Featured Articles                                                                                       July 2008, Vol. I, No. 3
Lance Armstrong Foundation Launches Virtual Health Coach Site

While we can't all achieve victories like Lance Armstrong, a new Web site is helping — and daring — patients to achieve their own big victories by changing their lifestyles for the better. The new online destination, LIVESTRONG.COM, is designed to inspire people to change their lives, help themselves and help others by offering online tools and relevant content from both experts and the community. The Web site's goal is to encourage individuals to have a daily conversation about their health, fitness and lifestyle.

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Quotable: Empowering Resistant Patients

"When working with resistant patients, it’s very important to be down to earth and accessible and to know the member’s story. Start where they are. Help them. Empower them. Make them feel better. And keep it simple so that whatever you’re doing, you know your baseline and the parameters of success. Set a baseline and work with people, and keep measuring."
                                        — Barbara Rutkowski, Ed.D, M.S.N.,
St. Mary’s Managed Care Services

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Video Game Acts as Virtual Health Coach for Weight Management

Combining reality with virtual reality, a new virtual weight loss coach encourages players to take positive steps toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Developed under the guidance of a nutritionist, My Weight Loss Coach uses a pedometer to measure daily physical effort and balances it with the advice of a virtual fitness coach. Ubisoft's “My Coach” brand is made up of a series of games that foster self-improvement while entertaining players at the same time.

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Telephonic Health Coaching

Dr. Dennis Richling, medical director, vice president for CorSolutions, a Matria Company, explains why telephonic health coaching is becoming more relevant with the growth of CDHPs and patient self-management.

Listen to podcast here.

Health Coach Calls: What Makes a Great Patient

Question: What makes a great patient?

Response: There's no correlation to gender, race, creed, age, socioeconomic class — none of those things. The best patients are those who say, “I have a problem, and I need your expert advice. I need to know what it is and what it isn't. I need to know what I can do about it. I need your recommendation on what I should do about it. I'll take over from there.” They are ideal patients. They're looking for advice. One of my patients was overweight, and her knees hurt. I took care of her knees and told her that if she lost a little weight it would take the stress off of her knees. She said, “What do I have to do?” I said, “Smallest change. Why don't you cut out the soda pop that you're drinking?” She came back a couple of months later 15 pounds lighter, looked at me and said, “What do I do next? I'm engaged, my life is moving in the right direction, what do you recommend next?” That's an ideal patient.

(Dr. Edward Phillips is assistant professor of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School.)

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Please forward this news announcement to your collegues who might find it useful. Contact HIN: Submit your question for the HealthCoach Huddle to editor@hin.com.

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