Tragedy into Triumph

Kathleen Hall, administrative associate for A&P HR Services, was celebrating around the holidays when she received news that would alter her world forever. Her father, Lawrence Supelak, had passed away at the Wexner Medical Center’s Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital from COVID-19.

“It was very hard, especially at this time and I miss him,” Hall said. “He was in the best caring hands possible.”

Supelak was 76-years-old and grew up in Cleveland. He was a top-notch athlete and had a successful career in aeronautics and defense systems design.

Although it’s been a tough couple of months for Hall, a program through the Ohio State Health Plan has helped her through the grieving process. She signed up for the Personal Health Coaching program last fall. 

“Signing up for the program and meeting my coach is one of the best things that’s happened to me,” Hall said.

The plan pairs participants with a trained health professional. The coach helps develop an action plan and strategies suited to specific health needs. Participants connect through phone sessions and are given various community resources. The plan offers assistance in areas like weight and stress management, nutrition, physical activity and more.

In order to participate, employees go through a consultation or screening process, answering a series of questions about their goals. From there, they are paired with a coach chosen to cater to their needs.

Hall meets with her coach, Jessica Hernandez, once a week, for 20 minutes. It’s on her own time, away from work.

“Kathleen demonstrates resilience with a strong sense of self-efficacy when dealing with challenges that come her way,” Hernandez said. “Over the course of time working with her, she has enhanced her confidence and her capabilities to overcome obstacles and do amazing things.”

“She understands my strengths and focus areas,” Hall said. “She asks me about my motivation, what I’m striving for and what impact I want to make.”

The lifestyle transition hasn’t been easy. Working remotely can be challenging when it comes to taking part in physical fitness and Hall says there were times when she was struggling to stay active.

“Sitting here at my desk and feeling stress, pressure and time constraints, I felt like I was dying,” Hall said. “I get up after sitting all day for work and I go lay on the couch because I’m tired, which is not good.”

Hernandez has helped her develop a new, encouraging mindset and as a result, Hall has committed herself to finding different ways to stay healthy. 

She recently signed up for an app that focuses on mindfulness and meditation. She enjoys five minutes to meditate, watches the sun rise and practices healthy breathing techniques.

As a Buckeye Wellness Innovator, she’s also helped secure a grant for A&P through the campus health and wellness program. 

“That focus for me was to address obesity and diabetes risk with staff who are seated primarily,” Hall said.

These initiatives, Hall says, would make her Father proud and are her special ways to pay tribute.

“I’m trying to take his gifts and carry them on,” Hall said. “To have a positive impact in helping others improve their health and well-being.” 

That’s why she wants to inspire other A&P employees to get involved.

“Encourage staff to incorporate more movement into their day, a broader perspective of well-being into their lives, and start taking small action steps to help achieve a healthy lifestyle,” Hall said.

If you are interested in the Personal Health Coaching program, you can visit