Roy Roberts, Love INC, and Vicki Palmreuter, Great Plains QIN, lead a group of Better Choices Better Health workshop participants.

Positive health outcomes from the Better Choices, Better Health with Diabetes program has led to a growing demand for workshops and lay leaders.  Full details for the lay leader training scheduled for September in Rapid City and Sioux Falls, SD, has been posted on the Good & Health South Dakota website.

“In February 2017, Better Choices, Better Health began offering workshops specifically for individuals with diabetes,” stated Denise Kolba, program manager for the Great Plains Quality Innovation Network (QIN) and BCBH master trainer. “The demand for this specialized support was clear as we held over twelve workshops in a three-month period and achieved a record number of workshop participants.

The six-week program supports individuals seeking to prevent or manage chronic disease, diabetes and chronic pain by providing the support and tools to develop healthier lifestyles through behavior change. Participants gain confidence in goal setting and meal planning, which has a direct impact on creating positive health outcomes such as lower blood glucose levels and weight loss.

Each BCBH workshop is facilitated by a team of two individuals who manage a chronic condition themselves or serve as a caregiver for someone with a chronic disease.  No healthcare or teaching experience is required and becoming a lay leader provides the double impact of reinforcing healthy lifestyle changes while helping others improve their health and quality of life.

“Little did I know becoming a master trainer in Better Choices, Better Health would  have so many benefits,” declared Vicki Palmreuter, program manager for Great Plains QIN. “In addition to the satisfaction of witnessing participants reach their weekly goals, I have used the workshop tools to improve my personal health journey.”

Proven methods for making change are taught to volunteer or employee-sponsored leaders in four days of training over a two-week time period.

“Taking small steps in the right direction increases success and confidence, which results in better health outcomes,” Palmreuter explained. “Facilitating these workshops makes me feel like I am truly making a difference in the wellbeing of my community!”

Becoming a lay leader provides an opportunity to connect with others in the community while improving leadership, teaching and group facilitation skills.

“Being a BCBH leader is a great opportunity to make an impact in your community and the leader training gives you the all the tools you need to lead workshops successfully,” added Kolba. ”To watch as participants realize their potential to impact their health and become empowered to make healthy changes is gratifying.”

There are a variety of diabetes self-management education options available throughout the Great Plains QIN four-state region.  Additional details regarding the diabetes care initiative can be found on the Great Plains QIN Web site.