Serving as a Volunteer Health Coach is Like Being a Patient’s Magic Wand for Improved Health

Serving as a Volunteer Health Coach is Like Being a Patient’s Magic Wand for Improved Health

When a patient was asked, “If you had a magic wand that could give you one thing, anything, that would help you to improve your health what would you ask for?” Surprisingly he responded, “I wish I had someone to call me every day to encourage me and help me remember my medication.” 

Valley’s Health Coach Volunteer Program can provide the connection and support that patients want
Valley’s Health Coach Volunteer Program trains community members to partner with our patients to help them achieve lifestyle and behavior change while working toward the patient’s own health-related goals. Patients challenged by managing their multiple health conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and often diabetes, are selected as candidates to receive coaching. Based on evidence from the initial pilot, patients are able to improve quality of life, reduce healthcare costs and improve their health through volunteer coaching support. 

Volunteer coaches receive free training and mentoring
Volunteer coaches complete a two-credit academic course at no cost to them at Renton Technical College. Then they advance to a unique, eight-month, non-credited, Health Coach community service opportunity. Coaches support patients in self-managing chronic health conditions, assist with navigating the health care system, provide emotional support and friendship, and equip the patient to improve continuity of care.

Being a volunteer health coach offers a variety of benefits:

  • Receive free education, training and mentoring
  • Enjoy the opportunity to serve our community as a valued part of a health care team
  • A low risk way to explore patient care as a potential career opportunity
  • Coaches are satisfied with their experience and have grown personally and professionally

How do patients benefit from the coaches’ empathy, advocacy and companionship?

  • Patients saw an overall improvement in health outcomes
  • Patients report feeling well cared for by Valley Medical Center
  • Initial outcomes indicate a cost savings for Valley Medical Center
  • The program has successfully built relationships within the community

Positive experience for both coaches and patients
One volunteer said enthusiastically after participating in the health coach program:
“This program is a great opportunity to learn and connect to our community. The program has taught me not only how to connect effectively to my patient, but also how to take care of myself better. The program offers so many possibilities you can use in your daily life. As one of the Health Coach Volunteers, I am proud to say that I am confident to go out there and help our patients that are in need. No words can explain how grateful I am to be part of the team with Laurie and Jennifer and with the other Health Coach Volunteers.

“Thank you for selecting me for the Health Coach Program. What can I say, I LEARNED so much! Knowledge is power and I can use it to help others.”

Interested in becoming a volunteer health coach?

Email Health Coach Manager Laurie King or call 425.690.6667.

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office