Topic: Human Resources

November 20, 2008

Looking for that extra push to help quit smoking or shed pounds? Ball State University's newly hired health coach may be able to help.

Ball State has collaborated with Lifeworks iCan Health Coaching from Ceridian to give employees information and free and confidential support with the help of Jennifer Flanagan, a graduate of Ball State.

Flanagan is the health coach for the university's Working Well program. Ball State is supporting its employees in making positive lifestyle choices, said Patty Hollingsworth, Working Well director.

"The lifestyle choices individuals make every day have the greatest impact on their health status," Hollingsworth said. "Many employees understand the changes they need to make; coaches support them in making the change."

As health coach, Flanagan will schedule phone calls or one-on-one meetings with faculty and staff members. She will work with employees to help set realistic goals, whether it is to quit smoking, manage weight, learn to handle stress or improve heart health. There are no deadlines and participants work at their own pace.

"Many people already know what to do," Flanagan said. "They just need some support and accountability to help them through the process of making lifestyle changes. That's my role. Helping people put their knowledge into action."

Flanagan, a native of Elwood, Ind., graduated from Ball State with degrees in respiratory therapy and health science. She is a certified health education specialist and has worked in the health field for 11 years.

"I am very excited," Flanagan said. "I feel honored to be able to use the degrees I received from Ball State in a way that gives back to the employees."

For more information, call Jennifer Flanagan at 765-285-3023.

By Alyssa Brumback