Growing up in Maine, Colette Thompson left the State after graduating from high school pursing her aspiration of becoming a registered dietitian (RD). Colette attended undergraduate school at Keene State College where she concentrated her studies in the area of dietetics. After receiving her undergraduate degree she completed a dietetic internship with Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. While working full time for Maryland State Department of Education as an RD, Colette enrolled in graduate school at Towson University and earned a Master’s Degree in health. Returning back home to Maine in 1998, Colette continued working in a field of public health concentrating her efforts on educating people of all ages about the importance of health and wellness.
In 2003 Colette moved with her husband and son to settle down in the small town of New Sweden located in Northern Maine. Her favorite pastimes include spending time with her family on her small family farm, vegetable gardening, knitting, reading, and cooking a wide assortment of wholesome foods raised or grown on her farm. Colette is passionate about health and wellness. She looks forward to working as a Health Coach with the University of Maine’s RiseUp Program.
See here for a printout of Colette’s bio.
Interview with Colette Thompson, UMS Health Coach
HealthyU wanted to know more about what wellness coaching is, what topics are covered, and how it is conducted. Colette Thompson provided us answers.
HealthyU: What is health coaching?
Colette: Health Coaching is a way to help a person manage his or her own health and wellness. It is a partnership between the employee and the Health Coach where the Health Coach encourages the employee to talk about what they want to change in one of the following areas: weight management, stress management, nutrition, or smoking cessation. Please note that physical activity is almost always discussed with a person during their health coaching session too. Although these four areas can and often do overlap, we focus on one area at a time; we focus on each individual’s unique problems, concerns, etc. Health coaching is about helping a person find his or her own answers to change. Individuals can have face-to-face or telephonic health coaching sessions.
HealthyU: How do I know if I need a Health Coach?
Colette: There are several questions on this handout (Am I Ready for Lifestyle Coaching?) that an employee should ask him or herself prior to beginning the process of seeking out a Health Coach.
HealthyU: How can a Health Coach help me?
Colette: A Health Coach will work with the employee to improve their overall health and wellness. A Health Coach is the indvidual’s personal supporter on the sidelines, their “cheerleader.” We listen and let the coachee talk. We ask questions like, “What would you like to change?” and “What is important to your health and wellness?” We give feedback and we work with the individual to set-up short-term goals.
More descriptions of what a health coach does are on Am I Ready for Lifestyle Coaching?.
HealthyU: What happens at my first coaching appointment? Are appointments in-person or over the phone? How long are appointments?
Colette: During the first meeting or phone conversation, the Health Coach will go over the following general expectations:
- A Health Coach will meet with the individual in-person a minimum of once per year, and provide additional coaching telephonically. (This may vary according to individual and campus needs.)
- To meet the needs of all participants, coaching sessions will typically be no more than twenty minutes in length.
- If the member does not respond to their Health Coach after two voicemail messages, the member understands that their coaching status will be placed on hold until he/she reengages.
- In order to earn 100 lifestyle coaching points, the member must be actively progressing towards their goal and engage in a minimum of 3 encounters with a Health Coach.
- All encounters are confidential.
We complete an assessment in one of the following areas: weight management, stress management, nutrition, or smoking cessation. We work with the individual to establish short-term goals in the primary area assessed. We establish a time frame or actual date/time for the next encounter.
HealthyU: Is there a fee for Health Coaching?
Colette: Health coaching is a free UMS benefit open to all employees and their spouse or domestic partner.
HealthyU: How does a person begin the coaching process?
Colette: To begin the coaching process, a person will need to complete a 5 minute general assessment over the telephone with the RiseUp Outreach Coordinator (855-274-7387). This information is gathered for the RiseUp Health Coach and is not shared outside of the program. Once the general assessment is completed, the person is set-up with a Health Coach.