LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

Coaching Up to Better Health

Health Coach Approach Can Transform Health Care

Announcement of new Health Coach Certificate Program

You’ve heard of personal trainers, but what about health coaches? They, too, work one-on-one with people, but with a broader mission – improving health overall. Though a relatively new discipline, the value of this relationship-based approach is gaining greater recognition. According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2019, health/wellness coaching is the #11 ranked health trend.

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Leslie Capo

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Peggy Honoré, MHA, DHA, AmeriHealth Caritas – General Russel Honoré Endowed Professor at LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health, calls the profession, “an emerging field that addresses barriers related to wellness, health and chronic diseases.”

She says, “Health coaches are embedded in care teams as behavior-change specialists who empower patients to identify health goals for the self-management of their chronic conditions. Health coaching is beyond disease management and health education. It helps patients to recognize where they are in the change process and determine the resources and support needed to achieve optimal wellbeing.”

Dr. Peggy Honore explaining the Health Coach Certificate Program
LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health and Delgado Community College have partnered to develop the first such program in Louisiana. Dr. Honoré is helping to design the curriculum for the Health Coach Certificate Program with Beginner and Advanced tracks. She will provide technical assistance with medical, population health and public health content coursework for the program, scheduled to launch in the Fall of 2019. Under the comprehensive plan, the Health Coach Certificate will bridge students to a proposed associate’s degree in Health Navigation. Health Navigators, as members of the care team, work with patients to focus on overcoming barriers to accessing care while also identifying any physical, emotional, and cultural needs.

“Both the Advanced and associate’s degree graduates will be eligible to sit for the national exam leading to Health Coach Board Certification through the National Board of Medical Examiners,” adds Honoré.

The coursework will be built on the three pillars of population health – public health, health care and public policy. The Beginner Curriculum includes courses in Principles of Health Coaching and Health Navigation, Chronic Disease Management, Motivational Interviewing, Electronic Health Records and Information Systems, Foundations in Population Health, and Public Health. Course topics for the proposed Health Navigator curriculum include Principles of Health Navigation, I, II, and III; Team-Based Care; Chronic Disease Management II; Population Health Management; Nutrition; Foundations in Quality; Anatomy and Physiology; Pharmacology; Health Care Delivery and Insurance Systems; and Ethics and Cultural Competencies.

The Program will provide a pathway to increase the health care workforce as well as professional development opportunities in the greater New Orleans area that will also improve health outcomes for New Orleanians.

Information Sessions will be held at Delgado on May 9 at 10:00 a.m. and May 23 at 5 p.m. Dana Smith, MPH, an alumna of LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health and one of Dr. Honoré’s former students, is the Health Coach Certificate Program Coordinator at Delgado. She is the point person for inquiries about the program, which should be sent to

Health Coaching