PROGRESS Toward Wellness
PROGRESS Toward Wellness is a free program that gives adults with epilepsy the chance to work with a personal Health Coach on goals related to managing their epilepsy and overall health.
The program features supportive phone calls every two weeks with your Health Coach. During these calls, participants use a step-by-step process to develop and implement an Individual Wellness Plan. Participants can stay in the program for four to six months...depending on how long it takes to reach their goals and master the PROGRESS steps.
Participants select their own goals, based on what’s important to them, and work toward improved wellness in the following areas:

  • Stress
  • Sleep
  • Medication Management
  • Depression
  • Memory & Thinking

To further support their wellness goals, participants have access to facilitated group conference calls with other participants who've chosen to focus on the same problem area.

Highlights from the pilot study of the program

The initial pilot study of the program, supported by a three-year grant from The Jewish Fund, resulted in several positive outcomes for participants, including the following:

  • Significantly reduced epilepsy-related emergency room visits - an average of 0.54 visits for the 6 months prior to participation vs. 0.24 visits for the 6 months during participation (p = .006)
  • Significantly reduced impact of stress on quality of life - prior to the program 54% said stress impacted QOL "quite a bit" or "a lot"; after the program, only 32% said this (p = .009)
  • Increased knowledge of epilepsy and related issues - 85% of participants reported this
  • Enhanced epilepsy self-management and health promotion skills - 90% of participants reported this
  • Success in making progress toward self-selected goals - 92% of participants made at least “some progress” toward at least one goal, 70% reached or made “a lot of progress” toward at least one goal, and 44% reached at least one goal

Evaluation results from the most recent offering of the program will be posted on this webpage by October of 2018. 

 What participants have said about the program

"Being guided through the process made it easy, and if it hadn't been easy, I wouldn't have adhered as well as I did. Caroline's non-judgmental kindness was instrumental. It left the door open for me to be emotional, and created a safe space. Her paraphrasing really helped me get my point across and feel understood. The program pushed me through my resistance to self-help programs and taught me valuable skills and resources to use in the future." 

"The most helpful thing about the program was having someone call - talking with Caroline about my goals, and having her help talk through issues and brainstorm, and guide me through the process. Knowing Caroline would call kept me mindful of things to be working on."

"PROGRESS made me stop and take a look at how I can better keep track of memory and observe other people in the same boat. It helped me be more honest with myself that I had this problem, and I'm not the only one."

"Having someone making me focus on the disability and having to learn to accept it, research it, and manage it myself helped improved my quality of life. The program taught me how to be healthy and aware of my epilepsy. I’m so alert and aware now. It helped my self-confidence...I'm not ashamed anymore!"

"In general, my biggest achievement was that I refocused and stopped just ruminating on the issue. I began coping with the epilepsy."

"It was a wonderful program. There were so many different avenues I wouldn’t have begun to think about without you prompting me and us brainstorming back and forth. I would have never thought of these ideas, and it has greatly improved my life. There were things I didn’t even realize were lacking in my life – like, really targeting issues like medication causing so much stress, and realizing that I can actually do something about it!"

"The coaching calls... helped me think through things. Talking with someone not directly involved can help you see the situation differently. You didn't tell me what to do, but helped me think through it on my own to figure out what to do next. I was able to cry if I needed to cry, or be happy if I was happy. It was so non-judgmental. I've become more accepting of living with epilepsy and more outspoken about living with epilepsy, letting other people know that there is hope. It made me want to be a better advocate for people living with epilepsy, especially minorities with epilepsy. I know I wouldn't have set these types of goals without the coaching calls. I would have still felt depressed about my memory, about my weight, instead of doing something about it... The only "improvement" would be on the end of the participant. If someone is not actively participating in the program, then it's not going to work."

"I don't know where I would have been with my memory had I not joined the program. The skills I have learned have helped me so much, and I have been able to pass the skills along to my family."

"For me going through this for the past year and a half, there’s such a difference from then to now. The outlook is so different, even though what happens all the time is pretty much the same. I don’t see that having changed much without the program…It has helped my mental outlook so much."

We are no longer registering new participants for PROGRESS Toward Wellness. For more information about this program and the possibility of future offerings, please contact Russell Derry ( ; 800-377-6226 ext. 1302).

This program was made possible by grants from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund and the DMC Foundation and was offered in collaboration with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.