I am a family nurse practitioner, wellness coach, nursing professor, wife, and mother with a passion for inspiring and empowering people to choose life and live well. As a lifestyle medicine specialist, I find that information alone is insufficient for changing behavior. Rather than just prescribing solutions, I enjoy transformative conversations that help others to explore new ways of thinking about their health and to personalize strategies for achieving the goals that are important to them. I also value a wholistic approach, incorporating mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects with physical health. As a Christian, I believe that the key to experiencing health and healing is to cooperate with God’s restorative work in us. I encourage people to explore their faith as a means to inspire hope, encourage personal responsibility, and increase motivation and confidence for personal change.
Presently, I serve as a Professor for the School of Nursing at Southern Adventist University and am blessed to teach what I call the “fun” classes in the graduate nursing program:
- Health Coaching for Health Professionals
- Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
- Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine
- Exercise Modalities for Lifestyle Change
- Nutritional Approach to Disease Prevention & Management
- Lifestyle Management of Chronic Disease
- Nurse Practitioner Clinical Preceptor
- MSN Capstone Adviser
- DNP Scholarly Project Adviser
I also practice part-time as a Family Nurse Practitioner at the Volunteers in Medicine clinic in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In addition to my nursing practice, I offer individual and group health coaching, speak and write on a variety of health-related topics, conduct lifestyle coach training, and consult with organizations who want to develop a wellness initiative. Coaching is at the heart of what I am passionate about. There’s nothing more exciting to me than to come alongside another person and help them connect with what really matters to them, design a personalized growth plan, develop a new mindset and new skills, and experience transformational change. We become partners on a journey with the shared destination of living well. Working with both groups and individuals, I have helped people to lose weight, stop smoking, reduce stress, lower health risks, become physically active, create work/life balance, pursue dreams, and improve their health and quality of life. I love to work with people who want more and who are ready to do whatever it takes to discover real meaning, create balance, and embark on their journey toward a healthy lifestyle aligned with God’s purposes for their lives.
In my own journey, I have faced challenges with emotional eating, adopting an active lifestyle, and mastering work/life balance. I have found that the most significant keys to living well are a spiritual foundation and a relational coaching approach. I’ve also gained much support, encouragement, and accountability from my faith community and online support groups–like-minded people on a similar journey to live well.
The scripture passage 3 John 2 has long been a favorite of mine: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” The author of this passage used the ancient Greek word euodoo for prosper which means “to help on the road, succeed in reaching” from a combination of two root words: eu, meaning good or well, and hodos, meaning road, progress, or journey. That’s my mission as a professor, nurse practitioner, and coach: to inspire, empower, and connect with others in their journey for living well.
- Doctor of Nursing Practice, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale TN, 2014
- Concentration: Lifestyle Therapeutics
- Dissertation: The Effect of a Group Lifestyle Coaching Model on HbA1c, Weight, & Psychosocial Constructs in Low-Income Patients with Type 2 Diabetes
- Post-Master Certificate in Nursing Practice, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale TN, 2012
- Master of Science in Nursing, Drexel University, Philadelphia PA, 2006
- Concentration: Health Behavior Change and Health Coaching
- Capstone: Facilitating Successful Lifestyle Change through the Integration of Group Health Coaching with Faith-Based Health Education Programs: A Process Model
- Post-Secondary Certificate in Nursing Education, Drexel University, Philadelphia PA, 2006
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Drexel University, Philadelphia PA, 2004
- Associate of Science in Nursing, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale TN, 1982
- ANCC Family Nurse Practitioner
- National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners
- Coaching certifications from Wellcoaches, Totally Coached, & Lifeforming Leadership Coaching
- Faith Community Nurse
- ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist
- Plant Based Nutrition Certificate from eCornell