A library specialist at Fogler on the campus of the University of Maine, Sue Ronayne has been a member of EHPTF for the better part of five years spending several hours a month seeking ways to slow the trend of rising health care costs on behalf of not just those in her collective bargaining unit, (ACSUM), but all UMS employees. In a complex world of co-pays, pharmacy formularies, and hospital tiering, EHPTF's work is not always simple or easy, but it's critical to maintaining a quality health care program at affordable rates.
So, you can understand why she was so anxious to take a break from the tables, charts, and handouts to do some real field testing. Even so, the TrestleTree trial was far from a lark and Sue knew going in, it was important to keep lots of loud feedback as well as her own interests in mind to get the Request for Proposal (RFP) right and determine if there was a good fit.
“I don’t know exactly what I was expecting,” recalls Ronayne. “Personally, I’ve never been overly successful with diets, struggled at times with motivation and never truly overcome life going off script when it comes to time dedicated to wellness.”
But all that began to change after forty-five minutes on the line with Diane.
“She quickly gained my confidence with her twenty years’ experience as a registered nurse and nutritionist, but more than that she actively listened to what I had to say.”
Commutes, kids, choices, and lifestyles and other topics all came tumbling out in that first hour on the telephone. But Sue came away from the call with more than just a new and healthier brand of yogurt to try. She came away with renewed hope.
“When I hung up the phone, I said to myself, ‘This could actually work!’”
Listening intently, Diane offered no cookie-cutter solutions or e-mail attachments, but realistic
options for Sue designed to produce some early gains to fuel her motivation and engagement, defeat her fear of failure, and set her up for long-term success.
Over the last several monthly calls, they’ve discussed everything from exercise to reading labels at the supermarket and Diane has unfailingly gone the extra mile to boost Sue’s steady progress.
“So, it comes out during a call that I love oatmeal, but not all that sugar,” says Sue. “But rather than just suggest that I read labels more closely, Diane jumped onto the web and we found some healthier alternatives reading labels together learning the whole time.”
Diane’s coaching has transformed Sue’s outlook on changing behavior and moving toward individual and sustainable outcomes when it comes to wellness.
“She listens to what’s relevant in my world and together we work out ways to keep moving forward and overcome obstacles in ways that are realistic and practical,”
Sue’s initial product sampling and thumbs up to the EHPTF committee have moved well beyond a “one and done” format. She says, that while she wasn’t certain she was ready to seriously enter into a Health Coaching partnership as a part of her assignment, now there’s no way she’s parting with Diane and their monthly calls.
“Try it. It’s not an assembly line. You’re not a number. It truly changed the way I think about making healthier choices and has helped me build the confidence to know I can succeed.”