MARTINSBURG, W.VA. -- University Healthcare, in collaboration with the Berkeley County Health Department, has announced "Living Well," a new program for those dealing with chronic disease and/or diabetes.

Living Well, a chronic disease self-management program, is a six-session health workshop to help individuals coping with one or more chronic diseases learn to take day-to-day responsibility for their care, increase the skills necessary to manage their disease and work effectively with their healthcare professional. In addition, participants will learn problem-solving and decision-making skills that will enable them to confront the ever-changing challenges of living with a chronic illness.

Living Well was developed by the Patient Education Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Leaders have been trained in the curriculum and follow Stanford’s guidelines, which have been medically approved and rigorously tested to ensure effectiveness.

Participants of Living Well have reported significant changes in health, such as less fatigue, less disability, improved functioning, and fewer hospital stays. Participants have also shown improvements in exercise adherence, pain and stress management, communication with physicians, and more confidence in their ability to manage their conditions.

Workshops consist of six weekly sessions, two hours each session. Each participant receives a “Living a Healthy Life” book. Program content includes learning the skills that can help participants:

  • Develop and maintain a long-term exercise program
  • Manage fatigue
  • Deal with anger, depression and other negative emotions
  • Manage pain and stress without medication
  • Communicate better with family/friends/physicians
  • Use prescribed medication appropriately
  • Eat healthier
  • Make informed treatment decisions
  • Develop decision-making and problem-solving skills

Living Well is free and open to those with one or more chronic condition. Everyone can benefit from learning the skills to coordinate all the activities needed to manage their health, as well as help them maintain a full and active life. Those with the following chronic conditions are encouraged to participate: heart disease, lung disease, arthritis, stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, or asthma. It is very useful for individuals with chronic conditions who also struggle with weight management issues. Participants are welcome to bring a family member or friend with them.  

A new workshop is scheduled to begin Feb. 21. The workshop will meet from 9:30 to 11:45 a.m. through March 28 at The Berkeley Senior Center, 217 North High Street, in Martinsburg.

To register or for more information, contact Dana M. DeJarnett at 304-264-1287 ext. 31814 or ddejarnett@wvumedicine.org. Registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 17.

For more information: Teresa E. McCabe, University Healthcare Vice President of Marketing and Development, 304-264-1223