Those who know me well likely think of me as independent, single minded….ok, let’s say it:  a control freak.  But guess what I’m doing?  I’ve hired an RN health coach to help me educate, spread the word and make health care more affordable for everyone!

I’d like to welcome Patti McDougall, BSN, RN, CRS to Medicine In Balance.  Patti and I have known each other for years; she has experience in corporate wellness education at Robert Wood Johnson hospital and is a Health Coach.  At RWJ, she created educational workshops, lectures and newsletters for corporations and employees, as well as helped to staff the employee health clinic.  In the past, Patti has worked to educate home care nurses and hospice workers, using her skills as a health coach to broaden her nursing background.

Patti will be available for coaching for those of you who might need more assistance in lifestyle change.  A coach is not directive—coaches help you explore your own way of working out a sticking point.  (Isn’t that better than when I simply say “hey, figure out how to eat breakfast!”).  Our goal is to make our brand of healthcare and health improvement affordable; do you really need to pay my rates to help you sort out how to make my suggestions become reality?  Once you and I have made a plan, Patti can work with you to make it a reality.   She will also be running our Balance for Good lifestyle change program, and beginning in the fall will be assisting me in running group visits of various types (menopause issues, diabetes and insulin resistance, hypertension, adrenal challenges).  She’ll also be available to answer simple medical questions for me when you need assistance quickly.

So why am I seeking help in caring for you all?  First of all, there’s only one of me.  I’m good, but I can only see so many people in a day; Patti will help me manage the questions, concerns and small details that arise each day.  Frankly, one of the main concerns I have with the current paradigm of medicine is the “doc on top” model.  There are many other care providers who can help you reach your goals.  Most holistic/integrative docs agree that the main life-changers should be coaches, not physicians.  It just makes better economic sense.  You don’t need nearly 3 decades of physician experience to help you figure out how to change your lifestyle.  You need me to help set up a plan, get you headed in the right direction, and steer the ship.  The first mate can attend to the details.  Although Patti won’t be participating in insurance plans, we can provide paperwork for your visits so you can try to get reimbursed; check with your carrier to see if they pay for nutritional counseling provided by a nurse.

Group visits, in particular, have been an interest of mine for a long time.  Many insurers cover these visits, which include both time with the group for education and interaction as well as individual time with a doc for specific concerns.  These visit types were first conceived a decade or so ago as a way of making care more affordable; if a provider sees several patients at one time, they can charge each individual less.  But think about it:  how could I do this on my own?  I would be seeing folks for the individual part, so who could manage the group during that time?  That’s why I need an assistant.  I can hardly wait to get these sessions set up, and with Patti’s expertise in teaching, these sessions should be a big hit.  Ask your insurance provider now if they cover group visits!

There’s a very good chance that Patti will also be doing some educational workshops starting this fall.  The details still need to be worked out, but if you have topics you’d like to see covered, let us know!  We’re very excited to have Patti with us, and we’re really looking forward to all the things we’ll be able to do with her help!

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Food Group 8/6/13:  All About Tomatoes!  Come join us, 7pm-9pm, free!

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Plan ahead for Tai Chi:  Intro class on Saturday 9/14/13 10:30am, followed by an 8 week session.  Details to follow.

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Do you have a group that meets regularly and you’re looking for a new topic?  Dr Warner is available to speak about boosting immunity and can provide books (and sign them!) in preparation for this fall’s cold and flu season.  Please email at :  drwarner@medicineinbalance.com