School of Health Sciences Adjunct Faculty Member Professor Sherry Grover, PhD, CHES, Educating People to Take Charge of their Health and Inspiring Students
Professor Sherry Grover, PhD, CHES spent 23 years working at a major hospital in Texas in various business and professional roles. “I was inspired to become a health care educator after working in finance with health care plans. I really wanted to help our patients—as well as our nation’s ailing health care system. I felt that I could make a difference by educating and empowering people to take charge of their health.”
In order to fulfill her vision of becoming a health care educator, Professor Grover went back to college and earned her doctorate degree in health studies. She also took on increased responsibilities as a health care educator at the hospital, which included leading workshops on different health-related topics.
In addition, Professor Grover started volunteering in the community and developed, promoted, and held several workshops and health fairs on behalf of the American Diabetes Association. These successful events were conducted in community centers, businesses, and churches and promoted interactive participation among the large number of attendees, who were grateful to learn so much about their health and the health of their loved ones.
During many of her workshops, Professor Grover was surprised to learn that participants were frustrated that their physicians didn’t provide them with any educational information on their conditions. She could understand their plight. It seemed so simple and a fairly easy and economical aspect of a patient’s treatment, yet she came to find that it was a reoccurring phenomenon. Professor Grover decided to focus on this area of health care education.
After gaining more experience at her job and through her community workshops, Professor Grover turned to her true passion: teaching. She felt she could reach more people with her health and wellness message if she taught others how to design, develop, and implement educational programs to help their own communities.
Professor Grover has now been teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in health care education for Kaplan University for nearly 5 years. She loves logging in to work with her students, which include nurses, physicians, health coaches, and other health care professionals.
Professor Grover places a strong focus on research in her classes, an interest that was piqued while working at the hospital. “So many patients had life-threatening health issues, especially diabetes, which could have been prevented. I looked to my faith, and became interested in the concept that the church could help with this national epidemic.”
Professor Grover learned that the American Diabetes Association had modules already designed for churches. So, based on a biblical concept, she used the modules to conduct research at churches throughout Houston. Her thesis was Hosea 4:6 “My people perish for a lack of knowledge.” It was published in the Proquest database, on Amazon.com (hard copy and Kindle version), in the Health Education and Behavior Journal, and on the US Department of Health website.
Professor Grover says her main goal as an instructor is to help successfully guide her students through the course material and prepare them for the exciting educational journey that lies ahead of them. “I have a great passion and belief in keeping my students motivated by giving them the individual attention they deserve. Whether it’s through an email or a phone call, I try to be available whenever they need me. I feel that this one-on-one focus really separates Kaplan University from traditional colleges.”
In addition, Professor Grover noted, “Students need to know that their performance as a health educator should be comparable to that of a physician. I often ask them, ‘Would you like to be seen by a physician who passed a program with an average grade? Would you like to be seen by a physician who determined your health results based on personal information or one who has researched and uses best practices?’ You can imagine everyone’s answer!”
Along with her teaching, Professor Grover also serves as a volunteer for several health care associations. She is a former co-chair for the American Diabetes Association and a current member of its leadership committee. She also is a member of the Society for Public Health Education’s (SOPHE) and is on the board of the 2013 Annual Meeting Planning Committee and a co-chair for the 2011 Annual Meeting.
Professor Grover’s writing efforts include a current blog for the US Department of Health and Human Services called “Fitness Your Way.” Her articles also appear in the Health Education and Behavior Journal as well as Diabetes Forecast magazine.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University.