Innovation award honors Riverwood for wellness coaching


Dan Schletty, Health & Wellness Coach, Riverwood Healthcare

Dan Schletty, Health & Wellness Coach, Riverwood Healthcare

Recently, the George Family Foundation honored Riverwood Healthcare Center with the Healthy Communities Partnership (HCP) award for Achievement in Program Innovation. This award, accepted by Dan Schletty, Riverwood health and wellness coach, honors two organizations that implemented compelling new wellness and prevention services for the communities they serve.

Gayle Ober, president of the George Family Foundation, offered these comments on why Riverwood received the award:

“What was most impressive about Riverwood’s Healthy Communities Partnership achievements was their willingness to think outside of the traditional health and wellness box and embed a health coach into their primary care clinics.  They thought strategically about the outcomes they were hoping to achieve with this service offering and put the systems in place to not only support the health coach, but also their outcomes reporting. It was an honor to work with and learn from Riverwood throughout the three years of the Healthy Communities Partnership program.”

In addition to demonstrating success in improving health outcomes, such as significant reduction in blood pressure for patients who worked with a health coach versus those who did not, Riverwood made the decision to continue to offering free wellness coaching to its patients after the HCP grant funding concluded at the end of 2015.

The award includes $5,000 from the George Family Foundation, which Riverwood will use to support wellness programming in the year ahead.

In 2013, Riverwood was one of 13 health systems serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin communities chosen to participate in a three-year program called the Healthy Communities Partnership. A $475,000 grant from the George Family Foundation and Allina Health, and administered by the George Family Foundation, enabled Riverwood to launch a wellness coaching program and community outreach and programs to promote wellness among local residents in the Aitkin County and Garrison area communities it serves.