Providers

Medical
Providers

You have spent the last several years training and preparing to practice medicine as an equal, therapeutic partner. Is your patient genuinely prepared for Functional Medicine’s mutual participation model?

Kara Ware recognized the need to be more proactive in preparing new patients for the Functional Medicine process and partnership. Many patients arrive at a Functional Medicine clinic in a state of crisis. Emotional distress prohibits change and diminishes the patient’s ability to communicate and remember important guidance and recommendations. This makes the medical provider’s role feel more challenging than it needs to.

Therefore, Kara and Dr. Nathan Morris, MD decided to flip the traditional implementation of a health coach upside down. They evolved the integration of a health coach model to maximize the effectiveness of Kara’s health coaching skill set. As the National Board Certified, Functional Medicine Health Coach, Kara was the professional to welcome new patients into the practice, drive the patient’s first encounter, and offer follow-up coaching sessions to assist patients in the change process. Dr. Nathan Morris, MD met with empowered new patients, rather than patients in emotional distress.

“I saw fewer patients, yet my practice earned more income once Kara and I evolved the health coach integration model.”

– Dr. Nathan Morris, MD

In addition to being a Health Coach, Dr. Nathan Morris also hired Kara as his Strategic Business Advisor. They created the Clinical Coordinator position that blended Kara’s coaching and business acumen skill set. 

Having owned a Functional Medicine practice herself, Nathan hired Kara to evaluate current back and front office systems, identify where patients were falling through the cracks,  propose solutions, plus program development. Kara and Nathan worked together to perfect his office systems to reduce his stress, optimize patient experience and retention, plus clinical outcomes, increase word of mouth referrals, and ultimately enhance the practice’s bottom line. As a result, Nathan began to recommend Kara as a business coach.

In 2018, Dr. Dan Kalish interviewed Kara about how she evolved the integration of a health coach in clinical practice. Dan decided he, too, wanted to integrate a health coach in a similar model.

Dan being a premiere teacher in Practice Implementation, could immediately imagine the steps in replicating a model. “First of all, providers have to find a person like yourself, which is not an easy thing. Then they have to start thinking about systems development. How would you even start to put this into place?” That was the start of Kara and Dan working together to integrate a National Board Certified Health Coach into his practice, Kalish Wellness. 

Kara has since been working as a Business Integration Coach to assist more practitioners with the development of their front and back systems, patient experience, plus the interview, hiring, and onboarding a health coach process.

This is such a better model. It just takes so much emotional pressure off the doctor.”

– Dr. Dan Kalish, DC

Kara has created a new model of care where the health coach drives the first encounter and through her coaching approach, she is able to get patients to assume personal responsibility for 80% of their care making the practitioners work easier and more effective, driving superior outcomes for the patient and efficiency for the practitioner. I think every practice should adopt her model.

Priya Kamani

LivingMatrix

Work with Kara

Are you ready to play offense by integrating a health coach in this evolved model? Are you ready to implement Nutritional Genomics into your practice? Contact us today to get started or learn more.

Kara is a proven collaborative care team leader. Her deep knowledge of what it takes to start and implement a functional medicine practice across all aspects of the business combined with an innate understanding of the patient experience and compassionate coaching skills make her an incredible asset to any care team.

Joy Devins

Chief Strategist Atrium-Innovations Professional Brands

Partner Framework

Maximizing the role of a health coach integrates and benefits the medical provider, patient, and practice. Your Health Coach will assist you in optimizing patient retention, increasing patient loyalty, thus, improving clinical outcomes, and word of mouth referrals. Therefore, enhancing your practice’s bottom line.

Prepare

The New Patients’ first appointment is a coaching session with the certified health coach. This appointment prepares the patient to be an equal partner. The patient embraces their participatory role in co-creating a plan they are willing to organize, document, track, and budget for long term gains, not short-term wins.

Affirm

The Health Coach affirms the patient’s character strengths and intrinsic motivators. The Clinical Coordinator affirms what the patient is currently doing that’s going well and what the patient is ready and willing to add to their lifestyle plan.

Reflect

The Health Coach reflects back to the patient their current concerns and what they wish to gain by working with the provider- eliciting change talk.

Tell

The Health Coach tells back the patient’s dominant story to help the patient understand how their Antecedents, Triggers, and Mediators have interacted and accumulated over time. This helps the patient connect the dots of the root causes plus acknowledge the timespan involved in creating their symptoms. Likewise, the patient understands the time involved to correct the imbalances. This transforms the instant gratification mindset and supports the patient accepting the functional medicine process.

Next Level

The patient’s emotional distress/overwhelm has been transformed into empowerment. The patient has learned their participatory role as an equal partner and understands that 80% of the success of Functional Medicine depends on how well they can implement lifestyle changes. The patient understands they have power in the outcome. The patient begins to tell their new preferred story. The patient is now ready to move to the next level of their care by meeting with the provider.

Engagement

The patient knows their participatory role as an equal, therapeutic partner. The patient has found their voice. The medical provider and patient co-create a reasonable 3-month care plan. The recommended tasks and the patient’s readiness and ability are a match; a genuine partnership.

Relationship

The stickiness of Functional Medicine is the relationship between the medical provider and the patient. The Health Coach supports the provider and patient to stay engaged in the partnership and the process.

Why Work with Kara?

Kara Ware Kalish Interview

How to effectively integrate a health coach in clinical practice

Dr. Dan Kalish Testimony

A patient who is already enrolled in lifestyle changes based on their readiness, prior to the practitioner's first encounter, makes the collaborative process easier.

Dr. Dan Kalish, DC

Kalish Wellness and The Kalish Institute

Listen to the Podcast

Join us as we embark on a real-time series following long-time business partners—Functional Medicine doctor Nathan Morris, MD, and National Board Certified Health Coach, Kara Ware—as they evolve Dr. Morris’s practice virtually and openly for all of you to see.

Partnership Tools

The Institute for Functional Medicine states that once patients have chosen their medical provider, both patient and medical provider agree to be equal partners.