, measurable, modifiable, and prevalent among the members of a chosen target group, factors which constitute a threat to the health status and the quality of life of target group members.

  2. A health promotion program should reflect a consideration of the special characteristics, needs, and preferences of its target group(s).

  3. Health promotion programs should include interventions that will clearly and effectively reduce a targeted risk factor and in a particular setting.

  4. A health promotion program should identify and implement interventions that make optimum use of available resources.

  5. A health promotion program should be organized, planned and implemented in such a way that its operation and outcomes can be evaluated.

  Local health units shall plan and implement community-wide programs of public health information and education directed at health professionals, target populations and the public. Local health units shall also coordinate and support the development of health education services within the community; identify health concerns of consumers; advocate and promote public health participation in and support for public health programs and services; and widely disseminate information on health problems, issues and solutions.

Whenever possible, LHDs are encouraged to use social marketing principles in their health education efforts. Social marketing uses the same principles of human behavior that commercial organizations use to sell products, but uses these principles to encourage behaviors that benefit individuals and the community. It goes beyond health education by seeking to understand the target audience’s needs and wants and by creating programs, plans, and practices to help them solve their problems. To do this, health educators should get input from the target audience BEFORE a health education campaign is designed. This input can be obtained through focus groups, surveys, informational interviews, or small group discussions. Knowing what motivates your audience and what barriers need to be removed in order for them to practice healthy behaviors is at the heart of social marketing, and will make your health education efforts more effective.




  • Glo Germ Handwashing - designed to emphasize importance of proper handwashing to prevent lead poisoning and minimize spread of disease.
  • Oral Hygiene - prevention of oral/dental disease in childhood is critical. Children are given knowledge and tools (brushes, paste, floss, activity pages) on proper brushing and flossing as well as discussion of sugary drinks and use of tobacco products.
  • Osteoporosis Screening - screening and education offered through Health Department Clinics and in public venues to identify those who may be at risk with appropriate referrals made.
  • Nutritional Program - with Obesity being identified as a leading cause of death in the U.S., education staff illustrate the importance of portion control, making healthier choices eating in or eating out, growing or buying healthier foods, avoiding sugary beverages, and encouraging increased activity.
  • Lead Poisoning Prevention - particularly harmful to children, lead poisoning prevention can be achieved by limiting exposure to sources of lead. Staff collaborate with families through WIC, Social Services and other parent-friendly agencies to help identify families at highest risk. Referrals may be made to Nursing for additional evaluation.

Contact for these programs is Beverly Bennett who may be reached at  (716)701-3407 or by email at bjbennett [at] cattco [dot] org .

Reproductive Health Education:

     Pregnancy Prevention

Abstinence first is promoted while offering comprehensive information on birth control methods

  • Promote abstinence as the most effective means of pregnancy prevention.
  • Also include discussion about contraception and view it as next best choice for pregnancy prevention for those who are sexually active.
  • Focus is on skills and character building in an effort to avoid high-risk behaviors such as early sexual activity.

 Classroom Presentations:

 Our Reproductive Systems and How They Work – Good for fifth grades and up and can be modified for different age groups.

 The Puberty Suitcase - This is mostly for the fifth and sixth grades and is better suited in all girl or all boy groups.  Deals with the “luggage” created when our bodies change.  Objective includes:  Understanding the changes that the body goes though during puberty and how to take care of your body.

**When dealing with Boy groups it is asked that a Male Teacher of  the school's choice gives this presentation.

 Looking Ahead - This is a goal oriented presentation where students learn that the choices they make now can affect their lives forever.  Touches on alcohol and drug abuse along with adolescent pregnancy.    

Relationships, Personal Skills and Decision Making – Learning how to be assertive (when saying “no”), while setting limits and expressing oneself in a healthy respectful manner, in addition to what one should be looking for in a healthy relationship, with a brief look at the law.

Sexual Health/Testicular and Breast Cancer - Promotes the individual to best optimize their health, including going for regular check-ups, checking for lumps, knowing if your partner has been tested for STD’s or AIDS, and being tested regularly for STD’s or AIDS ( if sexually active).

Society, Culture, the Media and Self Image - Students will discuss the influence that media has on self image and health choices including body image, alcohol use and adolescent pregnancies. Good for grades fifth and up, this can be modified for different age groups.

Thinking of getting Ink?  The ins and outs of tattooing, piercing and branding as well as how it can affect your future, your health and the way people perceive you. 

Getting an STD is NO Game! - Students partake in an activity showing them that when you have intercourse with one person, it is like having intercourse with every person that person has ever been with.  Students will learn the symptoms and effects STDs have on their bodies.

Contraception: What Works and How– Factual information is taught in regards to contraception use. Students are taught the effectiveness of different types of birth control, with a strong message that abstinence is best, as well as how to talk to your partner about using birth control.

The Pregnancy Belly - Students will personally experience the physical symptoms of pregnancy while wearing the belly.  They will examine the cost of pregnancy, child birth and raising a child, as well as the aspects of how being an adolescent parent will affect their life goals.

Baby Think It Over - Student will be able to “Try out Parenthood” by taking an infant simulator home for one to three nights.  A classroom discussion shares how a child would forever change not only their own life but the lives of every one who loves them.

The Price is Right?  This is a fun game in which the students play The Price is Right as a way to learn how much the first year of a child’s life will cost, not only in dollars and cents, but the cost to their teen years and future!

FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) - Students are able to see the effects that alcohol consumed during pregnancy can have on a fetus.  FASD is 100% preventable but unfortunately is the number one cause of birth defects in the United States.  The only way to prevent new cases of FASD is to educate! 

Sexting!  What it is, what the dangers are and what the law says.  Students learn about why sexting is never a good idea. 

Contact for Reproductive Health Education programs is Tara Leonard who may be reached at (716) 701-3416 or by email at tdleonard [at] cattco [dot] org .