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Published September 13, 2022
A $670,000 federal grant will help the University of Wyoming’s Center on Aging (WyCOA) and its state partners strengthen and expand chronic disease self-management education and support programs across the state.
The three-year grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) is for the Healthy U program that involves the partnership of WyCOA, the Wyoming Department of Health's Aging and Public Health divisions and the program’s stakeholders.
The goal of the project is to increase, by May 2025, the number of older adults and adults with disabilities in Wyoming who participate in evidence-based, chronic disease self-management education (CDSME) and self-management support programs.
The WyCOA project is part of ACL’s CDSME grant program funded by the Prevention and Public Health Fund. WyCOA is among nine organizations across the country that received the grant. The center will work with older adults and adults with disabilities, engaging them in evidence-based CDSME and support programs.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to use this funding to increase access to these life-changing programs across Wyoming,” says Larry Goodwin, a WyCOA project coordinator.
WyCOA and other grant recipients will help communities develop or expand evidence-based CDSME and support programs for older adults and adults with disabilities, particularly those in underserved populations or geographic areas. According to published statistics, chronic diseases are the leading cause of death in America -- six out of 10 older adults live with at least one chronic disease.
“These programs are especially important here. Chronic disease is the primary cause of premature death among Wyoming residents, accounting for 60 percent of all deaths statewide, and more than 180,000 Wyoming residents are underserved by primary care,” Goodwin says. “Programs such as these put necessary health management tools in the hands of those who need it most.”
Healthy U is the name for WyCOA’s implementation of the Self-Management Resource Center’s renowned, evidence-based Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, Goodwin says. The program is delivered in six weekly 2.5-hour sessions.
The program helps people with chronic disease -- such as diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic pain -- play a more active and productive role in their own health management. The program is available in person, virtually and for Spanish speakers. Additionally, the workshop “Cancer: Thriving and Surviving” is tailored to address the symptoms of cancer and its treatment.
“Program sessions are highly participative, mutually supportive and successful to help participants gain confidence in their ability to manage their own health and maintain active and fulfilling lives,” Goodwin says.