Rend Lake College launches Community Health Care class

INA, Ill. (Jan. 2, 2014) - For anyone interested in a career in health care, the new Community Health Care course at Rend Lake College is just what the doctor ordered. Class begins Jan. 13 and some spots remain available.

The health care industry is rapidly changing from a system of treating diseases to preventing them from happening in the first place. Community Health Care gives interested individuals the foundation for a future career in the health care industry. It also provides great information for family members caring for elderly or sick relatives.

“The health care field is still seeing rapid growth in terms of occupations,” said Kim Robert, Dean of RLC’s Allied Health Division. “Health care coaching is just another aspect of that, as new jobs and disciplines emerge. St. Mary’s Good Samaritan sees a need for health care coaches, and we are glad to work with them to develop the training for it.”

Health care coaches, also known as wellness coaches or health coaches, will help individuals implement the activities and plans the patient creates with his or her nurse, social worker or other clinician. Ultimately, the goal of the health care coach is to motivate and lead his or her clients to positive behavioral change and better health. At St. Mary’s Good Samaritan, health coaches act as liaisons between patients and clinicians and help implement clinical changes to improve the daily lives of patients. Community Health Care is a study of key issues and focuses on developing practical approaches to supporting patients. The class will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Mondays beginning January 13 and will run through May 12 at the Rend Lake College MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon. Spots are still available.

After completing the course participants will work with one or two patients, under the direction and supervision of the clinical staff of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan. This semester internship provides invaluable real-world experience with people in need.

Topics covered will include: challenges of delivering adequate health care in communities; population medicine; specific problems posed by diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease; ethical dimensions of the concept of “underinsurance”; community medicine and the law; methods of improving compliance, and measuring outcomes. The classroom course format is three hours of lecture, while the internship period with St. Mary’s Good Samaritan is in-the-field and may include accompanying individuals to doctor’s appointments, going to individuals’ homes to assist in a healthy home set up, and providing reinforcement of directions given by health care providers.

The class is a good fit for those interested in the growing field of health care coaching. It was developed in partnership with St. Mary’s Good Samaritan. According to Michelle Darnell, Vice President of Systems Improvement at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan, “Health coaches are an extremely valuable addition to our health care team. They extend clinical care beyond the walls of hospitals and physician offices by assisting individuals to optimize their quality of life.”

Darnell adds, “Because we believe the skills of health coaches are critical to our success and in keeping patients and our community healthy, we will be offering individuals who complete the course and internship a guarantee for an interview when they apply for a position in our facilities.”

For more information or to register for Community Health Care, contact the Rend Lake College Allied Health Division at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1251, or at .

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