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Hawaii J Med Public Health. 2019 Jun;78(6 Suppl 1):65-69.

Implementing a Health Coaching Curriculum in Hawaii's Community Health Centers.

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Hawai'i Primary Care Association, Honolulu, HI (J-LBD, ALM).
Lāna'i Community Health Center, Lāna'i City, HI (MK-G, DKR, TKS, OAP, CLT, DMVS, JWH).


Chronic diseases impact 60% of Americans, with 42% reporting multiple chronic conditions, and account for $3.3 trillion in annual health care costs. In Hawai'i, about 80% of adults report having at least 1 chronic condition, and more than half of those report having multiple chronic conditions. Health coaching is a technique of engaging patients to help them obtain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to become an active and engaged participant in their health care. Health coaching aims to assist patients with understanding their care plans, exploring their perceptions of their care plans, and working collaboratively with their health care team to implement these plans to improve their overall health. In 2016, the Hawai'i Primary Care Association (HPCA) partnered with the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Excellence in Primary Care to train staff from HPCA and Hawaii's community health centers (CHCs) in health coaching. This 2-day training focused on using principles of adult learning theory to create interactive sessions aimed at building staff capacity to improve communication and empower patients to become active participants in their health care. The curriculum highlights 6 core elements of health coaching: ask-tell-ask, setting the agenda, closing the loop, know your numbers, behavior-change action plans, and medication adherence counseling. The aim of this case study is to present insights gained from the implementation of health coaching at 1 FQHC in Hawai'i. Health coaching is found to be an effective approach to engaging patients and improving communication with patients and across clinic departments. Health coaching is a promising practice to address the growing chronic disease burden in Hawai'i.


care coordination; federally qualified health centers; health coaching; health systems transformation; motivational interviewing; team-based care


Conflict of interest statement

None of the authors identify a conflict of interest.

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