Meet Laurie Ausserer

Laurie Ausserer is Health Education Manager at the Health Improvement Program and a BeWell coach and advisor.

Laurie grew up in a small university town in central Washington State. She spent summers, on her horse Gail, exploring country roads, pastures, and creeks; spending time with friends; and swimming at the community pool. She remembers how skating on the neighborhood ice rink her father made each year and skiing in the Cascades just an hour west of town brightened and expanded the winter days.

Laurie recognizes now how the times spent playing, exploring, and “being” outdoors in her youth informed her career choices and provided the wellspring for her enduring fascination with the human body. Laurie truly appreciates the self-correcting and restorative benefits that can come from spending time in nature.

After earning a degree in Parks and Recreation Management, with an emphasis in Gerontology, Laurie went on to the University of Washington for graduate studies in Exercise Physiology. In college, Laurie began teaching group fitness classes and specialized physical activity for cardiac rehabilitation programs. She taught these classes for several years in Washington, New York, and California, while her children were small. Laurie then became a certified personal trainer, and continues today to enjoy leading the occasional fitness class.

Laurie’s quest to learn about and impact the health of others went into hyper-drive when she came to the Stanford Prevention Research Center (SPRC). For more than twelve years, she worked on a variety of research studies with leading investigators in health and disease prevention — including Marcia Stefanic, William Haskell, John Farqhuar, Michaela Kiernan, Kathy Berra, and Christopher Gardner. Laurie takes pride sharing the tested and practical health recommendations that have come from the groundbreaking research at SPRC. Laurie also applies two lessons ingrained from these years to her BeWell coaching and advising sessions. “My experience working with thousands of research participants taught me that, other than the assumption that most people value their health, all other presumptions about someone’s health must be left “at the door.” The second lesson, which became distinctly clear in her work at SPRC, is that our bodies, given the chance, are extraordinarily resilient. “Even small investments in our well-being can provide surprising results.”

In 2008, Laurie joined the amazing team of health professionals at HIP. “Spending time with the people that come into the BeWell program is truly a highlight of my job. I am humbled by the rich, deep, and varied lives of the people that come to into the program. If I can do anything to turn the spotlight on their particular strengths, to endorse what they are already doing for themselves, and then puzzle about how to find small lifestyle adjustments that ‘feel right’ and that excite them and enrich their lives, that’s pretty fun.”

Outside of her work, Laurie loves to hike, run trails, swim, garden, study and write poetry, and spend time with (and continue to learn from) three exceptional people in her life — her husband, and two daughters.

“Health, south wind, books, old trees, a boat, a friend.“ - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Contemplation By Design
Health Improvement Program, Stanford Prevention Research Center
Stanford School of Medicine
3300 Hillview Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94304
healthimprovement@stanford.edu
650-723-9649
fax: 650-498-4828

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