Creating a Culture of Wellness through Coaching

Our mission is to make personalized wellness a reality for the world.

Functional Medicine is the new, better way to be well. It’s the next generation of medicine, the approach that brings together everything we’re learning about how the body really works. But it’s not part of the mainstream...yet.

There was a gap between the transformational ideas of Functional Medicine and the patients who put those ideas into action.

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Our founders saw the great potential in shifting our healthcare system toward this new approach. But they realized something was missing:

Our vision to create a culture of wellness through coaching is the driving force behind FMCA.

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FMCA founder Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum has spent nearly 5 decades making healthcare and education more holistic and innovative. With a PhD in clinical psychology, specializing in positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mind-body medicine, Sandi has taught courses in subjects like the psychology of eating and mind-body medicine and served as director of a clinic for attention deficit disorders. She has always been an “early adopter,” pioneering the use of neurofeedback in her ADD clinic and becoming the first-ever psychologist to earn certification through The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).

Sandi teamed up with FMCA co-founder Elyse Wagner, a certified nutritionist and licensed mental health counselor, while working together as mental health professionals in Chicago, IL. With experience in health coaching as well as a dual master’s degree in holistic nutrition and clinical psychology, Elyse’s personal journey to overcome chronic illness fuels her passion for helping others take ownership of their health. The two women connected over their shared belief in the transformative power of Functional Medicine, and that’s when they noticed a gap in the Functional Medicine model:

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Functional Medicine needed health coaches!

And Sandi and Elyse knew they were the perfect people to train those coaches. With IFM’s support and guidance, they built a health coaching program that would train students to be the ideal partner to Functional Medicine practitioners and patients alike. The program was launched to a small group of “beta” students in October 2015, and it’s been a story of growth, joy, and evolution ever since then.

Since welcoming our first class, we’ve accomplished more than we ever dreamed of:

  • Our program has seen 5 classes and nearly 1000 students graduate as Functional Medicine Certified Health Coaches
  • We’ve evolved our curriculum to meet the new standard set by the International Consortium for Health & Wellness Coaching (ICHWC). FMCA is ICHWC-Approved.
  • We’ve evolved our coach training to include more face-to-face coaching time—that’s why FMCA students are confident in and prepared to apply their skills as soon as they graduate
  • We’ve created an engaged alumni support network, including a Practitioner Job Board, Find-A-Coach Directory, and the Alumni Program, where members receive ongoing Functional Medicine, coaching, career, and business support as they establish and grow their careers
  • We’re building out our continuing education resources, where coaches and laypeople alike will have the opportunity to learn about specialized topics of interest like Reversing Cognitive Decline and Men’s Health

A world of personalized healthcare for all is possible.


Become a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach and make our shared vision a reality.