Randolph Community College set to launch health coach program

ASHEBORO, N.C. -- When people think of the word “coach,” it’s usually associated with athletics, but coaching is becoming part of a growing trend in health care.

Randolph Community College is developing a certified health coach program.

Once students go through the program and take a national certified exam, they’ll be prepared to work with organizations/companies helping people reach individual health goals.

“They’ll prevent hopefully chronic illnesses, or make sure that medications that you’re taking are proper medications. They develop wellness and nutrition plans,” said Elbert Lassiter, vice president for Workforce Development & Continuing Education at Randolph Community College.

RCC sees the program as two-fold investment.

Not only is health coaching designed for improving the overall health of an individual, but it also has the benefit of reducing health care costs for the person and the company he or she works for.

Sam Varner is a health coach who serves as wellness coordinator for Randolph County Government.

Varner says not only has the county cut health care costs through health coaches, high-risk individuals who volunteered to work with a coach reduced insurance costs.

“Within six months of having a health coach work with these four employees, every one of those four employees passed their biometric screening,” Varner said.

The expectation is that the program at RCC will serve as a pipeline to meet the growing demand that the health community has seen locally.

“We’ve trained about three health coaches that work with county government. We need more,” Varner said.

“Randolph Community College is now training and teaching potential people when they finish the course to now sit for the national exam, so it’s poised at the right time,” he added.

RCC is the only community college in the region offering this program.

The certified health coach program is expected to be available in February 2017.

It’s designed for people who already have a background in the health care industry.

For more information call (336) 633-0268.