In April 2017, with the generous support of its longtime partner, the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation, Malta House of Care launched its first Health Coach program.
Modeled on the “gold standard” program at the University of California at San Francisco, Malta’s Health Coaching program is designed to help chronically ill patients learn how to live more successfully with their diseases by making relatively small but meaningful changes in their day-to-day lives.
Malta’s Health Coach meets individually on a regular basis with about 70 of Malta’s “sickest” patients living with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, obesity, and diabetes. By developing long-term relationships with these patients, the coach comes to understand the particular challenges interfering with their health care compliance.
Together, the coach and the patients develop action plans to reduce the patients’ A1Cs, blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight – sometimes with adjustments to medication; sometimes with education about how and when to take that medication; and sometimes with relatively minor changes to diet and exercise regimens.
Taken together, the Health Coaching strategies often result in a new sense of ownership and empowerment for chronically ill patients – and a better chance that they will live longer and healthier lives.