Living with Crohn’s Disease has had a pretty profound impact on my life as it does a lot of people. I went from barely being at the doctor to constantly there, on 20 pills a day trying to figure out what works and adhering to the medication. It’s been overwhelming and I wish I had an extra layer of help sometimes from someone who knows about IBD and can help navigate it all. Even being in remission I have a lot to keep up with and goals I would like to achieve and it is still tough. One thing that also took me a while to get a grasp of was adherence to my medicines. I would legitimately forget to take my meds or miss a day here and there so I had to set alarms to help me remember it all and if you’re like me you have a ton of meds to take.
With that being said I wanted to share something with you all that I believe is a really cool program that launched with a company called Pack Health. I don’t typically do these types of posts but when it’s something unique and I think the IBD community can benefit from I want to share. There is a pretty new and interesting concept of having a Health Advisor or Health Coach that are specific to IBD patients and trained in different ways to help you stay on top of your health and help navigate your care. For me, any extra help I can get makes a huge difference and I want to tell you more about the company and what they are doing.
You can get access to IBD Health coaching through a WEGO Health partnership with Pack Health and CME Outfitters at http://www.packhealth.com/cmeo-ibd and they have a program (that is FREE) to you that will partner you up with a health coach to help you achieve your goals and stay on top of your health. So what can a personal health advisor do for you? Some aspects of the program I was looking at, discuss how the initial start the Health Advisor / Coach gets to know your story and what you have been through. They then help you set specific goals you want to achieve which could be anything related to education about the disease, helping with lifestyle changes, managing and help understand your medications and discussing adherence and how to create adherence habits, help with eating healthy and exercising if that’s something you would like, they can help manage appointments with clinicians and how to get the most out of the visits and can also help with budgeting for health by looking for financial resources to help.
Who are the coaches?
One of the questions I had was who are the coaches? Are they patients? Work in healthcare? What makes a Patient Health Coach?
They are not other patient’s but what I was told is that they are specific to certain teams within the company such as immunology for IBD. They are recruited and have full-time nonclinical health expertise like social works, pharmacy techs, dieticians, exercise physiologists, etc. and most of them hold at least a Master’s Degree in their field. When they are first hired they have extensive 80-hour training and then later put into teams like (immunology, cardiometabolic, oncology, and others). Once they are in their specific area they get more training and then after 1,000 hours of coaching they sit to take the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching certification. So, for instance, the IBD coaches are well versed in the disease, way to save on costs and drug assistance programs and to help you through all the ups and downs that come with IBD.
I really think this is a great idea and could be a tool to help those of us who need extra support in managing every aspect or specific aspects relating to our disease. I can’t tell you how many times I felt overwhelmed or lost in the amount of information thrown my way and trying to afford medications and adhere to those. This is the reason I am helping spread the word about Pack Health and their program, especially since it is free! Yes, this is an advertisement for them and partnering with WEGO Health, but I genuinely believe in this program and how much it could benefit patients with IBD whether newly diagnosed or have been living with it for years. I hope you will check out the program and sign up if you feel you could use the help. I will post the link below and if you have any questions please reach out!
Also, here is a unique link for my followers to learn more about the program and to sign up if you would like https://wegoh.co/2Ws03uI