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Programs & Services

Better Choices, Better Health, also known as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program (CDSME), helps adults 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 held weekly for 2 ½ hours for 6 weeks at community-based locations in participating counties and also virtually throughout the state. 

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

Better Choices, Better Health workshops will not conflict with existing programs or treatments. They are designed to enhance regular treatment and disease-specific education. Many participants have more than one chronic condition. The program is especially helpful for these individuals, as it gives them skills to coordinate all the things needed to manage their health, as well as to help keep them active.

Workshop Topics Include: 

  • 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 
Are you interested in providing 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 ali.grossman@idph.iowa.gov

Video: Improving Quality of Life Outcomes Through CDSME Programs