VP Client Blog

A Culture and History Enabling Inclusivity: Unconditional Acceptance and Active Allyship

In honor of American Pride Month and Juneteenth this month, we invite you to join us in the brave work of self-reflection on how you can create the conditions for unconditional acceptance and active allyship to “[move us all] forward in equity and justice”, in the words of an esteemed Live Services Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) team member and regular newsletter contributor, Lisa Johnson. 

In Live Services, we have always endeavored to create and espouse a culture of inclusivity. Following from our whole-person approach with members, through which we support all walks of life in a compassionate, non-judgmental, and inclusive manner, that meets each unique individual where they are on their journey to optimal wellbeing. At the foundation of this approach and mission are our Guiding Principles: 

  1. Our approach considers and values all aspects of a member’s life, supported by evidence-based practices. 
  2. We support members in being owners of their wellbeing. 
  3. We listen actively to our members. 
  4. We encourage small steps & provide frequent positive reinforcement. 
  5. We use analytics to inform the evolution of our services, deliver value to our clients, and demonstrate program effectiveness. 
  6. We act as partners with our members to assist them in using health resources effectively. 
  7. We do no harm. 
  8. We strive to care for ourselves and each other and be an example to those we serve. 

Pursuant to these Guiding Principles, cultural competency training has long been a part of Live Services’ Standard Operating Procedure around annual trainings. The purpose of these trainings is to empower and equip Coaches and Guides to understand and appropriately respond to the unique combination of cultural variables—including ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, experience, gender, gender identity, linguistic background, national origin, geographic location, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status—that the team member and member bring to interactions. 

Training on topics related to cultural competence and awareness occur throughout the year during our weekly team meetings. Past trainings have been facilitated by both internal subject matter experts and external guest presenters and have covered topics such as: 

  • Social Determinants of Health 
  • Cultural Competence and Health Disparities 
  • Embedding Equity at the Institutional Level 
  • Ramadan 
  • Socio-Economic Considerations When Working with Members 
  • Collectively Healing/Breaking the Cycle of White Supremacy 
  • Gender Identity 

All that said, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing civil unrest in our Virgin Pulse Center of Excellence home of Minneapolis, additional work to be done and gaps to fill still came to light. To address this justly and wholeheartedly from the lens that only lived experience can provide, our Live Services team, led by Transform coaches Lisa Johnson and Simone Hewitt and Senior Strategic Manager of Coaching Services, Katy Becker, as leadership sponsor, established an internal Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, whose objectives and accomplishments have included: 

  • Promoting diversity and inclusion through educational trainings and workshops, review of in-house materials, group conversations/forums, etc. 
  • Providing a DEI lens to Product Content, Client Relations’ monthly client newsletter, Live Services Training & Quality, Transform/DTx products, Party Planning Committee, etc. 
  • Providing and vetting consultants for ongoing diversity and inclusion educational workshops for Live Services. 
  • Created and implemented an internal survey focused on DEI within Live Services and presented results, best practices, and recommendations to Live Services leadership and the People and Employee Experience teams. 
  • Established a Belonging Community – a “safe space” virtual forum – for Live Services team members to share experiences, insights, and resources relating to DEI. 
  • Raising awareness of any areas, positions, organizational levels, training materials, etc. where inequities have occurred and work with appropriate individuals to correct and reflect a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. 
  • Launched a process for documenting and reporting team member feedback specific to DEI-related issues with management, peer, or member behavior. 
  • Reviewed and implemented hiring practices that better enable more diverse Coach, Guide, and management teams, resulting in more BIPOC hires within Live Services. 
  • Consulting on various DEI issues arising both within Live Services and organizationally, as charter members of Virgin Pulse’s DEI Council. 
  • Created accountability for the implementation of DEI performance indicators, goals, and objectives for Live Services.

Having accomplished the above initiatives, our grassroots DEI Committee is being streamlined and absorbed into our Belonging Community to support broad and active allyship amongst our allies. This courageous work will continue on through our Belonging Community, Virgin Pulse’s broader DEI Council, and team of Coaches and Guides. 


Learn more about VP Live 

VP Live Coaching features a whole person approach that blends lifestyle optimization with specialization in an industry-leading 22 conditions, providing total population health management that helps the healthy stay healthy, improves clinical outcomes, and reduces costs associated with chronic conditions. Members access coaching resources directly through their app and once paired with a coach, they identify their goals for a thriving life and work together to progress toward their vision and achieve their targeted outcomes. To learn more about VP Live, reach out to your Client Success team. 

Also part of the VP Live product suite, Next-Steps Consult helps members get the most out of their wellbeing program. It is a concierge-style conversation between member and Health Guide, focused on determining a member’s first or next step in their wellbeing journey and personalized guidance of all that Virgin Pulse and employer benefits have to offer. Our Health Guides uncover the best route for a member based on their health status, motivators and obstacles, with deep knowledge of client programs and resources.   


About the Authors

Lisa Johnson, BA, Certified CDC NDPP Lifestyle Coach

Lisa Johnson, BA, Certified CDC NDPP Lifestyle Coach | With a passion for behavioral health and wellness, along with understanding how social determinants affect our health outcomes, Lisa has been a wellness content writer and coach for 15 years. A Bachelor of Arts graduate of the University of Alabama – Birmingham in Communications/Sociology, she has a diverse work experience within the health coaching field which includes diabetes prevention, comorbidity conditions and smoking cessation. Her training includes Positive Psychology Coaching and Transtheoretical Model of Behavioral Change. Currently, she is merging her previous life work as a paralegal with health/wellness content to write and review content for diversity, equity, and inclusion within Virgin Pulse.

Amy Cheney

Amy Cheney, MS, RDN, NBC-HWC  | Amy is a Registered Dietitian and National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach with a master’s degree in Nutrition Science. She is a seasoned health and wellness Leader with diverse experience spanning strategic product enhancement and positioning, sales and client success enablement and coaching team management and leadership. A passionate advocate for the value of coaching, she believes it is The Master Skill with endless applications and the power to amplify meaningful results in endless contexts, above and beyond health and wellbeing. 

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think