Spotlight – Mary McGuire

Mary McGuire – “You can’t really do any wrong, no matter where the client is, they will get something out of it.”

With more and more health disparities at her job as a researcher, Mary McGuire decided she wanted to focus more on the community and promoting health. This is how she found the Masters of Public Health program at UNCG. She said, “it felt like the right thing to do”. There was a lot of buzz around health coaching when she was at UNCG in 2013-14, so she decided to take the health coaching class over the summer. “I loved the process, I loved the one-on-one connection, and I loved the progress that people made with big or small goals!”

Mary currently works for ActiveHealth Management, a division of Aetna. Her company has changed from individual, in-person health coaching to an online group coaching process, although employees will still have the opportunity to participate in individual coaching.

Mary says that health coaching is very broad. You can find a job that fits what you want to do. While the foundations of health coaching stay the same, the setting can be very different. She finds that many people do not understand what health coaching is yet. Sometimes, Mary finds it difficult to explain because “it depends on the client what you do”.

She finds health coaching to be important because “it is such a big part of preventative care, even if someone already has a condition. Doctors will tell you to do XYZ, but health coaching adds the extra piece to enhance your journey to health and wellbeing”. Mary can touch on things clients may not have even realized were barriers. Health coaching can “open doors that weren’t there before and create the alliance”.

The main takeaway Mary has from health coaching is that “you can’t really do anything wrong. No matter where the client is, they will get something out of it, and I’m glad to be a part of that”.