The Art & Science of Personal Transformation

FAQ's

Why might I need a Health Coach?

If you have ever tried to improve a particular aspect of your health and failed, then you might benefit from working with a qualified health coach.

Most of us certainly have the ambition to improve various aspects of our health and we all struggle at one time or another.  Some of us can feel overwhelmed at the daunting task to change our lifestyle.  Some of us can't seem to take the first step while others can start but cannot sustain our efforts.

Whatever your particular story may be, if you have had repeated disappointments in getting healthier or have simply just recently made up your mind that you are going to do something about a lifestyle-related health issue, then a qualified health coach is certainly a wise place to start.

Dr. Peña is happy to offer you a Complimentary, Risk-free Consultation to discuss your particular needs.

Please see below to learn more about your consultation.

Is "Dr. Peña" a real doctor?

Yes, Dr. Peña is a real medical doctor and surgeon in title, training and in his decade-long, extensive clinical experience.

He has always remained in excellent standing with both of the regulatory authorities where he has practiced medicine (The General Medical Council of the United Kingdom & the Irish Medical Council).  However, Dr. Peña does not currently practice medicine.   His role in ELITE Personalized Health is not to act as your physician but as your health coach.

One of Dr. Peña's main motivations for this unique venture was to bridge the gap between patient and doctor, transforming it into a more interactive collaboration and a personal partnership between a client and a personal coach who truly knows him or her.  With this vision for ELITE Personalized Health Dr. Peña assumes the unique role of a private and readily accessible personal coach and educator, equipped with a unique set of professional expertise.  This is what makes us a one-of-a-kind experience when compared to any other coaching available.

Dr. Peña puts all his education, clinical experience and continuing professional training at your disposal, and without a rush, to inform and educate while personally guiding you to your unique health goals.  Dr. Peña employs his specialized coaching skills to elicit from you the motivation, focus and strategy to bring about the health improvements you seek.

Please read the important disclaimer at the bottom of our home page for more details.

Will you sell me blood tests and supplements?

No.  Never.  That would be an unacceptable conflict of interest.

It is a disappointing reality that the health and wellness space is saturated with 'health coaches' that are oftentimes little more than glorified sales representatives.  There are also many legitimate medical professionals operating as 'integrative' or 'functional' practitioners whose business model often rely on the questionable practice of 'prescribing' hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of blood tests and other seemingly sophisticated analyses and then 'prescribing' a series of nutritional supplements which may or may not be proven to do what you would expect them to do.

It is crucial to understand that no amount of costly tests, analyzes, and data-gathering can substitute the only thing that can impact your long-term health: the lifestyle choices you make day after day.  This is why Dr. Peña is very selective about what data is gathered and analyzed.

The sale of unnecessary tests and unproven supplements by any health professional presents an obvious conflict of interest which is apparently tolerated by many in this industry.  Dr. Peña chooses to forgo such conflict (and the associated revenue stream) and instead chooses to rely on strategies that make "S.E.N.S.E."  These strategies fulfill are his unique and strict criteria of being "Safe, Effective, Natural, Sustainable, and Enjoyable."  Therefore, you can rest assured that we will never profit from any product or service that we may recommend to you.  At ELITE you are paying for our expert and explicitly objective advice.  This is a core value at ELITE Personalized Health.

What if I already have a dietitian/personal trainer/gym membership?

That's great, congratulations!  Whether you already have effective dietary habits or an exercise routine that works for you, or a gym, a trainer, or any other valuable health resource, or not, we can work with you to balance and integrate all your various resources and efforts  into a workable and sustainable strategy that brings you the results you seek over the long-run.

Maybe you have a dietitian but your real challenge is to find the motivation or be held accountable to do what she recommends.  Perhaps exercise isn't solving your stress problem.  Whatever the case, we can help you look at the big picture, identify the deficiencies and find solutions to your wellness and motivational challenges.

Dr. Peña will be happy to discuss with you how we can optimize your existing wellness strategies during your Complimentary Consultation.  Read on to find out more about what happens during your free & risk-free Consultation.

We will happily work with any other health or fitness professional with a stake in your health and we will advocate your interests.  Dr. Peña can help you coordinate your holistic strategy for wellness.

My health insurer offers wellness coaching.  What is the difference?

If your health insurance company offers you a free wellness coaching service then we sincerely encourage you to explore that option first since you are already paying for it and perhaps it might provide you with the guidance and support you need.

However, we do not think that the wellness coaching offered by a large insurance company is the same as what ELITE Personalized Health offers you.  Those services often offer a limited number of tightly-timed telephone sessions after which you may need to start paying out of your own pocket.  Moreover, the training and qualifications of those 'wellness coaches' can vary greatly and even if you get a good one working your case on a particular session he or she may not always be the same coach you get, so there may not be much personal rapport or continuity of care established between the two of you.  Their wellness coaching is very rarely, if ever, available 24 hours a day, and most important of all, it is not truly personalized.  Large wellness coaching programs typically work off a 'script' (or algorithm) in order to manage their thousands of clients most efficiently.

Read on to discover how your ELITE Experience is as unique as you.

What happens after I reach out to you?

Dr. Peña will personally review your message and respond accordingly, including answering any questions you ask.  If you are inquiring about being considered for health coaching then he will forward you a Wellness Questionnaire for you to complete prior to your Complimentary Consultation.  Once your answers are received your Complimentary Consultation will be scheduled and Dr. Peña will review your answers carefully (and in complete confidence) to ensure that you get the most out of your Consultation.

Along with the Questionnaire you will be asked to give three of the most suitable dates and times for the Consultation and we'll ensure to fit one of these into our schedule.  You will also be asked your preferred medium for the Consultation (phone, Skype, FaceTime, etc) and the relevant contact information.

During your ELITE Consultation you and Dr. Peña will privately discuss your health background and the aspects of your health which you would like to improve.  He will explain the strategies that may apply to your unique challenges and then he will answer every one of your questions and later summarize your consultation in writing via email for your personal records.

Your Complimentary Consultation is NOT a sales pitch and carries absolutely no obligations or commitments.  Instead, it is our opportunity to personally get to know you and determine if and how we may be able to help you.  If we feel your challenges are outside our scope of practice then we will be straight-forward and tell you so in no uncertain terms.

Should you choose to not enroll in a personalized Program we will promptly and permanently delete your record, including your answers to the Wellness Questionnaire.

And then what?

If you choose to proceed with us then we will enroll you in a Program personalized by Dr. Peña, specifically for you.  This begins with our first strategic session, usually lasting about 90 minutes.  This session will be to discuss in some depth the topics you highlighted in your documentation of your health goals and your readiness to act on them.

Together, you and Dr. Peña will devise a realistic and fully personalized plan for you to put into action.  You will be counting with his constant and unlimited support between sessions via electronic messaging.

Subsequent meetings are typically one hour per week, but their duration and frequency may be customized to your needs.  Our clients usually work with us for periods of 3 months to well over 12 months.  Once you've successfully established your personal health goals our sessions will gradually become less frequent.  The length, frequency and content of each session will be dictated by your particular needs and preferences.  We value your time and money so we ensure that each session has clear and specific purposes and that it ends with very concrete actions and goals for you to fulfill during the following week.

The ultimate goal of a good coach is to actually coach himself out of a job.  The best coach works hard to develop your own knowledge base, self-efficacy and independence.  Therefore, sessions are tapered off and eventually suspended at the time when you feel you are fully in control of your new and sustainable lifestyle.  Even then, Dr. Peña will remain available to you through all the usual means, for as long as he can contribute to your health.

How much does all of this cost?

The cost of an ELITE Health Coaching Experience varies widely, usually ranging from $70 to $140 a week, depending on how intensive and personalized the program may be.  Special offers and programs may exist outside of this range or may operate in a system of pre-paid credit hours which allows you to use your time with us as you wish.

The cost of your ELITE Experience may range widely depending on what you want to change about your health, how ready you are for change, and how much support you need to accomplish your goals.  In other words, the cost is, as with everything else at ELITE, unique to you and your needs.

We are always striving to customize your experience while bringing you the very best value for your time, effort and money.  This is why we offer you a variety of packages and payment options to suit your personal needs.

The good news is that we work very hard to get you the greatest value for your money and spend a great amount of our own time working for you "off-the-clock."

Do I have to pay for email support between sessions?

No.  As an enrolled ELITE Member you do not pay for your unlimited access to private electronic correspondence with Dr. Peña (via email or our customized apps).  We know some coaches charge for staying in touch.  We are different.

Upon becoming an active ELITE Member you will receive not only direct means to stay in touch via our apps, but also Dr. Peña's private email address.  From then on you will be able to communicate directly with him, always free-of-charge, and you can expect a prompt, honest and well-researched response, usually within 12-24 hours.

Between sessions you will be free to write to Dr. Peña about any issues or questions regarding your health goals.  Our sole purpose is to be there when you need us to help you achieve better health.

Will I get the personal attention I need?

We are confident that you will.  We are a small and unique venture specifically because personal attention and accessibility are the central tenets of our vision.  Our mission is to make a vital difference in your life, not to franchise to every city and state.  We take the following strategic measures to ensure that your experience will be second-to-none:
 
  • Dr. Peña is personally available to you via text, email, phone, Skype, iChat, FaceTime, and if you are in Austin then also in person.
  • We schedule our clients with ample leeway to ensure our quality time together is not rushed or interrupted, even if it means a lower profit for us.
  • We stay flexible by reserving a number of sessions each week for clients who may need to make last minute changes in their session times.
  • We strictly cap the number of clients we work with to maintain unequal quality assurance.

Please note that once our calendar becomes filled for 3 months we stop accepting new clients and we begin a waiting list.  Therefore, the total number of clients we have at any one time is very limited.

We cannot help many, but we enjoy a truly personal relationship with the few we can help.  So please contact us early if you are interested in our coaching service to avoid disappointment.

Will Dr. Peña become part of my Health Care Team?

If you wish him to.  It is always a very good idea to promote effective communication among all the people influencing your health but this is ultimately your personal decision.  You can also avail of our exclusive ELITE PATIENT ADVOCATE service if you require our support in navigating doctor appointments or more complex medical experiences.

For more information please see ELITE  Patient Advocacy under Our Services in our top menu.

Is Dr. Peña "anti-medication"?

No.  Dr. Peña has personally witnessed thousands of times the life-saving powers of pharmaceuticals he has prescribed and administered to his patients when done judiciously.

However, he understands that medications, just like surgery, are a treatment modality that always carry particular risks and benefits.  His vision for ELITE Personalized Health is to naturally optimize your health so as to prevent, eliminate, or at least minimize your need for medical, pharmaceutical and surgical interventions now and in the future.

Remember, Dr. Peña is not currently practicing medicine, therefore he does not prescribe any medications.  However, if your doctor has you taking medications then Dr. Peña will incorporate into your Program any restrictions or contraindications that these may be associated with, as well as any recommendations from your physician.

Is health coaching the same as therapy?

No, health coaching and therapy are two quite different things.

In a nutshell, therapy focuses on treating a particular clinical problem while health coaching focuses on empowering you with lifestyle solutions by harnessing your own inner strength, motivation and wisdom, along with effective methods, habits, and proven solutions.

In simpler terms, one goes to the psychotherapist to solve a particular cognitive or emotional issue while one goes to a health coach to optimize one's behavior, health and lifestyle.

The job of the health coach is to facilitate this process by asking the right questions and enabling the client to develop a new perspective in order to successfully solve the health challenge.  Dr. Peña's unique coaching seamlessly offers you additional dimensions such as an in-depth medical understanding of the body and mind, compassion, expert health education and readily usable practical advice in nutrition, fitness, stress management, sleep hygiene and other aspects of your health.

Why "ELITE"? Are you elitists?

"Elite" may be defined as "the few select" and "those who are at their absolute best."  These interpretations are not meant to sound classist.  They resonate with Dr. Peña's vision of offering help to a "few select" individuals not for the mere sake of excluding others but to emphasize that, because of their small number, the interaction with them is truly a personal, sincere and meaningful one which enables them to achieve their health goals.

Secondly, the purpose of such relationships is to bring those few individuals to "their absolute best" or their "ELITE State."  So it is not a comparison to anyone else, but solely with the optimal version of themselves and their individual potential.

Lastly, the 'ELITE' concept is intended to evoke in our clients a desire to give their overall health the vital attention it deserves.  'ELITE' aims to remind them that life is not a dressed rehearsal, that their lives are worth living fully and in a state of optimal health and happiness.

Does Dr. Peña sell a weightloss program online?

No, he does not.

Dr. Peña was kindly invited and contracted to author a book aimed at a general audience to inform about the most natural, effective and scientifically-proven methods available to safely lose weight.  He hopes the book will bring much-needed sound health information to a broader audience which is usually at risk of receiving questionable, if not dangerous, commercial advice online.  

He is not associated with any other aspect of the project including naming, labelling, marketing, pricing and he does not receive any revenue or royalties from the selling of the book or any other associated products. 

 Is Dr. Victor Peña related to Dr. Alberto Peña?

Yes and no.

Dr. Victor Peña's father is Dr. Alberto Peña, the world-renown pioneer in pediatric surgery, founding director of the Peña Colorectal Center at Cinncinati Children's Hospital in Ohio, and the current director of the International Center for Colorectal Care at Children's Hospital Colorado.  (Father and son shown here operating together in Madrid, Spain).

Dr. Victor Peña is not related in any way to another 'Dr. Alberto Peña' who can be seen online promoting dietary supplements and has been associated with an establishment in Mexico that describes its practice as "alternative and holistic integrative medicine."

What other questions do you have for us?

We would love to hear them & answer them.

Thank you for your interest!