At Aspire Health, we’re working to make healthcare more about health. We believe giving people the right wellness tools and a supportive coach can help make healthy habits a little easier. Health coaches like Julian Echeverry work one-on-one to help people in Monterey County reach their health goals. We recently sat down with him to ask him more about his role and how highly trained health coaches provide consistent support and encouragement for Aspire Health Medicare Advantage plan members here in Monterey County.
Can you share with us some information about your background and how/why you decided to get into health coaching?
I studied and got my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science locally at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB). During my undergrad, I coauthored a research article that was published by the National Journal of Strength and Conditioning. That is where my desire and appreciation for research-based evidence practices really ignited.
From here, I earned a certification through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as an Inclusive Fitness Trainer, which allows me to prescribe exercise to those with mental or physical disabilities as well as the healthy population. After, I worked in physical therapy and as a certified trainer at the Monterey Sports Center.
Talk about your role as a health coach. What kind of support do you offer to those managing chronic conditions?
Health coaches at Aspire Health help patients gain the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence they need to become active participants in their own health. Patients engage in our programs so that they can reach their physician-identified and self-identified health goals. Our coaches offer evidence-based lifestyle management education and behavior-change support to those managing one or multiple chronic conditions, including diabetes, prediabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, coronary artery disease, overweight/obesity, etc. Topics offered covered in health coaching often include healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, resilience building, goal setting, self-monitoring of health metrics and empowering patients with tracking and knowing their own numbers.
How do you help Aspire Health Medicare Advantage plan members take charge of their health?
Aspire Health Plan members have the benefit of having access to 1:1 telephonic, year-round health coaching to support their health goals and support chronic condition management as well as prevention. Membership also has access to our National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP). In this program, members can engage either in-person or virtually using an online platform and app called HabitNu that we are partnered with. A nice reward with that specific program is that Aspire Health Plan supplies participants with a new digital Bluetooth scale mailed directly to the member to utilize as a tool with the NDPP program.
Additionally, health coaches also offer both virtual and now in-person presentations/classes on topics such as Mindfulness with mindful eating, movement, and connection with the community, the Mediterranean diet, emotional eating, retirement readiness, fall prevention and more.
How do you work with other members of the Enhanced Care Team including care managers, engagement specialists and social workers along with other Monterey County resources?
With care managers and social workers, we collaborate, refer patients to each other, and ensure that all the patients’ needs are being met. These needs include medication questions, assistance with navigating the healthcare system, food insecurity, housing needs and connecting patients in the community with resources that will help. Additionally, I work alongside engagement specialists to help with outreach to Aspire Health Plan members and the rest of the community to connect them with these health enhancing programs and resources that are available to them at no cost.
Why should Aspire Health Medicare Advantage plan members look into the health coaching program?
I would simply say that our health coaching program is a benefit that is so worth taking advantage of no matter where you are at with your health or lifestyle habits. I like to say that to my patients that whether you are someone in peak health and shape like Michael Phelps or Steph Curry, or someone who is not as healthy. No matter what, we can all find something with our lifestyle and health habits that we could optimize or improve. I am sure those professional athletes would agree that we could all do something – even if just one thing, one change – we could improve our lifestyle with that change. Alternatively, maybe we could go on this health journey and find success in something we do not normally focus on. Ultimately, health is wealth. So why not take advantage of this benefit through Aspire Health Plan and work towards optimizing the most important thing in life, your health?
As an Aspire Health Medicare Advantage plan member, you have no-cost access to an enhanced care team including health coaching services delivered by certified healthcare professionals with knowledge in chronic condition management. To request more information, call us today at (831) 644-7490.