A fairly new position in the healthcare industry is gaining popularity in Sioux Falls. It's called health coaching. Doctors don't have the time to do daily follow-up calls or even weekly with you, but wellness coaches can. Nancy Naeve Brown met a Dell Rapids woman who says she needs that extra push and is satisfied with the support.
Bonnie Pinnerud is like so many of us in the Midwest in the middle of winter who fall off the fitness wagon. As an EMT in Dell Rapids and a borderline diabetic she knows she needs to exercise for the sake of her health. Before the snow started flying bonnie was walking outside everyday. Now she's trying to do that inside at the Wellness Center in Dells per her doctor's orders.
Dr. Shawn Culey at the Avera McGreevy Clinic West says, "If you manage your blood sugars, exercise and eat wisely you can prolong the onset of diabetes or even not have it develop in the future."
That's what Bonnie is hoping for, but hope wasn't enough. She needed a little extra help via a health coach.
Bonnie says, "My husband died 8 years ago and I'm one that doesn't take care of myself first. I'm the band-aid. And he could see that. I've been a borderline diabetic for several years and it was getting worse so I'm now on medication for it but it isn't improving like he wanted to so he thought it would be good to have a health coach to prod me and poke me. Make me accountable since my husband isn't here to do it."
RN Mandy Chandler says, "This is intended to be a permanent fix, not something that is continuously a challenge."
Mandy Chandler is an RN and works with Dr. Shawn Culey's patients exclusively at the Avera McGreevy West Clinic. The health coach model they use is for patients dealing with chronic illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.
Mandy says, "Often times you want to lose weight but the idea of how you might want to get there isn't necessarily the right route for you so that's where I come in and figure that out. Basically it's a journey and I'm there with you."
Bonnie decides her goals and Mandy helps her get there. So far Bonnie has lost 15 pounds but gained confidence through the encouragement and knowledge her health coach brings to the table.
The patients who want a health coach really decide what they want from them as far as calls, emails, meeting in person and how much. They tell the health coach their goals and they make a healthy plan together.