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Episode 11: Health Coaches Are Like Duct Tape: They Can Fix Everything!

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“We’re really working on health by using coaching as a means of helping people move forward and improving their health and wellbeing,” explains Catherine Willows, healthcare practitioner turned health coach. When COVID-19 hit, Catherine decided to start her own business and created Willows Coaching and Consulting where she works with both individual clients and practitioners to revolutionize healthcare.

According to Catherine, patients tend to only see the doctor when they are sick and the visits are usually very short. Rather than waiting until an issue arises, the goal of a healthcare coach is to apply aspects of preventative medicine to their coaching and help patients before they ever get sick. Additionally, patients are normally too busy in their daily lives to incorporate their physician’s advice into their routines. They need more support on a day-to-day basis outside of the doctor’s office.

A healthcare coach can help people achieve their goals by giving them that continual support.

Tune into this week’s episode of The Catalyst to learn more about the role of a health coach, how health coaches can work in conjunction with practitioners, and how working with a health coach could improve the outcome of your health.

About Catherine Willows, RN, BA, FMC-HC, NBC-HWC:

Catherine Willows is CEO and founder of Willows Coaching and Consulting, a registered nurse, functional medicine certified health coach, national board-certified health and wellness coach, herbalist, and the former clinical services director of Dr. Mark Hyman’s Clinic, The UltraWellness Center.

Catherine is passionate about coaching individuals on their quest to improve their health and live more fulfilling lives. She is equally dedicated to guiding Functional Medicine provider practices in developing efficient and successful clinical operations to optimize the care they deliver. Catherine draws from her training in Functional Medicine, a collection of holistic modalities along with her nursing experience in psychiatry, hospice, home health, OB as a lactation consultant and more. She is currently studying functional nutrition with the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy.

In This Episode We're Talking About:

  • How we have outgrown the old conventional model of care delivery
  • How bringing innovative infrastructure to your clinical operations can minimize burnout
  • The number of ways you can add coaching to your practice


  • “Currently we’re working on health by using coaching as a means of helping people move forward, get to their goals, and improve their health and well-being.” (4:48-5:04)


  • “Patients have this very short period of time with their practitioners. And then they’re on their own at home even though their lives are much bigger than that.” (6:45-6:54)


  • “The beauty of coaching in conjunction with working with a provider is that if you know what direction the provider is taking, it’s really easy to hone in and communicate back and forth.” (18:50-19:06)


  • “My catalyst moment was when COVID really hit. Things were shifting at the UltraWellness Center, and I just decided people need this work. It’s time. I’ve wanted to have my own business probably my entire life, and I decided it’s time.” (36:36-37:09)

Links for this Episode:

Connect with Catherine Willows, RN:

Connect with Dr. Lara Salyer:

Thank You For Listening!

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About The Catalyst Host, Dr. Lara Salyer:

I worked as a family physician for 15 years until burnout changed the trajectory of my career. I realized I wanted to start a holistic functional medicine practice in my rural hometown and made it happen. In addition to practicing functional medicine, I now mentor practitioners who are looking to change their paths in healthcare by using what I refer to as the “Catalyst Roadmap”. I share each step of this framework with listeners so that they may apply it to their careers, relationships, personal goals, and projects. 

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