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VOL. 46 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 12, 2022

VU study outlines health coaching benefits

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A new study led by Vanderbilt showed the sustained benefits of health coaching for patients with chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

The study led by Ruth Wolever, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and director of Vanderbilt Health Coaching at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, found that 10 sessions of health coaching for people at risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes or both led to increased physical activity which was sustained six months after the intervention ended.

Published in Health Psychology, the study is one of the few that addresses the sustainability of health coaching beyond the coaching period. With 200 participants, the trial was one of the largest to assess the impact of health coaching on health behaviors.

Also, this was among the first trials testing whether incorporating genetic risk testing into risk counseling might enhance the impact of health coaching.

“Chronic health conditions – particularly heart disease and diabetes – are largely driven by behavior and lifestyle patterns,” Wolever says. “It can be very hard to create and sustain a healthy lifestyle, so any interventions that will help people make and sustain these healthy changes are vital.”

Health coaching is defined by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching as a partnership between a coach and a client that aims to enhance well-being through self-directed lasting changes aligned with the client’s values. Wolever and colleagues stuck closely to this definition when developing their study.

The participants, who were all active-duty United States Air Force members, beneficiaries or USAF retirees, were enrolled in primary care at David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis Air Force Base, California. Each had an elevated risk for developing CHD, T2D or both. Participants self-reported their dietary intake and exercise at baseline, three months, six months and one year.

The group that received health coaching was 3.6 times more likely to report moderate, hard or very hard intensity activity versus reporting inactivity or light activity at six months and 2.9 times more likely to report such at one year.

Depression scores at six months were also significantly lower among participants receiving health coaching. Interestingly, the study did not result in dietary improvements for participants, an outcome that has been observed by researchers in at least three other studies.

Girls in Tech marks 15 years with conference

Girls in Tech, a global nonprofit working to erase the gender gap in tech, is celebrating its 15th anniversary at its annual conference on Sept. 7 in Nashville – a forum for executives from across the globe to gather and discuss industry trends, tricks of the trade, setbacks, triumphs, and life experiences uniquely tailored to women in technology.

Founded in 2007 by CEO Adriana Gascoigne, Girls in Tech has grown into a global leader in the gender equality movement with 100,000+ women and allies in 56 cities, 42 countries and 6 continents. Among the organization’s biggest achievements:

• 15,000+ entrepreneurs funded, mentored and supported through the Startup Challenge, the organization’s signature entrepreneurship pitch competition

• 100,000+ participants in the Girls in Tech Hackathon series, solving local and global problems

• 35,000+ participants in coding, design and startup boot camps

• The recently launched “Next Generation of Public Sector and Service Leaders,” a program to provide education and raise awareness of career opportunities in federal, state and local governments

The Girls in Tech community starts a new chapter this Sept. 7 at its annual conference, featuring a dynamic selection of speakers with inspiring stories and practical insights to share. Keynote speakers include Jill Anderson of Edward Jones, Alvina Antar of Okta, Debika Bhattacharya of Verizon, Latrisse Brissett of Accenture, Ruth Davis of IBM, Wendy Harrington of TIAA and many more.

TN forms new company to insure state property

The state has established the Tennessee Captive Insurance Company to create additional efficiencies and savings when insuring state property.

Administered by the Tennessee Department of Treasury, Division of Claims and Risk Management, the state of Tennessee is self-insured for property and general liability. This covers all state-owned buildings and contents, including the campuses of Tennessee public institutions of higher learning, with a total property value of $ 31.4 billion as of July 2022.

Businesses can use captive insurance to mitigate risk and manage costs in certain aspects of their operations. Implementing the Tennessee Captive Insurance Company allows the state to operate with a high degree of efficiency as it works to insure property losses up to deductible limits, access the wholesale reinsurance markets to reduce premiums, minimize volatility in pricing, and underwrite the state’s own unique risks.

The Division of Claims and Risk expects the captive to help them insure unique and difficult risks and reduce overall insurance costs. The use of a captive will also allow the state to better evaluate and control the risks of Tennessee state government.

Captive insurance companies in Tennessee are regulated by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, which recently granted the nonprofit state captive authority to operate, following its recent approval of the authorizing legislation by the Tennessee General Assembly.

“Commerce & Insurance has advocated for captive insurance as a smart business option to lower costs and increase specifically tailored protections,” says Department of Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Carter Lawrence. “Now that the state is establishing a captive insurance company, taxpayers will benefit from these same advantages.”

The potential savings from the captive will benefit taxpayers as they will be used to write policies with lower premiums, or to return or invest the savings to prepare for future claim payouts and ultimately save taxpayer money. The state captive insurance company initially will only issue property and cyber liability policies, but the state may add other lines of coverage in future years.

Trade association for logistics pros formed

Spencer Patton, the owner-operator of one of the largest number of FedEx Ground routes in the United States, has announced the launch of the Trade Association for Logistics Professionals.

TALP, a nonprofit organization for logistics professionals – including Contracted Service Providers to FedEx Ground – will initially focus on electing a 10-person leadership committee that will promote the common business interests of all CSPs. The network of 6,000 CSPs are exclusive service providers for the entire FedEx Ground network.

The TALP announcement comes 14 days after Patton’s initial letter to FedEx Ground expressing genuine concern about the health of FedEx Ground’s network. In a video update, Patton notes the purpose of TALP will be to exercise all logistics professionals’ First Amendment rights to promote legislative advocacy, problem solve and, if necessary, participate in legal challenges to secure rights that would benefit members.

Nominations for TALP’s 10-person leadership committee will open Aug. 10 and run through Sept. 9. Voting for the TALP committee will take place from Sept. 12-18.

Elite Sports Medicine opens Brentwood office

Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics has opened a new location at 1001 Health Park Drive Suite 220 in Brentwood. The new Elite location can be found in TriStar’s Health Park medical office building located off Old Hickory Boulevard

“We have long awaited a location in this area to better serve our patients and make quality orthopedic care convenient for all,” says Dr. David Moore, co-founder of Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics and MPOWER Physical Therapy.

The new location includes on-site physical therapy with MPOWER Physical Therapy, MRI, 12 patient exam rooms, and shared space with Southern Joint Replacement Institute, a close partner of Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics.

The Brentwood location advances Elite’s patient-centered approach to orthopedics, which combines relationship-driven care, clinical excellence and superior facilities. Many of Elite’s 12 orthopedists will practice at the new facility along with numerous physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and physical and occupational therapists.

Grants target digital divide for older residents

The West End Home Foundation announced more than $3.76 million in grants has been awarded to agencies throughout the state to help bridge the digital divide for Tennesseans age 60 and older.

The digital literacy initiative is the last phase of the $40 million settlement handed down from Davidson County Chancery Court. Funds from this case were designated by the court to be used to sustain and improve the quality of life for elderly Tennesseans.

“Digital equity and inclusion are now considered to be social determinants of health with far-reaching implications,” says Dianne Oliver, executive director, WEHF. “This grant program was designed to provide funding to locally based programs offered by trusted community agencies that understand the specific needs of their residents.”

Agencies and nonprofits from across the state that were seeking grants had to address ways their organizations would reduce social isolation and increase access to essential services for older Tennesseans through digital literacy and inclusion programming.

Thirty nonprofit and governmental agencies received grants ranging from $10,000-$400,000.

Lee urges parents to download SafeTN app

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security invited Tennesseans to get ready for the new school year by downloading the SafeTN app.

“Every Tennessean has an active role to play in ensuring school safety, and that starts with downloading the Safe TN app,” says Lee. “As students return to school this month, the SafeTN app is an easy way for parents and guardians to quickly and confidentially report safety concerns.”

The SafeTN app gives every Tennessean a direct line for confidentially reporting suspicious or concerning activity within schools. Concerns and tips are vetted by law enforcement 24/7 to address circumstances like violence or assault, threats of violence or a planned attack or physical injury or harm to self or others.

In the coming weeks, the Lee administration will share data and next steps for the governor’s recent executive order to enhance school safety throughout Tennessee. Additional resources will be provided to parents, schools and law enforcement throughout the fall.

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