MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Health coach Chris Hedio works at Mon Health, where he specializes in helping patients getting back and maintaining their heart health.

Chris Hedio

“What I do is I take arrhythmia patients, ones with atrial fibrillation or congestive heart failure, and I, basically, give them a lifestyle reset starting from the ground up:  nutrition, exercise, their medications, talking about that, get that well versed for them. Also, stress management, just kind of rebuild their lives so they get healthier and healthier as they progress.”

Chris Hedio – Health Coach, Mon Health

Hedio is passionate about his work and making sure that his patients are healthy. It is one of the reasons he took part in Mon Health’s Heart Walk on Thursday, June 17. The walk was part of the 2021 Greater Morgantown Heart Walk, which is part of the national American Heart Association Heart Walk.

The goal was to raise awareness about heart disease and to raise money for the much-needed research that will help to combat said diseases.

Taking part in the walk, Hedio said, was something he was happy to do.

Hedio participating in the Heart Walk on Thursday

“I loved it,” he said. “I really enjoyed it. It was nice to, like I said, get out with the other staff, get to meet some people, walk down here and, you know, show the community that heart health is very, very important.”

Walking, Hedio said, is one of the best forms of exercise and something he actively promotes to his patients.

“Walking is the cheapest and easiest exercise you can do,” he said. “I mean, really, anybody can just walk in their home, walk out of their home.  So, it’s really good for the staff here at Mon Health and the patients to see us visible, out getting our exercise walking, as well, and proving that it really is an effective way to do things.”

Successfully coaching his patients is all about being strategic, Hedio said. It is important that he encourages them to take “baby steps” and remind them to start small.

Hedio participating in the Mon Health Heart Walk

Making small goals and small adjustments is more effective at inducing change, he said.

“If you tend to lean more towards making a big jump right off the bat, you’re more likely to fail, so it’s better just to ease into it,” Hedio said. “Make short term goals that build into your long term goal.”

For example, a simple goal he sets for himself is to walk during his lunch breaks, which is something that many people can do to boost their heart health.

Everybody, he said, has the time to walk. It does not have to be strenuous, or even outside.

“I tell a lot of my patients, if you can watch an hour long television show at night, you can exercise because you have commercial breaks,” Hedio said. “Get up, walk around the room, do some push-ups on the wall, sit down, stand up on the couch a few times, just enough to get your heart going.  If you have lunch breaks, or even intermediate breaks of 15-minute breaks you have, do something. I walk every day on my lunch break just to get a little bit of extra exercise in.  Park farther away from the building. Take stairs if you can. Just little things.”

Although Hedio spends his days helping patients get back to health and working to keep them healthy, he does not see himself as a hero.

In fact, he laughed a little when asked if he’s a hero.

Mon Health

“Do I see myself as a hero?” Hedio asked. “No, no, I wouldn’t go that far. Do I enjoy helping people? Absolutely. That’s first and foremost to me is helping people get healthier, live the best life they possibly can.”

He may not see himself as a hero, but there are, likely, dozens of people out in the community who are leading better and healthier lives because of the work he does every day.

For that, Chris Hedio is a healthcare hero.

If you would like to nominate someone as a Healthcare Hero, visit the 12 News website, click on the Community tab, and select Healthcare Heroes.