Health Coach Day 2020 was one for the books!
To say we’re living in unprecedented times would be an understatement, but the way the IIN community has come together to support and lift one another up is truly inspiring. We’re incredibly proud of the work Health Coaches do every single day, especially over the last few months as they’ve virtually guided clients to manage their health in this high-stress environment.
To express gratitude for the Health Coaches in our community who are spreading the ripple effect of health and happiness, we hosted our first-ever virtual Health Coach Day, complete with meditation, full-body movement, music, and so much more!
Here’s what Health Coach Day 2020 looked like:
Our Health Coach Day focused on three pillars: community, education, and service. The events echoed these themes to create a comprehensive day showcasing the work that Health Coaches do to help reverse the global health crisis.
Community: yoga, meditation, and music
Melissa Wood's yoga flow – Melissa is an IIN graduate and the founder of Melissa Wood Health, an online fitness platform that embraces not only physical fitness and health but creating a stronger relationship with yourself that’s most important.
Koya Webb's meditation – Koya is an IIN graduate and the founder of Get Loved Up, a yoga and lifestyle community focusing on physical, mental, and spiritual health through the lens of yoga, self-care practices, plant-based nutrition, and sustainability.
Toby Lightman's music session provided by WhyHunger – Toby is a singer-songwriter and contributed to this Health Coach Day in collaboration with our partner, WhyHunger.
Education: virtual town hall presented by IIN’s director of advocacy, Darrell Rogers
In previous years, we brought IIN to Capitol Hill, but this year, we brought Capitol Hill to our Health Coaches in the largest webinar we’ve ever hosted of this nature! In this incredible one-hour session, we heard from Darrell in addition to Jocelyn Hong, a health and wellness advocate and former staffer in the House of Representatives and Senate in Washington, D.C., and multiple members of Congress about why wellness and prioritizing chronic disease reversal has become even more important in the face of COVID-19.
Darrell shared more about his work with IIN, which entails meeting with hundreds of Capitol Hill staff and members of Congress each year. His main goal is to spread awareness of the important work Health Coaches do to contribute to preventing chronic disease and improving health outcomes.
Jocelyn spoke about her own experience battling an autoimmune disorder that stemmed from a high-stress job with little focus on taking care of her health and mental well-being. She always thought that “self-care was a luxury,” but as she began incorporating wellness practices into her life, she started to understand why “when the oxygen masks come down in an airplane, you must take care of yourself first.” She strives to not just survive, but thrive.
Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), one of the original co-sponsors of the Health and Wellness Coaching Recognition Resolution that passed in the U.S. Senate in 2017, joined the conversation to discuss his personal experience with family health issues and why health coaching and wellness resonate with him. He shared his passion for staying physically fit – including a daily morning workout on Capitol Hill with other members of Congress – and why he strives to be a positive example for his children and constituents.
Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) has been a longtime advocate for health and wellness. He spoke about how his father and grandfather inspired him to become the person he is today and his drive to improve health through building awareness and recognition for the fundamentals of health, such as affordable healthcare and equitable access to health resources. He firmly believes that “regardless of your income or your language, you deserve the best opportunities to make good decisions,” and that those who have the skills to bring health to other people should be recognized for such and be paid accordingly, which is exactly what Health Coaches do.
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM), also a co-sponsor of the Health and Wellness Coaching Recognition Resolution, is an advocate for preventive health as well as access to complementary and natural healthcare resources. In his prerecorded message, he expressed that “COVID-19 has brought about an unprecedented health crisis that has revealed disparities in access to healthcare that have long existed, but Health Coaches are vital for restoring physical, mental, and spiritual health.”
Congressman Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) is an advocate for children’s health and also a co-sponsor of the 2017 Resolution. In his prerecorded message, he shared his experience as co-chair of the Men’s Health Caucus and reiterates that “there has never been a better time to focus on our health, as COVID-19, an unprecedented public health crisis, has bombarded the public with both correct and false information, and people need health professionals to sort through the clutter to help them figure out the right health solutions for them.”
Finally, Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), an advocate, teacher, author, leader of wellness, and one of the first to champion the benefits of yoga on the national stage, shared his history of how he became a wellness advocate, starting with his love for sports as a kid and continuing as he grew older to learn about the multidimensional aspects of health. He’s a proponent for “food as medicine,” integrating mindfulness into daily health routines, and health coaching to bring “love, support, and connection” to clients. He works closely with veteran organizations to implement mindfulness practices to manage mental health issues and prevent mental decline and suicide among the veteran community.
This webinar successfully highlighted our allies in Congress who care deeply about improving wellness, and demonstrated to these members of Congress the tremendous size and passion of our Health Coach community. We highly encourage you to check out the full town hall here. We know you’ll feel empowered hearing from leaders from all over the country about how they’re prioritizing wellness and championing the work of Health Coaches.
Service: working with our charitable partner, WhyHunger
IIN’s mission is to improve the health and happiness of the world, and we work toward that mission with not only our educational offerings but our partnerships with organizations that are doing important work. WhyHunger helps those in need get access to not only food, but nutritious food, and we’re honored to help them in that mission. Check out how to get involved with WhyHunger’s mission here.
The IIN community loved celebrating Health Coach Day 2020.
So many of our students and graduates came out to share why they love being a Health Coach and are passionate about helping others live their best life:
Priscila Monroe, IIN graduate: “Empowering people to live their best life is my mission.”
Melissa Londono, IIN graduate: “I am proud of this profession that allows me to accompany other people on the path of transforming their lives and for the purpose of being the best version of themselves.”
Heather Colamussi, IIN graduate: “IIN was life-changing in the best ways possible, reminding me that there are so many other important things to focus on in life that lead to health and happiness.”
Erica Jade, IIN graduate: “I’ve always had a passion for health and wellness, and by trusting my intuition, I’ve found my true purpose in life: to help others be the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves!”
Merly Hartnett, IIN graduate: “I love having a career I love and that it revolves around the needs of every changing and growing family.”
Kristen Kellogg, IIN student: “Being back in school is not only allowing me to help infuse goodness, positivity, and longevity into the lives of others, but it has wholly changed my perspective on what being and living well actually means.”
Jamie Mahoney, IIN graduate: “I’m so thankful that I’m helping women with more than nutrition and movement but also on all other levels of health: social, mental, home environment, relationships, spiritually, and more.”
Ashley Freeman, IIN student: “I knew I wanted to do something where I could help people take control of their health and guide them through some amazing transformations.”
Ali Johnson, IIN graduate: “As a Health Coach, I aspire to help others shine their brightest and love the life they live.”
Keep the spirit of Health Coach Day going.
It’s up to the entire community to keep spreading awareness of the power of health coaching and the importance of prioritizing preventive health and healthcare. Here are some steps you can take:
- Apply for the Health Coach Day Scholarship (by July 16th, 2020) – this scholarship will be awarded to a special individual who emulates the three pillars of Health Coach Day: community, education, and service. For more information on how to apply, visit the Health Coach Day page here.
- Contribute to the Health Coach Political Action Committee – This committee is for Health Coaches to contribute monetarily and support our allies in Congress; these contributions go directly to our Congressional allies’ reelection campaigns. We want to support those who believe in Health Coaches and the Health Coach profession. With the Health Coach PAC, we can do that as a collective so our profession gets the credit for the contributions!
- Sign the U.S. petition to support Health Coaches – This change.org petition advocates for Congress to pass the Health Coach Resolution (H.Res.117) and formally acknowledge the role Health Coaches play in the greater healthcare system to improve health outcomes.
- Sign the international petition to support Health Coaches – This change.org petition advocates for the World Health Organization to formally acknowledge the role Health Coaches play in reversing the global health crisis.