EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

December 15, 2012

Northampton physician offers house calls by bike

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She lost 22 pounds herself, and is completely off the insulin she used to inject twice daily and her oral medication. “Next, I want to get off my high blood pressure meds,” she said.

Griffin said the key to helping people get healthy is “small steps.” If you tell an out-of-shape person they have to drastically change their diet and start walking three miles a day, it won’t happen, she said.

So she started them on house and yard work, including cleaning the garage, and later added riding a stationary bicycle, just three minutes a day at first, and then slowly lengthening the workout intervals.

With Griffin’s expertise, she could do house calls to treat people, but she doesn’t see the point. “I thought about it, but I’d still be putting a Band-Aid on it,” she said.

Griffin said she got into health coaching because she used books and other expert opinions to coach herself when she was struggling to get her own diabetes under control.

She launched her health coaching business two years ago and now has between 25 and 30 clients. She coaches them mostly by phone because she has been busy with her other jobs, but some of her clients live in other parts of the country, she added.

With the advent of PedalMed, she is hoping to do many more house calls than phone calls.

“I’m doing 15 miles a day now, but I’d like to be riding 50 miles a day, year-round,” she said. “I’ve got studded snow tires.” She said she has only traveled to clients in Northampton so far, but is excited to expand her network now.

She works with a billing company and accepts all insurances. Her rates for the uninsured are on a sliding scale — $100 per session at the most — but she said she is happy to work with uninsured people to make the coaching affordable.

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