The Iowa Chronic Care Consortium (ICCC) was created over a decade ago to develop patient-centered strategies to reduce the burden of chronic disease in populations. Leaders from the state’s largest health systems, the largest medical school, the largest union, and the largest employer chartered the ICCC as an entrepreneurial non-profit organization.
Since our inception, the ICCC has enhanced thousands of lives by launching and evaluating innovative and collaborative care management projects with health systems, Medicaid programs and affinity groups. Individuals with diabetes, heart failure and other chronic conditions have benefited from improved quality of life and clinical outcomes while also lowering costs.
The success of these population health projects led the ICCC to recognize that behavioral patterns and lifestyle choices have powerful impacts on health status. In addition, we learned that most healthcare for those with chronic conditions is self-care. Unfortunately, the current system does not often engage individuals to develop effective self-care behaviors and choices.
With this knowledge, ICCC partnered with Mercy Clinics professionals to develop an evidence-based and clinically-oriented health coach training curriculum. The result, called the Clinical Health Coach training program, available as both onsite and online courses, transforms the conversation between provider and individual and transforms the care process using population health and patient-centered medical home approaches. Our program emphasizes the development of coaching skills that align with evidence-based clinical processes. So far, roughly 500 individuals nationwide and from various innovative health systems have graduated from our program.