Physician Constance Foreman on whole-body care
For as long as she can remember, CONSTANCE FOREMAN wanted to be a doctor. Growing up, she saw a family physician, rather than a pediatrician. She remembered the personal interactions of her doctor treating her whole family. After completing her bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Foreman served a year with AmeriCorps VISTA.
Afterwards, Foreman completed her master’s degree in medical science from Hampton University, then started medical school at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She entered the U.S. Navy reserve during her second year of residency, became a lieutenant, and was commissioned as a Navy Reserve Medical Corps officer.
Foreman knew she wanted to move to North Carolina after finishing school. Her mother grew up in Jacksonville and the family vacationed in the area. She is now a board-certified family medicine physician with a local practice.
“Family medicine often gets called the gatekeeper,” Foreman says. “We are like the jack-of-all-trades. Our training is very broad, and I enjoy taking care of entire families – children, parents, grandparents.”
As a Navy Reserve Medical Corps officer, Foreman deploys one weekend a month and two consecutive weeks a year. Reservists may also be asked to volunteer for certain situations. At the beginning of the pandemic, the number of patients visiting the private practice slowed down a bit, so Foreman volunteered for a medical mission in Guam from March to July 2020. She returned to work in August 2020.
Foreman’s experiences remind her an individual’s health extends beyond the walls of a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital. The relationship that doctors develop with patients is important, but people also need more than the periodic encounters to maintain healthy lifestyles.
“So much of what we do is defensive,” she says. “Through education, we can empower people to be proactive with their health and help people connect the dots.”
Foreman founded Beyond Clinic Walls Wellness to help people focus on prevention and whole-body care. She provides one-on-one coaching for individuals and groups, wellness programs, and hosts special events. Her work is guided by four core values:
- Empower clients to take control of their health
- Formulating sustainable wellness plans
- Emphasis on lifestyle changes to aid in the prevention and management of chronic disease
- Nothing is off-limits. Clients can be healthy without depriving themselves
Beyond Clinic Walls Wellness’s individual coaching starts with the Five-day Jumpstart to Healthy Living, which includes an interactive PDF and daily text messages then culminates with a debriefing and consultation with Foreman.
“It’s designed to help you mentally process health behaviors,” she says. Group coaching consists of curated topics based on goals. “Participants learn about chronic illnesses, how to develop healthy behaviors, and how to promote healthy living for everyone around you,” she says.
Wellness programs are four to eight weeks and are aimed at making a wellness journey approachable – and sustainable.
“We’re at a turning point in our society where people are paying more attention to health literacy,” Foreman says. “There’s not one specific component of your lifestyle that can carry you through to maintain a healthy life. Your spiritual, physical, mental, and social health all go together. Imbalances can cause challenges. No matter which piece you’re trying to tackle, there has to be balance and it takes effort.”
Beyond Clinic Walls started as a passion project for Foreman. She hopes to eventually transition from a career in primary care to health education and coaching using her strong clinical background. “I’m excited to see where it goes,” she says.
To view more of photographer Terah Hoobler’s work, go to terahhoobler.com.
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