I became a registered nurse at a time when I had struggled with my own health issues and had lost a family member to cancer. Having a degree in interior design and years of experience creating environments, I wanted to design my life around health and wellness, so I changed careers and became a nurse. In providing patient care on a medical-telemetry unit I recognized the gap in health care regarding patient education, lifestyle, and chronic stress. As a result, I became a Certified Integrative Health Coach through Duke Integrative Medicine. The foundation of that program was a process rooted in mindfulness by which I could support others to create a life of health, purpose, and meaning. It also encompassed the creative design process, and one of my best strengths, listening. As I gained experience coaching for employee wellness programs, I experienced the power that culture can have on wellness.
I continue to advance my clinical knowledge with trainings in integrative and functional medicine, which tend to favor lifestyle interventions and look deeper into root cause. Health coaching is a complement to these approaches in that it provides foundational support for lifestyle modification. With experience in behavior change, the creative design process, and healthcare, I have learned to support patients to implement medical recommendations and achieve goals, which often takes time, organization, and an understanding of the system to be successful. Self-awareness and mind-body principles are also integral to this process.