Wellview Health’s Thought Leadership Series highlights team members that make up our trusted experts and innovators working to make healthcare simplified.
As Wellview’s Director of Health Advising, Blair Blair oversees well-being programs designed to empower and support individuals seeking to reach personal health goals. She brings over 15 years of experience as a clinical nutrition manager, dietitian, and certified health and well-being advisor and has been with Wellview Health since it’s beginnings over 5 years ago. Blair is responsible for making sure our team of first class Health Advisors create engaging experiences and always go the extra miles to meet each participant’s needs.
How does the process typically start for a Wellview Health participant?
“The participant will first complete a Healthy Living Consult where they’ll speak with a Health Advisor and even though it’s a short conversation, the advisor is able to determine how the participant feels about their health, their concerns, or their family’s concerns.
There’s a lot of information that advisors can also glean from the participant’s enrollment process and Health Assessment to inform that conversation and help them connect the dots to the services Wellview has to support them.”
And what usually keeps participants moving through the advising process?
“Well once they decide to engage, the participant has an initial session, where the Health Advisor sets the stage, allowing the participant to also share what they’d like to get out of the relationship. They create a vision, or long-term goal, of what it is they want to achieve. The advisor asks questions like – How will you feel? Are you doing something different? What support will you lean into? The advisor can reflect back on that statement if the participant gets stuck, and use it as a guide post for the following sessions. The advisor also takes that vision and breaks it down into small action steps. The goal is to build self-efficacy so we can say, ‘You achieved that step 100-percent!’ If they don’t achieve the goal then it’s a learning experience for us both – What can we do differently?
When talking about action steps, we allow the participant to decide what they’re most interested in, but along the way the advisor may ask questions around a risk that’s been identified through the Health Summary to see if that is an area we can provide support and resources for.
A lot of times in a conversation with a Health Advisor, there will be questions outside of their swim lane, like nutrition or mental health. So anywhere along the way an advisor can connect them with any of those resources, like Diabetes Educators, Registered Dietitians, Personal Trainers, and so on. Whatever comes up we always try to find a resource to meet that need, even if it’s not something that Wellview typically provides.”
How do Health Advisors use the Wellview Consumer Connect™ profiling to help their participants?
“Consumer Connect has been a useful addition to the participant profiles because it’s allowed the Health Advisors to get some insight into the mindset of what someone’s values are. Having that information allows us to really meet participants where they are, engaging them in a way that they see the value in taking care of themselves.
This process of removing barriers and finding a participant’s motivations usually happens over the course of time with their Health Advisor, but having the Consumer Connect information right off the bat allows the advisor to connect with the participant sooner and help them to see why being proactive about their health is important. It can be something as small as a reminder message, ‘Looking forward to our appointment tomorrow’ for a profile like For the Family who are always on the go. And since they put others before themselves, including a statement in that reminder like, ‘I know you’re busy but those that depend on you will appreciate you taking care of yourself’ can really connect with them and hopefully increases the opportunity for them to engage – we know it does!
Another example is when working with an Open to Options profile – their core desire is knowledge and growth, so in an advising session brainstorming with them is a great way to elicit solutions. I’ll throw out lots of resources and connect them with a variety of providers. Then on the opposite side of the spectrum is the Doctor Knows Best profile – they lean into credentials and like a lot of direction. They are also very routine based, so it’s important as an advisor to understand what their daily routine is so when you’re trying to change or add habits it feels realistic to them. You can see how knowing this personalized profiling is really important in supporting each participant.”
How does readiness-to-change information inform the advising process?
“The advisor knows based off a participant’s Health Assessment and claims data where they should be focusing their attention, however the point is to connect on what’s top-of-mind to them, so having that readiness-to-change information is very helpful. For example, if you have somebody who is in pre-contemplation around something like nutrition, even though they may have diabetes and you know diet is somewhere they have room for improvement, that’s not something they are personally ready to work on, so having that conversation is not productive – they aren’t likely to take any action. Instead, we’ll just provide some information and then leave it be so that it plants a seed to think about it but not necessarily push towards action.
Preparation is really the best place for somebody to be when they come to a relationship with an advisor – at that point it’s more an ‘I will’ statement that you hear. They’re ready to make a change but they don’t know how to take that first step and so that’s where the advisor can really support them in moving from preparation to action. Action is, ‘I am doing well’ – it’s still a place where participants need support and accountability because it’s not yet a habit. It’s still about encouraging them and letting them know how their actions are benefiting them until they move to the maintenance stage when a habit is formed and it’s a no-brainer for them.
So by knowing where a participant is in their readiness-to-change around nutrition, stress, physical activity, etc., it helps advisors to know how to come to the conversation and where to support them. Planting those seeds may take time but the more they build self-efficacy around what they’re really excited about the more likely they will take action in those areas they may not be ready for yet.”
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
For more information on Wellview’s advising model, download the Wellview Health Advisor Model & Training Program guide.