Students Complete First ECC Community Health Coach Class
Edgecombe Community College offered its first Community Health Coach class this spring with ten community members successfully completing the program.
Community Health Coach is a unique collaboration between Edgecombe Community College and the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine. At this time, it is the only program of its kind in the state.
Graduates can work in numerous health care settings under licensed health care professionals, as well as in churches and other community organizations to help ensure that community members are seeking to improve their health.
Edgecombe County has been identified as one of the least healthy counties in North Carolina. According to the 2013 Community Health Assessment for Edgecombe County, three of the four health indicators are related to chronic disease, which is the target of the Community Health Coach program.
These indicators include chronic disease and management, obesity and weight management, and access to care.
Topics of the Community Health Coach training include leadership and coaching, case management, emotional literacy, communication, symptoms of chronic diseases, nutrition, exercise, tobacco use, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and physical activity.
According to Instructor Jennifer Norville, “Students ranged from parents of young school-age children to grandparents. Some were retired, and many were already involved in the community through service organizations.”
Norville says health coaches can more easily create a health care-centered relationship with individuals than health care providers because the health coaches meet with clients more frequently.
“They go into the home or other convenient location and learn more about an individual because they are in that person’s surroundings,” Norville explains.
“A health coach can also help a client understand why medicines should be taken at certain times and why exercising and eating healthy are important,” she adds.
Laura Clark, coordinator of Health Occupations at ECC, says that health coaches are not a replacement for health care providers, but act as a supportive resource. According to Clark, “Health coaches ultimately help the client become more compliant, which results in better health outcomes, which means controlling or preventing chronic diseases.”
Community Health Coach is a 100-hour course. Graduates receive a certificate of completion.
Classes are offered on both the Tarboro and Rocky Mount campuses. Tuition is $180, but some scholarships may be available. The textbook costs $130.
The next class will be held on Rocky Mount campus June 6-August 22. It will meet Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday afternoons from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
A second class is set for July 11-October 26 on the Tarboro campus. The class will meet Monday and Wednesday nights, 5:30-9 p.m.
Additional classes are scheduled for late summer and fall. Please check the Continuing Education schedule on the Edgecombe Community College website for additional classes.
To learn more, contact Jennifer Norville at (252) 823-5166, ext. 202, or firstname.lastname@example.org.