Community wellness leaders spent 4 intensive days going through Wellcoaches training, sponsored by Northwestern Medical Center. Wellcoaches Corporation is associated with the American College of Sports Medicine and is focused on “setting the gold standard and building the foundation to bring health, fitness, and wellness coaching to a large scale.”

The training fits into the vision of NMC to be a place where people are given the tools to be well and healthy. The hospital is not just a place where people go for the treatment of medical conditions and to get prescriptions for medicine, but also where prescriptions can be for lifestyle changes. A place where referrals can be for Wellcoaches to support patients in these changes. Wellcoaches will enable clients to create a healthy vision for themselves, as well as the steps needed to get there. Rather than being prescriptive, it is collaboration between coach and client to find what will work for the individual. Hence, every plan is unique and attainable.

At this time, NMC has a group of 75 individuals in the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP). CHIP is a “lifestyle enrichment program designed to reduce disease risk factors through the adoption of better health habits and appropriate lifestyle modifications”. When the participants are finished with the program, they will be placed with a local Wellcoach to help them stay on the path to health. The results will be used in a scientific study to determine the effectiveness of the program. The hope is that this will become a model that can be used in the future to help our community find health and stay healthy for the long term.

Dr. Elisabeth Fontaine is spearheading this effort. She has already gone through the Wellcoaches training herself and has seen first hand how it has changed the dialogue between her and her patients. She sees the Wellcoaches as a way to impact our entire community for better health.

The new coaches are:

  • Chari Andersen, Tobacco Cessation Specialist and RN, NMC
  • Brain Clukey – RiseVT Health Coach, NMC
  • Ben Cote – Train Station
  • Betsy Fournier – RiseVT Health Advocate, NMC
  • Jessica Frost – RiseVT Health Advocate, NMC
  • Leslie Gardzina, Registered Dietician, NMC
  • Christin Griffing, Wellness Coach and RD, NMC
  • Beth Hayford – Collins Perley Sports Complex
  • Heather Moore – Personal Trainer
  • Moretti – Rise VT Wellness Specialist, NMC
  • Monica Pelletier – Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer
  • Danielle Pothier, Wellness Specialist, NMC
  • Debbie Robertson, Health Educator, NMC
  • Kay Tran, Registered Dietician, NMC
  • Nate Yandow – Dukes Fitness Center