Priority Wellness founder Chris Vasiliadis, of Medford, was among more than 1,100 professional health and wellness coaches who passed the first Health and Wellness Coach Certifying Examination to earn the new credential, National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach. The certification examination is provided by the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching, a collaboration between the National Board of Medical Examiners and the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching.

The profession of health and wellness coaching has emerged to increase individuals’ engagement in health-giving lifestyles that prevent and treat chronic conditions. While the profession has grown, so has variability in the standards of health and wellness coaches who are employed from clinical settings to universities, health plans to private practices and health clubs. To deliver consistent standards for the new profession, the ICHWC, a consortium of thought leaders and 52 health and wellness coach training and education programs, and the NBME, which develops and administers physician licensing examinations in the United States, joined forces to establish standards for health and wellness coach training and education programs and a coach certification exam.

The National Board Certification for Health & Wellness Coaching is based upon a set of competencies for appropriately developing the coaching relationship, communication techniques, processes for behavior change, health and wellness knowledge, ethics and professional development, and more. All practitioners who meet eligibility requirements and pass the examination are designated National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches. These practitioners are demonstrating a standard of practice that assists employers and members of the public in selecting a health and wellness coach.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this first cadre of nationally board certified health and wellness coaches,” said Vasiliadis, who has been working as a Health and Wellness coach since initially being certified in 2008 through Wellcoaches. “I feel this credential, along with the work of the ICHWC, will help expand our reach in a variety of health care, corporate and other settings to help as many people as possible attain their ideal level of health. As I often say, I believe that prioritizing your well-being is the secret weapon to being engaged in and successfully leading your work and non-work life.”