SITKA — SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) recently began offering free one-on-one lifestyle coaching at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital for all Sitka community members.

Lifestyle coaching at SEARHC involves guiding people to make healthy diet and exercise changes with the goal of reducing health risks such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Individual lifestyle coaching can help people who want to be more active, eat more healthfully or quit tobacco products move the dial significantly forward in their effort to improve their health.

While SEARHC offers group lifestyle coaching, some people prefer one-on-one interaction or choose to supplement group classes with individual coaching.

Heleena VanVeen, SEARHC Health Educator and lifestyle coach said, “Typically, people have one or more goals they want to achieve.” She added, “I use specific skills and strategies to help them reach their goal. It involves creating individual, realistic plans, so positive changes feel attainable in the short-term and hopefully, last a lifetime. People also receive positive support throughout the process.”

Those that would like to take advantage of SEARHC’s one-on-one lifestyle coaching are not required to obtain a referral from their medical provider and can receive coaching whether or not he or she is a patient at SEARHC.

To schedule an appointment or get additional information, people contact “Coach” Heleena VanVeen at 966-8914 or heleenav@searhc.org.