A ‘micro business’ which provides coaching services to people with chronic illnesses has been named the Telstra Victorian Business of the Year for 2009.
The COACH Program delivers support and advice over the phone to people with conditions such as heart disease and diabetes to help them manage their lifestyles.
Developed by Dr Margarite Vale, it is based on the evidence of patient responses to coaching in controlled trials.
The program also took out the national Telstra micro business award.
Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, Deena Shiff said The COACH Program stood out because it had translated the best of clinical research into action, using a viable business model and strong institutional demand.”
“The research that has gone into the program is being constantly updated, so patients receiving ‘coaching’ can be confident they are getting advice that is medically proven,” she said.
“Although it is a very small business it has the potential to grow and improve the health [and] well-being of many thousands of people world-wide with chronic disease.”
The program’s founder, Dr Margarite Vale said it gives patients the knowledge, skills and motivation they need to take control of their own health.
“With this program, patients are trained to be the ‘driver’ of the process of achieving and maintaining the target levels for their coronary risk factors while working in association with their usual doctors,” she said.
“It means they have a credible, knowledgeable source of information to go to for advice, support, clarification or to just act as a confidential sounding board.”