A photo of NCHPAD Mentor Health Coach Hayley Brown on a red and blue graphic with the words "Mentor Spotlight, Hayley Brown's Story" on it

“Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers values partnering with NCHPAD Connect; it enriches our programs by connecting us to like-minded organizations and rehabilitation hospitals on a national level, as well as strongly aligns with our four Pillars of Excellence: Education, Advocacy, Outreach and Research.  More specifically, collaboration with the MENTOR Program supports ongoing resource development that is available to all our staff and clients.”

Hayley Brown

How long have you been with NCHPAD?

I work for Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers within the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network in Boston. However, I joined NCHPAD’s team in December 2021 as a health coach for the MENTOR program. I have been an employee with the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network since 2015.

Tell us about your background & education. What brought you to NCHPAD?

  • I am a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist (CTRS) by background and also a Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer.
  • I attended the University of New Hampshire – Go Wildcats!
  • When COVID-19 hit, our Spaulding Adaptive Sports team started our virtual fitness programs. These programs are now a staple within year-round sport and recreation offerings. As a silver lining of the pandemic, I saw firsthand the impact these virtual fitness programs had on our clients. We built an amazing, fun, supportive community while breaking barriers for many to engage in exercise at home with adaptions and modification. Seeing the success of our virtual programs, Spaulding Adaptive Sports Centers partnered with NCHPAD to implement this wellness program on a much larger scale. We could not be happier to be a part of this team.

How long have you worked with people with disabilities?

My whole life. My aunt has cerebral palsy, and I always admired my family for always including her in every aspect of our family life. This inclusion really has given me the drive to make people feel included, even at a very young age in grade school. I was lucky to grow up in Newport, Rhode Island, and worked for Shake-A-Leg, now called Sail to Prevail, during the kid’s summer camps. We would sail, paint/craft, explore, fly kites, swim and play with kids with all different abilities. In college, I was lucky enough to get involved with Northeast Passage’s quad rugby team, which continued my urge to become a CTRS.

What program or programs do you work with? How long have you worked with that program?

MENTOR, I have been a health coach since December 2021.

What do you do?

I’m a health coach, teaching the exercise classes and coaching sessions.

What talents or expertise do you bring to NCHPAD or this program?

  • I try to make exercise exciting, practical and purposeful with movements to assist with starting to feel better.
  • I love to help provide modifications and adaptions for exercises.

What is your favorite thing about NCHPAD or this program?

I love empowering clients by giving them tools and resources to excel!

Share a success story. Tell us about a time when you really saw your program working in the life of a participant.

Some great quotes from amazing people I have had the pleasure of working with!

  • “Simply, [MENTOR] is the best compilation of exercise, proper eating and emotional intelligence information I have ever seen. At 77 years old, I have had a lot of experience in exercise and sports.”
  • “Being in a wheelchair for the last five years has seemed like a handicap. Thanks to you and the MENTOR Program it feels like a challenge that I smile at.”
  • “As my world has shrunk, this really helped to expand it.”
  • “The program provided me with information and resources to live my life to the best of my ability and to make the most of every day.”
  • “I didn’t think there would ever be anything like this available to help people who want to be the best they can be! Having a limited health, mobility and cognitive body is difficult to live with. Knowing that providers realize this AND provide you with an opportunity to help get through the day is priceless.”

What hobbies do you have outside of work?

I love to do anything outside, including going to the beach, going for walks with our yellow lab and 1-year-old son, and spending time with friends and family.

What’s your favorite food, favorite thing to cook or favorite recipe?

I LOVE Sushi and love cooking stir fly and my husband’s family gravy and meatballs (red sauce).

What’s your favorite music, movies or tv shows?

  • Country music is my go-to genre. However, I love most music, especially when it’s live.
  • TV show favorites: The Challenge or Survivor
  • Movie: The Intern, Miss Congeniality

What’s the last book you read? How was it?

Little Blue Truck – our son’s favorite.

Who or what inspires you?

Moms, my mom especially, and the people I work with every day. I am inspired to work harder for them to have access to great wellness.

What’s your favorite quote?

Everyone smiles in the same language 😊

If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?

Food critic.

What’s one thing (not related to your job) that you could teach someone else how to do?

How to make homemade pasta!