About Us

The Institute for Wellness Education (IWE) was founded by experts in the art and science of behavior change. Our mission is to help drive cultural transformation so that health and wellness become the norm for individuals, communities, and the nation.

In 2013, IWE crafted the national competencies and curriculum that established wellness coaching as an official occupation (SOC # 21-1094.00) recognized by the US Department of Labor (DoL). The competencies and curriculum also served as the basis for the DoL’s approval of Wellness Coaching as a US DoL Registered Apprenticeship.

IWE’s Founders

Dr. Deborah Teplow is an expert educator and trainer with broad experience in behavioral health. She oversees IWE’s day-to-day operations and helps professionals and local community members develop skills to make a lasting difference. She founded Health Focus, Inc., which created continuing medical education (CME) for physicians in major therapeutic categories, including addiction and mood disorders, and diabetes. She served on the boards of the US and international associations of CME, and is widely published in the field. She earned her doctorate from Stanford University.

David Mee-Lee, MD, FASAM (Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine), is a board-certified psychiatrist and expert in addiction medicine and the change process. Dr. Mee-Lee is Chief Editor of the new (2013) American Society of Addiction Medicine treatment guidelines for addictive, substance-related, and co-occurring conditions; and a member of the Operating Board for the Behavioral Medicine Center at Loma Linda in California. He presents around the world on topics related to addiction treatment, motivational interviewing, and the self-change process.

Our Goals

Our goals are to:

  • empower individuals, from grass roots to policy makers and management, to advocate for, take action on, and accelerate the pursuit of wellness
  • train and certify Wellness Coaches through a rigorous, competency-based program
  • promote a person-centered, relationship-focused, strength-based approach to change
  • support ongoing individual and program performance improvement
  • use real-time outcomes measurement to inform decision making
  • collaborate with public and private sector organizations to maximize synergies and achieve shared goals of increasing well-being, saving lives, and reducing costs
  • facilitate the shift from a sick-care system to a system for health

Our Values

Our values are expressed in all our work. These values include:

  • unwavering respect for all human beings
  • belief that everyone, regardless of educational attainment or professional preparation, can make a meaningful contribution to the health and well-being of their community
  • appreciation for the critical roles science and art play in promoting human development and transformational change
  • infusing our work with intellectual rigor, generosity of spirit, creativity, and play