Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
A class being offered through The Resource Center seeks to help area residents with chronic conditions learn how to lead healthy lives.
The class is called "Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions" and is being offered in collaboration with P2 Collaborative of Western New York Inc., an organization dedicated to improving the health of people living in the region. The course is "an evidence-based program created by Stanford University that helps individuals better manage their chronic health conditions such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes," according to the program flyer.
The class is being taught by Leanna Luka-Conley, The Resource Center's director of social services, and Christina Rosengren, The Resource Center's care management integration specialist, who took the opportunity to do facilitator training for the class so it could be offered through The Resource Center. The class teaches self-management for people living with chronic conditions, caregivers, and friends and family of people with chronic conditions. The curriculum teaches participants about chronic diseases, as well as how these conditions interconnect with other areas of life such as diet, exercise, emotions, and general health.
"It's trying to get people the skills to be more equipped on developing action plans that are going to meet their needs," Ms. Luka-Conley said. "I think sometimes in society, we create action plans like, 'New Year's resolution - I'm going to go on a diet and lose 50 pounds,' and usually when we set up goals like this, we're more apt to fail at them. Creating achievable action plans, broken down into specific steps, creates better chances for success."
She said the class teaches people more about their chronic diseases and how to manage them on their own. Both women said that patient-driven care is where the health care field is headed.
"This is something that we're looking at - giving them the tools to manage their own life and symptoms and be able to ask questions," Ms. Luka-Conley said. "This really is putting a whole, new spin on the system of care. Everybody's accountable by becoming an integrated system, and some of these workshops are assisting people with self-management tools to get to the next level of really understanding what it means to be the driver of your health care."
One of the reasons the two women became facilitators for the class was so that people supported by The Resource Center could become aware of the program.
"We use our site because we're hoping to engage many individuals from our Primary Care Center into self-management programs," Ms. Luka-Conley said. "Many individuals are taking the steps to move out into the community from TRC group home settings and need to know how to become involved in their health care plans and know how to manage their symptoms."
Participants in the class are paired with another peer to keep each other accountable in meeting their goals and staying on track of their action plans. This not only makes the classmates accountable to one another, but it also helps them form natural friendships and supports. Participants are referred to the class through a primary care physician or an insurance company, but not everyone in the class has to have a chronic disease.
"You don't have to be living with a chronic disease to take the class," Ms. Rosengren said. "A loved one or a friend could have a chronic condition, [or] you could be a caregiver."
Ms. Luka-Conley added, "They really encourage caregivers to be a part of the health care plan. My goal is to see this program agency wide because this is important for us, especially with people moving out in the community."
Anyone interested in learning more about the class may contact Ms. Luka-Conley at 661-1059 or Ms. Rosengren at 485-4681. Those interested can also call their primary care doctor or insurance company to be referred to the class.
The next class sessions offered through The Resource Center will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. Thursdays from Sept. 27 to Nov. 1 and from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Thursdays from Nov. 8 to Dec. 20. Both classes will be held in The Resource Center's Carl Cappa building at 880 E. Second St., Jamestown.
Posted by Myself at 11:03 PM