Hinge Health partners with Mary’s Place to provide health coaching to families experiencing homelessness

November 15th, 2022  by  Fran Clowse –  Associate Health Coach at Hinge Health

Earlier this year, Hinge Health launched a six-month pilot project with Mary’s Place, a Seattle-based organization that helps women and families move out of homelessness. The partnership with Mary’s Place was formed as a way for Hinge Health to give back to our community by providing free health coaching sessions to people receiving services at Mary’s Place. In addition, this was an opportunity for Hinge Health health coaches who are working toward their national board certification exam to complete the required coaching hours.

I was lucky enough to participate in the program, where I met Kim. Kim was transparent about her situation. She had recently been to the doctor’s office, where she was told she’s prediabetic and needs to lose over 100 pounds. She’s had a hard time losing weight because snacking on candy and drinking eight cans of Pepsi a day have been her go-to stress relievers. Because of her weight and a recent fall, she has chronic back pain and is using a walker. Kim had worked with an in-person physical therapist, but she told me how difficult it was to find free time because she has custody of her three-year-old granddaughter. When the Day Center at Mary’s Place announced its partnership with Hinge Health, Kim immediately sought out the program because she was motivated to change her lifestyle and stay healthy for her granddaughter.

When I first met Kim, I noticed that she was already in the preparatory stage of change. We created plans together for how to begin her weight loss journey and reduce her back pain. Within two weeks, she’d already reduced her daily Pepsi intake from eight cans to zero! We also discussed ways to focus on nutrition, not only for herself but also for her granddaughter, such as changing her cooking style from fried to baked, broiled, or boiled. As her weight came down, so did the intensity of her back pain.

By our last session, she no longer depended on her walker. With less pain, she was motivated to add more movement into her life. When I asked her how she felt about our coaching sessions, she said that she’s “much more confident about her thought process.” She’s proud that she’s already lost 20 pounds, and even though the coaching program is over, she wants to continue challenging herself with new goals and stay healthy so she can see her granddaughter become their family’s first college graduate one day.

As a coach, working with Kim was thrilling. She set her goals and achieved every single one of them. I was reminded that when providing health coaching to my clients, it’s important to take a step back and consider the social determinants of health. So much of health revolves around access, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to be the means for someone to gain access to needed health care and begin achieving their health goals!

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals

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Fran Clowse
About the Author

Fran Clowse is an associate health coach at Hinge Health who lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband of 28 years. Fran has three adult daughters who all live in the Atlanta area. She also has a nine year old dog, named Charlie (the son she never had). Fran enjoys leading her neighborhood yoga class, running races in and around Atlanta, and listening to books on audible.

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