Michael McGregor, PT, DPT, CHC – Director, The 15 for Me Program

Director of Program Management, 15 For Me® Program

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Today’s spotlight is on Michael McGregor, PT, DPT, CEEAA, CHC, who is now Director of the 15 for Me® Program at Mansbach Health Tools, LLC!


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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?

Michael McGregor PT, DPT, CEEAA. I’m a Certified Health Coach and Director of the 15 For Me® Program at Mansbach Health Tools, LLC, which supports the BCAT® Research Center.

What additional roles do you currently have?

Health Coaching for clients in our Brain Health Program.

PT consultant in the implementation of the BCAT® Test Approach.

Where are you located?

I’m in Durham, NC, but the company is based in Columbia, MD.

Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?

I got my MPT in May, 2000 from UMDNJ, School of Health Professions, in Stratford, NJ.

Later, in May, 2009, I got my DPT from Marymount University, School of Health Sciences, in Arlington, VA.

What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?

I worked for a long term care provider as a staff PT in a CCRC. I worked for this organization for 21 years. 

In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?

Outpatient/Skilled Nursing (general debility, ortho, neuro, cognitive impairment)

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What did you enjoy about your early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?

Working with older adults allowed me to be more compassionate and develop greater patience with my treatment interventions. I was afforded the time needed to develop the rapport that was necessary to meet the goals of the patient. This opportunity created a more profound sense of gratitude for my loved ones and my community.

The challenge was learning that there was much more to treatment than the hands-on intervention I was providing. I needed to learn reimbursement, coding, documentation, all while enhancing my own skill set to work with this population.

What else have you done since then, prior to your current role?

I was able to grow clinically and learn the operational side with the organization; I was promoted to Director of Rehab, then to Senior Director (operator), and then switched to the clinical side of things as a Clinical Director.

I also worked as the Clinical Specialist of Education which was a “liaison” between our organization and the universities to facilitate student placements.

When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?

COVID was the turning point for me as a clinician. Mental health was significantly impacted by the pandemic and the consequences were devastating. The last two years of the pandemic especially have created a great deal of stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and other mental health challenges for so many people.

I thought it was important for companies and other organizations to consider their employees as whole people, and I did not see this as a priority in the industry. We should be providing wellness programs and resources that address mental health because employee health, happiness, engagement, and productivity at work are heavily impacted by it.

When I learned that The BCAT® Research Center developed an evidence-based solution for employee turnover and stress reduction called 15 for Me®, I was immediately interested in learning more about the opportunity.

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What are you doing these days?

We launched our program to organizations in July, 2022, and I have been in the midst of creating, marketing and launching the program to organizations beginning the program. I have also been presenting at conferences such as Leading Age and Lifespan in Maryland.

This is a very busy time, as well as a very exciting time. Organizations are finally looking at employee wellbeing as a priority, and our program is efficient, cost effective and most importantly, validated by science.

Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?

I am no longer treating patients, but do have the opportunity to educate and train rehab teams–especially PTs and PTAs–in the BCAT test system. The BCAT® Approach is a unique applied concept for assessing and working with people who have memory and other cognitive impairments.

As a PT, it is vital for our profession to understand the cognitive capacity of our patients, especially in developing evidence-based treatment plans. We need to have a multi-discipline approach which looks at the patient as a whole person and develop and implement programming that will be the most effective for successful aging.

What percentage of your time is spent clinically vs. non-clinically?

Less than 5% of my time is spent clinically.

How long have you been in your role with the 15 For Me® Program?

Since February 2022.

Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you get into your current role?

Certified Health Coach through National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC)

How did you find your job?

I found the job through a post on Linkedin.

Did you do anything special to your resume and cover letter to land the job?

I emphasized my communication and interpersonal skills, as well as my health coaching certification.

What was the interview like?

The interview process was amazing. I felt immediately comfortable and was able to really be myself since the job I was interviewing for was stirring so much passion for what I wanted to do next with my career.

It was a three step interview with the last one being a group interview. It was a small team and I was able to see myself as a part of it very early on.

How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?

As a Clinical Director, I was doing minimal direct patient care except for telehealth and supporting new graduate clinicians or covering vacations. All my friends and colleagues have been amazingly supportive throughout the entire process. They understood the opportunity that I was presented with and were excited that I was offered the position.

What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you? What types of tasks and responsibilities fill your time?

It has been different each month. Some of the things I’ve been working on are:

  • Launching the program for multiple organizations
  • Creating excitement for healthcare and non-healthcare organizations interested in the program
  • Creating health tip videos and content
  • Marketing on social media and with potential customers
  • Making enhancement with the program

…to name a few 🙂

What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?

I love the autonomy, the ability to be creative and the team that I get to work with. It is very exciting to talk with organizations about their turnover challenges and how our program can really help them and their employees (win-win).

We know the foundation of every good wellness program is behavior change, and this is my ultimate goal for the people that I have the honor to engage with! Using the right approach that includes education, skills, motivation, and community, people CAN change behaviors and that gets me excited.

Wellness programs are good supports in helping people adopt and maintain healthy behaviors, especially if the organization supports it and promotes engagement throughout the program.

The biggest challenge is that the climate is so tough out there, as many organizations are struggling financially, as well as just being able to provide patient care. The good news is that many organizations know this is an investment they must make in order to mitigate the cost of turnover, attract and retain top talent and reduce risk for burnout with their team.

How did your clinical background prepare you for this role? Which skills are transferred?

  1. My previous role as a Clinical Director
  2. My health coaching certification through NSHC

The most important skills that transferred would be my communication and interpersonal skills. In addition, learning motivational interviewing through my health coaching certification and researching and understanding SDOH has also been crucial.

We wanted to develop a program that is focused on inclusion and promoting access to all employees.

Roughly speaking, how are the hours and pay compared to patient care?

Very competitive, and I feel there is plenty of opportunity for growth.

What type of person do you think would do well in your role?

Someone who has good interpersonal skills and communication, is comfortable with social media, marketing, and facilitating demos with potential clients, and can be autonomous.

Do you work remotely or onsite?

Remotely

Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles?

Yes. All disciplines are open to applying.

Did you read any books, take any courses, or do anything special overall to get you where you are today?

Health Coaching Certification, CEEAA from the APTA, APTA CI Advanced Credentialing Courses, to name a few.

What is a typical career path for someone in your role?

The sky’s the limit in my opinion. Hopefully to continue to grow the department that I am leading and expand the programming that we offer.

What is next for you?

I just started so my only aspiration is to bring the 15 for Me program to as many organizations and individuals as I can. I would love to continue to bring success to Mansbach Health Tools, LLC and develop more programs with the emphasis on helping our caregivers, our employees and our providers provide the best possible care they can deliver.

What would you recommend to someone who is considering going into a role like yours?

I would encourage all readers to continue on their respective path of growth and work toward a career that elevates and promotes their passion, whatever that may be.

What would you like to change most in your profession, and why? How would you propose doing so?

To truly be patient-centered and focus on treating the whole person, not the symptom or recent illness.

There are so many contributing factors to one’s health and unfortunately our system generally does not reimburse the provider the time and resources necessary for optimal health. There are also many SDOH that impacts one’s health and there is tremendous health disparity because of these factors.

What career advice would you give yourself that you wish you had during school?

To develop skills that would promote optimal healing for my patients, including the mind, body and spirit.


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9 thoughts on “Director of Program Management, 15 For Me® Program”

  1. Kathleen McFeeters

    Hello!
    This message is for Michael. I can not say enough about how excited and hopeful I was to read your Spotlight interview. I’m Kathleen, an OT and Health Coach, I received my health coach certificate from NSHC prior to the pandemic and unfortunately, did not have a chance to use my health coaching skills as I had planned during the pandemic, at the time, I treated patients in (2) acute care hospitals and (1) acute rehab hospital, 5-6 days a week. Currently, I live in Santa Fe, NM and work in home health care. As an OT with training in health coaching, I love treating patients in the home. I treat holistically and recognize the mental health needs of many of my patients. My passion is to eventually combine OT with my speciality in health coaching in the home setting both clinically and non-clinically. Do you have any suggestions, recommendations for me to get started? This is an exciting time for clinicians with passion to treat in this area and employers addressing the health and wellness aspects in healthCARE. Thank you so much. Kathleen

    1. Hi Kathleen,
      Thank you for the kind words. Would love to have a conversation offline if that would meet your needs better. If you want to connect with me on Linkedin, please do, and we can set up a time to connect. If not, let me know and I can provide a response here.

  2. I am just curious, how much mental health training does one get in physical therapy school? Was this obtained post DPT in your coaching training?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Chris,
      There was some training in the t-dpt program that I attended but not much. My health coaching certificate as well as my training with understanding cognition (and working with BCAT) provided me the opportunity to learn more about how valuable this is for our clients.

  3. Hey Michael!
    Great highlight, very interesting career path! I was wondering how you landed on the Certified Health Coach through National Society of Health Coaches (NSHC) from all of the others?

    1. Hi Amy,
      Thank you for taking the time to ask a question..

      I attempted to balance the cost of the program with the aspects of the program I was seeking. Being a PT, we all have the prerequisites to provide this opportunity to our clients as we do many components of this in our interviewing of the client, checking in at progress report and having a better understanding of what the clients needs are and will be upon discharge.

  4. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I too am passionate about health and wellness and I’m considering becoming a certified health coach. I have a Master’s degree in Counseling and have been wondering how I could use my PT skills and counseling skills together. I am going to look at the NSHC program regarding certification.

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