Mission statement: To make a difference in people's lives

I named my company Priorities Simplified, LLC to describe and reflect what I hoped to do-simplify people's priorities and help them live their best lives.

Over the years working in a variety of settings to make a difference, from being a special educator early in my career, to a health and fitness professional in non-profit, corporate, and private settings, all the way to working in a drug treatment program in a federal prison, I learned that helping people move forward started with a simple step. Keeping it simple and basic, prioritizing what mattered most, was key.

I have always taken a real life, practical approach to things…including optimizing health, fitness, happiness and well-being no matter what one's circumstances. Life isn't always perfect, but we can take what is, and optimize it, by thinking what is possible given what is. My goal is to inspire hope, motivation, and give a pathway to happy, healthy, lives.

Since 1981, I've been a health and fitness professional serving in a variety of capacities. I'm a Board Certified and Professional Certified Wellness Coach and teaching faculty with
Wellcoaches Corporation (an ACSM partner), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Health Fitness Specialist, and an ACSM/ACS Cancer Exercise Trainer. I have written and been interviewed for numerous articles for professional and popular media on health and lifestyle topics, was co-investigator for the first wellness coaching study utilizing the Wellcoaches methodology (credentialed professional working as coaches) as a single intervention, was first to bring wellness coaching to cancer survivors, and was contributing author for the first coaching textbook in health care, Coaching Psychology Manual, (Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins). I also serve as Wellcoaches® faculty, advisor, and live workshop presenter for Wellcoaches Corporation leading workshops/keynotes around the world.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the name of my company, Priorities Simplified, took on new meaning. Struggling to regain strength, energy, and confidence after aggressive treatment, I understood how challenging living a healthy lifestyle could be for survivors. Being immersed in the growing field of health and wellness coaching, I saw an opportunity to make a difference using a program that would incorporate all parts of a survivor’s life, and help them build confidence in their ability to take charge of their health and well-being.

Healthy and Fit After Cancer® programs were born to provide coaching services, training, and consultation to cancer centers and organizations who wanted to provide wellness coaching, learn more about healthy survivorship, and communication skills helpful in promoting healthy behaviors for their survivors, starting with brief motivational coaching and information about cancer and exercise. Research was published in 2009 around the program, studying the long term benefits of wellness coaching for cancer survivors. Significant results showed reduced anxiety, depression, and overall quality of life as well as sustained healthy lifestyle changes one year after the coaching ended.

My patient advocacy efforts began soon after diagnosis, when I wrote
my story for a local magazine. The response to the story taught me the power of the written word and how one person could make a difference. I began passionately advocating for patients by speaking and writing during treatment and continued in many forms thereafter. I created a website around early detection for women with dense breasts, www.KnowYourDensity.com and authored “101 Things You Should Know About Breast Cancer” , a book I was asked to write by Healthy Learning Publishers. I have been a patient advocate at the local, state, and national level, was a founding member of the Duke Patient Advocacy Council, 2 year co-chair for the NC Comprehensive Cancer Survivorship workgroup, a TeamSTEPPS master trainer, and three time Lance Armstrong Foundation LIVESTRONG national delegate, Global Summit volunteer, and army leader. I was featured in the national public service announcements for the Mammography Saves Lives campaign.

My greatest joy and accomplishment has been as a mother of two boys, a wife, and now grandmother… I have always loved acting and have done small parts in
commercials, industrials, and film, but started later in life in my 40's. I love all things beautiful, including kind souls, sunshine, and the outdoors. In nature I have found peace in the most difficult moments, connected to, and could hear God the most, while enjoying the beauty surrounding me.