Ohio University Southern alumna inspires health and wellness in Lawrence County
When Camryn Zornes was a student, she didn’t know she’d end up sharing her education with her entire home county. Zornes, a proud alumna of Ohio University Southern, is making significant strides as a proactive community health advocate in her role at the Lawrence County Health Department.
"I started taking college classes when I was a junior in high school and graduated with my Associate in Environmental Engineering Technology in 2020,” said Zornes. After receiving a scholarship covering the cost of her tuition, she continued her education, pursuing a Bachelor’s of Health Services Administration. That degree helped pave the path for her career.
“We had a required internship through the Health Services program,” said Zornes. “I contacted our local health department here in Lawrence County and asked if there were any opportunities for me to be an intern. They said yes.”
Zornes embraced a diverse range of responsibilities, from administrative duties to health education. Her dedication paid off, as she transitioned from intern to employee.
“I stuck with it, and now I’m their health educator," Zornes said.
“Any kind of networking opportunity – take advantage of it. Reach out to anybody you know in healthcare if you’re looking for an internship,” said Camryn Zornes.
One of her primary responsibilities involves spearheading initiatives such as the Preconception Health and Wellness Grant. Through outreach events and partnerships, Zornes addresses crucial health topics, including nutrition, healthy eating, exercise and tobacco cessation.
Notably, her collaboration with local schools focuses on e-cigarette education and advocating for policy changes to address the vaping epidemic among youth.
“We are advocating for policy change to include education and a link to a cessation program for students caught in violation of tobacco policy, not just punishment,” she said. “Our county schools understand vaping is a matter of addiction, not misbehavior, and we are working to lessen addiction through our efforts.”
Zornes is a believer in the importance of proactive community engagement. From free yoga classes to women's health services and programs for children with disabilities, the Lawrence County Health Department strives to be a proactive force for health and wellness.
“We’re really happy to be offering things like that for the community. We want to spread that message of health and keep people active and health as possible,” she said.
Zornes’ advisor, Suzanne Cromlish, also played a pivotal role in shaping her career path, highlighting the multifaceted opportunities within the health services administration field.
“She was an amazing professor and so inspiring. She was willing to sit down and talk with you about any kind of goals that you have," said Zornes. “I talk to her whenever I’m questioning what I’m doing, or I need some advice. She’s just great.”
For those considering a similar career path, Zornes encourages students to reach out and seek internships, emphasizing the importance of networking and showcasing dedication. She believes that opportunities abound in the healthcare sector, both clinical and non-clinical, and that making connections with professionals in the field is key to success.
“Any kind of networking opportunity – take advantage of it. Reach out to anybody you know in healthcare if you’re looking for an internship,” said Zornes. “That's really how I found out about the health department. I just reached out and asked, 'Would this be something you all would be interested in? Having an intern to come learn and do some of the things that maybe some people don't have time to do?'"
For those looking to stay updated on the Lawrence County Health Department's initiatives, Zornes recommends checking out their Facebook page and their website. Additionally, the Lawrence County Healthy Women Initiative Facebook page provides specific updates on the Preconception Health Initiative and outreach events.