Who are we?

Welcome to skillsbasedhealtheducation.com a blog about all things skills in health education.

Hi! I’m Sarah Benes…

I am Senior Director/Lecturer of Graduate Health Sciences at Merrimack College. Previously, I was a Senior Lecturer at Boston University and Program Director for Physical and Health Education Programs.

My passion for skills-based health education began with my dissertation (I earned an EdD in Curriculum and Teaching from BU) that examined skills-based health education – I have been hooked ever sense! I believe this is the most effective way to help students develop the knowledge and skills they need to be healthy for life.

Hi, I’m Holly Alperin…

I am a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire. Prior to UNH, I spent 16 years at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education working on all things school health – health education, physical education, Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child initiatives (even when it was Coordinated School Health), helping schools and administration improve before, during & after school programs,  school nutrition programs, wellness policies/committees, and the overall favorite part of my time there was planning high-quality professional development that helped participants move from where they were forward with a renewed sense of drive to help kids lead healthier lives through their work.

My passion for skills-based health education began when I was traveling all over MA doing teacher training on assessment in the health ed classroom using the HEAP materials. While these went really well, and teachers became stronger at assessing the skills, it was glaringly apparent that a key piece was missing – HOW TO TEACH THE SKILLS to students. Once this light bulb went off, there was no going back.


This blog started because we know that one of the challenges with health education and specifically skills-based health education is a lack of awareness and resources for implementation. The goal with this blog is to promote and support skills-based health education in schools and communities. We will be sharing a variety of ideas, resources and other supports – all things skills-based.

Please feel free to comment, share ideas and let us know what else we can do to support health education!