Better Choices, Better Health (also known as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program) helps adults of all ages and caregivers manage the symptoms of chronic diseases, such as:

  • heart disease

  • arthritis

  • diabetes

  • depression

  • asthma

  • bronchitis

  • emphysema

  • and any other physical and mental health conditions.

This evidence-based program runs for six weeks at a community-based location, for only 2 1/2 hours a week.

You can also take part virtually throughout the state.

Trainer leaders run the workshop sessions in the community; many who also have chronic conditions.

This creates an environment of mutual support and builds confidence to help you manage your health and lead a more active life.

Workshop Topics

  • Techniques to deal with isolation, frustration, fatigue, and pain
  • Suitable exercises for maintaining and improving strength, flexibility, and endurance

  • Appropriate use of medications
  • How to communicate effectively with family, friends, and health professionals
  • Healthy eating and nutrition tips
  • How to evaluate treatment options
  • Creating action plans 

Why Participate?

Chronic diseases and conditions affect many people and disproportionately affect older Iowans. Fortunately, a large body of scientific evidence exists demonstrating the effectiveness of low-cost self-care programs that can reduce the risk of disease, disability, and injury. These evidence-based programs empower individuals to take control of their own health through lifestyle and behavior changes.

Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participants’ confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives.

Better Choices, Better Health workshops do not conflict with existing programs or treatments. They are designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education. In addition, many participants have more than one chronic condition. Th program gives them skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help keep them active.

Lead a Workshop

Are you interested in delivering the Better Choices, Better Health workshop in your community? For more information or to add your name to the training list, please email Ali Grossman at

Video: Improving Quality of Life Outcomes Through CDSME Programs