Health coaching, with the right people, training, and application, can be a tremendous asset that complements primary care and helps to increase positive health outcomes. Unfortunately, it’s also too easy for unqualified and unregulated “coaches” to pose as experts, which can not only keep people from reaching their goals but actively endanger their health in the process.
At Vera, we take health coaching very seriously. The importance of a strong support system and reliable guidance to improve both individual and population health can’t be understated.
To that end, we ensure that our health coaching services are fully integrated with our primary care model and that our Vera Whole Health coaches are fully trained to meet the varied needs of a diverse member base.
Health coaching as part of whole health
Improving health isn’t simply about offering the right treatments to the right people at the right time, or identifying risks that could negatively impact them (though we do all of that as well). It also includes giving members the tools they need to make better choices and improve unhealthy habits for the long term, so they’re able to manage their own health in an informed and proactive way.
As a core part of the primary care team, our Vera health coaches work in tandem with providers and other allied professionals to give members the best care possible. Health coaching at Vera is meant to complement the medical advice given by our providers and nurses, by furnishing members with practical ways to define and meet their health goals.
Like other primary care team members, Vera health coaches are trained in empathetic listening. In addition, they’re well-versed in transtheoretical behavior change methods. Both are vital skills for not only understanding patient goals, but helping them navigate their fears, concerns, and obstacles to accomplishing them.
The more thoroughly Vera health coaches are able to listen and gain context for each member, the better they are at providing personalized guidance in altering the behaviors and mindsets that stand in the way of living a healthier, happier life.
While changing established behaviors and combating social determinants of health is never simple, our Vera health coaches work with members at each step of their journey to make the process more manageable. Whether the goal is to lose weight, quit smoking, or learn how to eat a healthier diet, the professional support of a Vera health coach makes it much easier.