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A different approach to success

Security Health Plan health coaching is different. The health coaches at Security Health Plan use a different way to help members be successful. Areas like losing weight, quitting tobacco and managing stress.

The path to health and wellness is not an easy one. It comes with ups and downs, struggles and triumphs. Many simply give up after hitting roadblocks. Staying active and eating right seems simple enough—but there’s more to it than that. We need support, guidance and encouragement. Someone to help keep us on track. Someone to tell us it will be okay. Someone to help us set goals and celebrate the small victories. That’s where Security Health Plan’s health coaching comes into play.

The health coaches at Security Health Plan are here to support members reach their health goals. They are here for you. To help guide you and keep you on your path to a healthier lifestyle. They’re here to listen when you’ve had a bad day. They don’t judge you. They’re your partner, your friend, your ally. And together—you can do anything you set your mind to.

This has been the experience for two Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) employees, Kris Nilsson and Jody Shong.

Time for a change

Nilsson has been a member with Security Health Plan for four years. When her employee wellness program required her to complete the health coaching program, she really took advantage of what her Security Health Plan coverage offers.

As part of the ECASD employee wellness program, those who complete the program receive a lower premium. The program has an online health assessment, preventive exam and biometric screening. All biometric health targets must be met or employees must complete an alternate activity. One of the alternate activities is Security Health Plan’s health coaching program.

Anna Stichert and Kris NilssonAlthough skeptical of a new program, Nilsson was at a point in her life that she wanted to try something new. So she called Security Health Plan and began her health coaching path. Nilsson was contacted by Security Health Plan health coach Anna Stichert. Stichert became Nilsson’s health coach at a time Nilsson knew she needed a change. She had tried numerous programs in the past with little to no success. But as soon as she talked with Stichert, she knew this would be different.

“Anna was so bubbly on the phone—we hit it off right away,” Nilsson said. Stichert and Nilsson spoke on the phone a few times each week. As a health coach, Stichert supports, motivates and guides individuals towards living a healthier life.

“I listen to the concerns of the individual. I don’t tell anyone what they need to improve on, they tell me,” Stichert said.

Stichert and Nilsson worked together for over a year and the results are amazing. With the help of Security Health Plan’s health coaching program, and a newfound friend, Nilsson lost over 80 pounds and over 43 inches in eight months. Nilsson credits her success to having Stichert there for her anytime. “The coaching was a huge piece to my success story. It’s someone that holds you accountable. Anna gave me her number and I was able to call her at any time. That felt good if I was having a bad day,” said Nilsson.

Although Nilsson had tried other weight loss programs in the past, there was something missing for her. She needed the support and sense of togetherness that this program gave her.

“For some people, they need more guidance, Kris did not. She knew what she needed to do. Kris needed a cheerleader. I was her cheerleader on the good days and the bad,” said Stichert.

Stichert saw changes in the weekly phone calls with Nilsson: “Kris made so much progress with new healthy habits. The greatest change I saw was more self-confidence and a positive outlook.”

“Weight has been an issue all my life. But I finally found the golden ticket in coaching. I feel like I’m in the best health of my life,” Nilsson said.

With the support and guidance of Stichert, Nilsson was able to make a long-lasting change. She is motivated to set more goals for herself on her wellness journey. She recommends this program to anyone wanting a change. For her, community and support made all the difference.

“I love that we have this opportunity with our insurance company to have this provided to us. It’s a great benefit,” said Nilsson.

 Employees like Nilsson who have participated in Security Health Plan’s health coaching and wellness program are not only healthier, but more productive at work. Executive Director of Human Resources of Eau Claire Schools Kay Marks said, “Someone who is happier and healthier means they bring so much more to the organization. Not only for themselves, but those they work with like students, parents or colleagues.”  

A program that works

And it’s not only Nilsson who has seen great results from health coaching. Shong, a second grade teacher at ECASD has also got on a path to improve her health and well-being. Although she was skeptical of the program, Shong has lost 60 pounds after working with her health coach from Security Health Plan, Angie Pero.

“Weight loss has been a lifelong struggle for me. Having someone to talk with really helped,” Shong said. “I felt like Angie had my back, that is wasn’t just a job for her. She was genuinely happy when I met a goal and supportive and full of helpful ideas when I needed a change.”

Shong set an initial goal to lose 50 pounds before her family’s vacation this past summer. She wanted to get healthy for herself and be active with her three sons. Pero was right there to help her meet that goal.

“Jody is highly motivated for reasons that are close to her heart. That makes her a true inspiration,” Pero said. “She is making changes for all the right reasons. She’s focused on her health and her family.”

Angie Pero and Jody ShongPero and Shong worked together to set small goals. Those small goals turned into big results. In their weekly conversations, they didn’t just talk about diet and exercise. It was healing for Shong. This was something that programs she has tried before did not have. She said Pero’s upbeat attitude helped her to change her mindset.

“It was about me as a person, spiritually and emotionally,” the second grade teacher said. “She tailored the program to what I needed every week. She never made me feel like I had failed on tough weeks.”

The new friendship between Shong and Pero is just one example of how the health coaching program at Security Health Plan is different.

“Security Health Plan’s members are a priority,” Pero said. “We’re unique because we are an insurance company looking out for the wellness of our members. We offer health coaching as a free benefit.”

The power of health coaching

Leaders at ECASD know the programs offered at Security Health Plan make a difference in the lives of their staff.

Kay Marks and Dr Mary Ann Hardebeck“You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. The well-being of our employees is always first in our minds,” said ECASD District Administrator Dr. Mary Ann Hardebeck. “You can’t get good results for students if you don’t have that sense of well-being and the sense of good health. That all comes from a healthy lifestyle.”

Both Shong and Nilsson are on their path to health and wellness. They’ve had obstacles and achievements. They have shared their journey with their health coach. They’ve grown and learned about themselves. They’ve been able to call their coach at any time to cry, laugh, or say—‘I did it!’ It’s not just about diet and exercise. For Shong and Nilsson it was the support, encouragement and guidance that Stichert and Pero provided that resulted in long-lasting success.

If you are looking for help with a wellness goal, Security Health Plan’s health coaches are here for you. As a Security Health Plan member, you have access to the same benefit, free with your membership. All you have to do is call—our health coaches will walk with you every step of your journey. For more information call 1-800-472-2363 (TTY 711) or visit http://www.securityhealth.org/healthcoach.