In the late 90s, Medi-Share founder E. John Reinhold noticed the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) denomination submitting fewer medical bills than other members. At this time research was also being published by Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and others about patients adhering to therapeutic lifestyle interventions, avoiding heart stents and bypass treatment.
In an effort to be good stewards of membership sharing dollars, members with lifestyle-related conditions were given the option to attend lifestyle centers where these principles were taught.
Since the medical research and member experience consistently affirmed the positive impact of therapeutic lifestyle changes, Medi-Share launched telephone-based health coaching in 2003, embracing the same principles.
For less cost than a lifestyle center visit, members could interact with a coach over a longer period of time to implement lasting changes. It was around this time that members voted to convert the weight-related fee to provide therapeutic lifestyle coaching as a service, thus beginning the Health and Wellness department.
Members graduating from our coaching program lowered their cholesterol more through lifestyle changes than published research on cholesterol medication. Results (below) were astonishing! The early recognition of the health of our SDA population was validated by the Blue Zones study published nearly a decade later.
The health coaches are exclusively available to Health Partners who pay an additional fee for this ongoing service. Medi-Share members who are not Health Partners may schedule a one-time call with a coach through the member center.
The HP program is a member-voted initiative designed to support healthy living with the ultimate purpose of being able to do more for the kingdom of God. This program offers therapeutic lifestyle resources to prevent, arrest, and reverse many chronic diseases.
From 2005-16, the Health and Wellness team has helped nearly 10,000 members graduate from the HP program. Members that have successfully worked with a coach submit 33% fewer medical bills for sharing. As a ministry we have seen that members who have graduated from the Health Partnership by improving their health through therapeutic lifestyle changes have half as much medical spending as non-HP members.
We’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our talented team of health coaches. The team comes from a variety of backgrounds, but they all have been inspired to take control of their personal health journey and desire to share that knowledge with you.
* Five of our Health & Wellness coaches on a hike while visiting our Colorado Springs office.
Most of the coaches are Wellcoach® certified as well as certified personal trainers. They specialize in supporting and educating members on the power of lifestyle medicine. Their work enhances the mission of Christian Care Ministry to connect and equip Christians to share their lives, faith, talents and resources with others.
Our approach to health coaching has many unique features; traditional diet and exercise are augmented by adding standard WellCoach® curriculum from 9-12 sessions, over 3-6 months, delivered to members nationwide. Health Coaches also infuse spiritual and relational concepts to support the whole person.
In addition to our team of health coaches, we offer a team of registered nurses specializing in complex disease management to assist members in engaging with their primary care provider to support proper medication use, lab monitoring, and prevention steps to avoid disease complications.
If you have diabetes, we invite you to join our Diabetes Management Program. This program’s professional care team educates and supports members in obtaining a healthy, spirit-filled lifestyle.
The Diabetes Management Program provides:
- A personalized relationship with a Registered Nurse and a Certified Health Coach
- Valid health information from a biblical approach that will further enhance your understanding of diabetes
- Individualized, realistic goal-setting to achieve your personal objectives of a healthy mind, body, and spirit
- Exercise recommendations and resistance band training
- Weight loss support
- Nutrition recommendations
- Care plan review
- Access to the Medi-Share mobile application Diabetes Management Group
Through this interactive program you will better understand your diabetes, as well as improve blood sugar control and overall health. To join the Diabetes Management Program, please call (800) 264-2562, ext. 2669 or email DiabetesManagementProgram@medi-share.org. One of our diabetes team members will be happy to assist you.
For full coaches bios, visit our website.