What is Peer Health Coaching?
Peer health coaches are patients or caregivers (peers) who are trained to support other patients and help them manage their condition. For example, peer health coaches can meet patients on the phone, by internet, chat or through email and answer questions about taking medicines, exercising, quitting smoking, or using different devices and health management apps or programs.
Peer health coaching has revolutionized patient engagement and self-management by empowering individuals to take control of their own condition.
Clinically validated in many chronic conditions including diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease, peer health coaching improves the lives of many. Patients are more motivated to self-manage their condition and adhere to treatment and prescribed medications when they have a personal connection to someone with a shared experience. Shared experiences create deeper trust and empathy. Because of this, peer health coaches are able to present information in more meaningful ways to patients than clinicians or other health care providers.
While unable to give medical advice, the peer health coach is a valuable and complementary component of the patient’s care team who can drive positive health outcomes by enhancing patient engagement, providing encouragement and support, reducing the unnecessary utilization of care, and urging the patient to seek immediate care before an exacerbation.
Peer health coaches meet patients where they are...
Benefits of Peer Health Coaching:
- Improved awareness of COPD, Bronchiectasis, and NTM
- Improved education on managing and living well with chronic lung conditions
- Improved patient and caregiver satisfaction (example: improved sleep, reduced depression)
- Reduced hospital readmissions
- Improved recognition of signs of exacerbation, thereby preventing or reducing them
- Improved adherence to treatments (example: medications, exercise and/or physical activity)
- Reduced clinic staff burden will allow increased capacity to handle patient case load
COPD360coach is a first-of-its-kind peer health platform designed to connect trained coaches to people living with COPD. Peer health coaches aim to help patients manage their own conditions and reduce the need for professional health care providers (example: doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists).
For example, peer health coaches can support the transition home from the hospital by educating the patients on the importance of following discharge instructions and adhering to medications, as directed. Additionally, 360coaches answer basic questions and provide information and referrals to health-related social needs (i.e., housing, transportation, food, utilities, etc.).
The COPD360 technology framework includes a care management solution, a HIPAA-compliant care support and coaching solution designed to deliver patient education through structured workflows. This unique care management solution enables peer-to-peer health coaches to efficiently manage and communicate with participants in a health coaching program. Utilized in recent clinical trials including the O2VERLAP study, COPD360coach’s peer-to-peer interaction was appreciated by study participants.
Results from the PELICAN (Comparative effectiveness of PEer-Led supplemental oxygen InfoLine for patients and CAregivers) study provided preliminary data on the potential benefits of phone-based proactive peer coaching on depressive symptoms and sleep disturbance in patients with COPD who were prescribed oxygen treatment for 24 hours per day.
COPD360coach also supports the Inspiration Point Study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with a private interactive online community on COPD360social. Study participants are connected to other individuals impacted by COPD to receive support, ask questions, as well as chat with a peer health coach.
The Bronchiectasis and NTM Ambassador Program utilizes the COPD360coach platform to provide newly diagnosed individuals and their family members with ongoing support, advice, and answers to general questions about both conditions.
Our 360coaches are either patient advocates who often are no longer able to work in full-time positions or caregivers to someone with COPD or a related lung condition. They receive intensive contact center training, specialized Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training on social and behavioral research, and HIPAA compliance training. Additionally, they are highly experienced in motivational interviewing, goal setting, and basic smoking cessation counseling along with comprehensive COPD education.
Xavier Soler, MD, PhDplus
Dr. Soler received his MD and PhD degrees from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, where he also completed his fellowship in pulmonary and sleep medicine and a specialization in non-invasive mechanical ventilation and tobacco cessation. He was a physician and pulmonologist in Spain before moving to the United States to join the University of California at San Diego in 2006.
Dr. Soler is senior consultant at Gossamer Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, acquiring, developing and commercializing therapeutics in the disease areas of immunology, inflammation and oncology.
Prior to joining the COPD Foundation, Xavi was a medical expert and team leader in U.S. Medical Affairs (USMA) at GSK. Xavi has a strong background and formal training in chronic lung diseases such as COPD and asthma and extensive experience in other lung disorders and programs such as chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, tobacco cessation, pulmonary rehabilitation, imaging, and lung cancer. In his role at GSK, he served as an internal expert to provide input and lead projects for evidence generation, clinical trial development, and data analysis. Xavi developed scientific content for educational and training materials for internal and external audiences and served as an internal expert consultant to USMA or critical stakeholders. He has experience managing investigator-initiated studies and large collaborative research endeavors and engaging with health care professional organizations, regulators, and governmental agencies in a scientific capacity.
As an Associate Professor of Medicine at U.C. San Diego, he assumed increasing levels of responsibility, including serving as the Medical Director for Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Director of the Clinical Trials Center & Airway Research Center. He was also Director of Cardiopulmonary Services for El Centro Regional Medical Center, a U.C. San Diego affiliate. Xavi has served as a principal investigator on numerous clinical trials, including the NIH-funded American Lung Association Airway Clinical Research Network (ALA-ACRN) and COPDGene studies. He serves as a reviewer for many pulmonary medicine journals and has authored many original publications, invited articles, book chapters, and abstracts. Dr. Soler completed the National Center of Leadership in Academic Medicine (NCLAM) program from U.C. San Diego (2012). He was awarded the American Thoracic Society Foundation Outstanding Early Investigator Award (2014), the American Thoracic Society Pulmonary Rehabilitation Early Career Achievement Award (2015), and the U.C. San Diego, International Mentorship Award (2017). Xavi was also recognized as a San Diego Top Doctor (2018).
Dr. Soler maintains a U.C. San Diego affiliation as associate professor of medicine teaching at the School of Medicine and mentoring fellows and young researchers. Xavi holds a formal business administration background and 25+ years of business management and has served pro-bono as an advisory board member and consultant for companies and non-profit organizations (underserved areas in Senegal, Africa).
Linda Walsh, BS, TTSplus
Linda Walsh is the Foundation’s Chief Community Engagement Officer and is currently leading the rebuilding of COPD360coach, the peer health coaching support arm of COPD360Net. Linda directed the C.O.P.D. Information Line from 2011 until 2019 and under her leadership the Information Line Associates were rigorously trained as peer health coaches providing integral support for many Foundation research initiatives. These included the CAPTURE Study, the COPD and Pneumonia Study, the iPArTNER Study, the O2Verlap Study, the PELICAN Study, the Patient-Powered Research Network, and the Pulmonary Education Program. Linda is passionate about educating, empowering, and engaging all stakeholders of the COPD community as many of Linda’s family members are directly impacted by the disease.
Linda has over 25 years of experience in both the profit and not-for-profit sectors in strategic and financial planning, securing corporate funding and sponsorships, and enhancing operations and customer service.
Linda received a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lung Transplant Foundation. In addition, she is certified as a Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
Tim Deuby, BAplus
As COPD360 Project Manager at the COPD Foundation, Tim Deuby is part of the team building the COPD360 Coach program. He assists in the daily management of the program as well as providing ongoing operational and peer coach training support. From 2011 to 2019, Tim helped manage the operations of the C.O.P.D. Information Line whose associates were trained to support many COPD Foundation research initiatives in addition to providing peer health support to the COPD community of patients and caregivers.
Tim is an operational and administrative program development consultant with over 20 years of experience implementing complex processes and programs, in addition to providing business, facility, and contact center project coordination for profit and non-profit organizations.
Prior to his consulting business, Tim served as an environmental, health, and safety manager for a global automotive manufacturing supplier where he managed multiple successful workplace safety and facility system projects.
Tim has a Bachelor of Art in business administration from Cleary University.
In his role as a COPD360 Coach Specialist for the Foundation, Brandon Holmes interacts with COPD patients and caregivers via phone, email, or online chats to answer questions and provide information and support on topics ranging from COPD medicines to quitting smoking to exercising and more. He is uniquely qualified for this role as a peer-to-peer coach as he has been a caregiver for many years for his mother who has the genetic form of COPD, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, and mild bronchiectasis.
Brandon began his journey with the COPD Foundation in 2014 on the C.O.P.D. Information Line where he answered calls, emails, and online chats daily from patients and caregivers, while also serving as a Team Leader and a peer mentor to new Information Line associates. In addition, Brandon has supported several COPD Foundation research studies as a peer health coach.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Brandon spent several years working in home health care and hospice, and as a Correctional Medical Assistant. In this role he worked directly with physicians and other medical specialties to encompass the care of his patients.
Brandon attended Weber State University in Northern Utah.
Pam DeNardo, BA, TTSplus
Pam DeNardo is a COPD360Coach for the Foundation. In this role Pam speaks and corresponds daily with the COPD patient and caregiver community providing support and education.
Pam is uniquely qualified for this job as she was diagnosed with COPD in 1999. Since that time, she has volunteered with the American Lung Association, Tobacco Free Kids and EFFORTS, an online patient-run, emphysema advocacy and support group.
In 2006, Pam retired from owning and operating her own business, Professional Benefit Consultants, a small brokerage selling benefit programs including group health plans, dental and vision, disability, and life insurance, to small businesses. It was upon this retirement that Pam fulfilled a promise to the COPD Foundation founder, John W. Walsh, to work with the Foundation and has been affiliated since that time.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in education from Northern Illinois University and is Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) certified.
Claudya Greig, AAplus
Claudya Greig has been involved with the COPD Foundation since 2015—initially as a bilingual Associate of the C.O.P.D. Information Line, and then as a research assistant. Today, she is a Foundation COPD360 Coach supporting patients in both English and Spanish. In this role Claudya interacts with COPD patients and caregivers via phone, email, or online chats to answer questions, giving support and providing information on a variety of COPD-related topics.
Claudya is uniquely qualified to serve in this peer-to-peer coaching and educating role as she herself was diagnosed with COPD in 2000 and has been on oxygen for approximately ten years. Additionally, she was a caregiver for both her mother, who had COPD, as well as her husband who had pulmonary hypertension.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Claudya was a teacher and librarian. She lived in Chile for 28 years where she received an Associate of Arts in education degree from the Universidad de Chile.