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Hundreds of Northwest Arkansans at risk of chronic disease will benefit over the next year from a new Whole Health Coaching Project, a collaborative effort by the renamed Heartland Whole Health Institute and the region’s Community Clinic.

The program’s initial phase is a 12-month program funded by the Institute that will offer free, one-on-one health coaching services to help 350 Community Clinic patients create sustainable, healthy lifestyle habits, according to an announcement released yesterday. It aims to prevent or improve hypertension and diabetes outcomes, reduce the cost of care and drive patient engagement.

The program will be administered by Newtopia, a tech-enabled whole health platform creating sustainable habits that prevent, slow and reverse chronic disease.

“We are excited to be a catalyst for change and help people live healthy and meaningful lives with the launch of the Whole Health Coaching Project,” said Walter Harris, President of Heartland Whole Health Institute. “The Project allows us to explore the impact that a preventative, whole-person intervention can have in health systems.”

Chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States and a driver of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost all of them are at least partly related to lifestyle and behavior.

Heartland Whole Health Institute, formerly Whole Health Institute, is a nonprofit founded in 2019 by philanthropist Alice Walton to work with health systems, communities, policymakers and employers to push for care delivery and payment models that help improve health and reduce costs. Community Clinic’s 19 locations, meanwhile, provide primary care, dental, pediatric, women’s health, behavioral health care and more with a particular focus on low-income and diverse communities.

“Community Clinic is proud to work alongside Heartland Whole Health Institute and Newtopia on this project to expand the extensive services offered as part of our primary care delivery,” said Judd Semingson, CEO, Community Clinic. “We all share in the value of patient-centered whole health care delivery. This project allows us to broaden our unique focus by working directly with our patients and communities to improve chronic health outcomes and enhance health and wellness.”

Both Community Clinic and HWHI have been essential partners for the Northwest Arkansas Council’s Health Care Transformation Division, which works with health care providers and others to help improve care and provide more services close to home. For example, Community Clinic and other groups last year partnered with the Council to create Our Healthy Alliance, an outreach campaign and health care navigation tool available in English, Spanish and Marshallese.

“Making health care more accessible to the Northwest Arkansas residents who need it is only possible through collaboration, and this project represents an exciting new step toward that goal,” said Ryan Cork, Health Care Transformation Division executive director. “I applaud these organizations’ efforts and look forward to seeing their results.”

The coaching project’s launch also complements the Heartland Whole Health Institute’s updated focus in bridging the gaps to better health together, Walton said.

“Heartland Whole Health Institute will advocate, educate, and guide the implementation of innovative systems, with a refined focus on value-based care and whole health delivery adoption,” she said. “The success of our work relies on the connections we build and the change we seek with likeminded community partners.”

Special thanks to our major investors for their support of the Northwest Arkansas Council and our work in the region: