AFC’s new Physical Activity Counseling Program targets patients who are identified as being at risk for, and those who are already managing a chronic disease – as well as patients who are severely deconditioned. The primary focus is to increase movement and physical activity through patient-centered counseling delivered by volunteers.
Volunteer Physical Activity Counselor (PACs) will provide one-on-one activity assessments, exercise prescriptions, and ongoing support to patients over a period of six-twelve months. This program will complement AFC’s group classes and wellness education sessions that are open to all patients.
The PAC will (1) encourage patients with or at risk for chronic health issues (DM, HTN, Obesity) to follow evidence-based guidelines to increase their activity level by: assessing current level of activity and fitness, establishing goals and providing ongoing one-on-one support and (2) treat deconditioned patients with graded exercise prescription for strength and endurance.
The primary qualifications for role of Physical Activity Counselor are:
- a strong belief in the importance of promoting physical activity to prevent/manage chronic disease (diabetes, hypertension, etc.)
- availability both to attend the PAC volunteer training to learn the assessment and exercise prescription program process [planned for early February] and to meet on schedule with patients and make calls over the next year
Other helpful experience:
- physical activity experience: fitness, training, PT, exercise, wellness
- coaching/training/teaching experience
- fluency in languages other than English spoken by our patients (Spanish, Amharic, Mongolian, Bengali, Urdu)
We are anticipating the time commitment for volunteer PACs as follows:
- 2-3 hour training session to be scheduled on a weekday evening [planned for early February] in which you will learn the program goals, structure and methodology
- 1 hour per patient for initial assessment
- ½ hour per patient 1 week after (preferably same day of the week and time of day as assessment appointments),
- 5 hour block of time (preferably again on same day of the week and time of day) for quarterly follow-up appointments
- 30-60 mins/week to make weekly calls to the patient for the first 12weeks (on non-appointment weeks) to provide support and address barriers to following the exercise prescription
Please contact Surekha Cohen if interested!