Janelle Fischer, Bracken Gilliam, John Vosseller: VEBA Resource Center Health Coaches
One is a cancer survivor. A second has undergone two heart surgeries. A third has had four shoulder operations. All three are now VEBA Resource Center health coaches who are taking their experiences and extensive background in nutrition, mobility, and fitness to help others succeed in their journey toward health and wellness.
Here are their stories.
A nutritionist, mobility coach and personal trainer, Janelle Fischer helped develop the extensive services available at the VEBA Resource Center in Mission Valley. She couldn’t be happier with the results.
“We’re giving people a path to change their life. If you can get someone started, they’re going to take it from there.”
The North Dakota native has been inspired to make changes of her own during her life. Long into health and fitness, it was only after she recovered from melanoma as a young woman that her lifestyle really began to change. She met with a holistic doctor who changed her approach to focus on what was inside her body, sparking a journey that would lead to Fischer becoming a certified nutritionist. “I teach people how to eat a healthier version of what they were eating before,” she said.
She couples that with a focus on fitness.
"Most of the people who come to us have never worked out in their life, or they haven’t worked out in years. You know, a lot of people don’t like to go to the gym or they feel intimidated when they get there. We get them in the habit of working out.”
That involves VEBA’s MyoMetrix regimen, a 30-minute workout that includes a warmup session, high-intensity training, and a recovery period, all imbued with stress relief.
“We’ve seen so many people make changes. It’s very rewarding.”
Bracken Gilliam knows about overcoming challenges. The San Diego resident underwent his first open-heart surgery at age 20. He underwent another eight years later.
Now a model of health, Gilliam – who secured his certification as a personal trainer from the National Academy of Sports Medicine – is dedicated to helping others remain on their path to wellness.
“The VEBA Resource Center is absolutely invaluable in being a place where you can develop a plan and follow through on that plan.”
Gilliam’s future was threatened after a heart murmur discovered during a physical while being hired for a new job led to an aortic valve replacement. His recovery was slow. He gained weight. Relied on painkillers. Recovery seemed to take forever. That’s when he turned to holistic healing. Bad habits were broken. Mental health and nutrition were a priority. Workouts came easier. The excess weight melted away. Soon, friends and family and co-workers were approaching him for tips.
Holistic health proved vital during his recovery after a second heart surgery. Now a certified personal trainer, Gilliam works as a mobility and health coach at the VEBA Resource Center.
The VEBA Resource Center, Gilliam said, is making a difference every day.
“Something like this has never really been done before. We offer a variety of approaches, acupuncture, yoga, stress management, health and wellness coaching. It’s unique and it’s effective.”
John Vosseller is on the cutting edge of research regarding flexibility and the body’s fascia, or internal connective tissue supporting and connecting layers of muscle and playing a critical role in a person’s range of motion.
“Flexibility and mobility are an often overlooked component of fitness. Most people focus on cardio, weight training, or nutrition, but they tend to forget about flexibility, and when you forget about flexibility, injuries are going to occur.”
He speaks from experience. Vosseller, an avid surfer very much into health and fitness growing up, has undergone six surgeries, including four on his shoulder. His experience led him to seek a more comprehensive approach to wellness.
Vosseller’s focus early in his career was as a certified personal trainer. That was before the Texas A&M graduate secured his certification as a fascial stretch therapist from the Stretch to Win Institute near Phoenix. As a fascial stretch therapist, his clients ranged from office workers to professional athletes.
At the VEBA Resource Center in Mission Valley, Vosseller works with VEBA members on everything from personalized training programs to stretching exercises to the MyoMetrix regimen.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to be in a place like this because we offer a lot of services, and a lot of our members weren’t aware that these services existed. When they come in and see what we have, they become pretty motivated.”