10/5/2011 - Health Dept: Chronic Disease Mgmt. Program (2nd Round)

Department of Health
215 State Street Hackensack, N.J. 07601
Phone (201) 646-3965 Fax (201) 646-3989
John G. Christ
Health Officer & Registrar

Hackensack to Offer 2nd Round of Programs to Help Older Adults Self-Manage Chronic Diseases

Hackensack - The City of Hackensack’s Department of Health is one of 18 local agencies that was awarded a $10,000 grant to initiate a community-based program that helps older adults better manage their chronic diseases.

The program, called Take Control of Your Health in New Jersey, was developed by the School of Medicine at Stanford University in California as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) and is recognized internationally as a premiere, evidence-based health promotion and disease prevention program.

“Asthma, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis and other chronic conditions pose serious challenges for older adults on a day-to-day basis,” said Mayor Meneses. “Take Control of Your Health gives participants the knowledge, skills and confidence to take a more active role in their health care.”

Take Control of Your Health is a community workshop held for 2½ hours once a week for six weeks. Workshops are provided at no cost and will be offered now through February, 2012 in Hackensack. During workshops, participants learn strategies for managing symptoms, working with health care professionals, setting weekly goals, problem-solving, relaxing, handling difficult emotions, eating well, and exercising safely and easily.

Health Department officials have said that the program has produced positive results for participants wherever it has been offered. People completing the course report improvements in physical activity, stamina and pain control, better communication with their health care providers, and reduced doctor and hospital visits.

The program has grown dramatically in New Jersey since 2006, when only one person was certified as a master trainer able to train peer leaders. Today, the state has 130 master trainers, 300 peer leaders, and more than 3,000 people have completed a community workshop. Hackensack just completed its first 2 classes and is currently enrolling residents for the second round of courses.

The second round of classes will begin on October 5 and 6, 2011. Individuals looking for Take Control of Your Health workshops should call Hackensack Heath Department Public Health Nurse, Michelle Ryan at 201-646-3963 to register.

The program is also now available in an on-line version at www.selfmanage.org. Developed and tested at the Stanford University Patient Education Center, the on-line workshop – called Better Choices, Better Health™ – is offered exclusively through a license from National Council on Aging (NCOA). The on-line workshops can be particularly useful for those individuals without access to transportation or who prefer the anonymity of a virtual group.