With the new year well under way, many people are looking for ways to improve their health. Unfortunately, the global pandemic is still making in-person gathering difficult, if not dangerous, for many people. The good news is that Rutland Regional Medical Center offers several virtual self-management workshops that help people take charge of their own health from the safety of their own homes.

Backed by scientific research, Rutland Regional’s self-management workshops are created to meet the specific needs of the participants and to get results. We offer workshops to help people quit smoking, manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and manage high blood pressure. These workshops are free, and they help participants learn about their conditions and advocate for themselves in their health care decisions. In addition to education and empowerment, these workshops offer participants a sense of community and connection with other Vermonters with similar health concerns. Currently, we are running various Tobacco Treatment virtual classes, as well as a virtual Diabetes Self-Management program that begins Jan. 20.

The Quit Smoking workshop is a virtual, small group for people looking for support and motivation to become, and stay, tobacco free. Participants create an action plan to become tobacco free, support each other to stay motivated long-term and learn coping skills to manage stress and cravings. Free nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are available to help participants successfully quit. These free group classes meet one hour per week for four weeks. There are several future workshops in January and February.

For those living with chronic disease, such as asthma, arthritis, obesity or any other long-term condition, the Chronic Disease Management workshop helps participants learn how to better manage their condition and live a more productive and enjoyable life. Participants learn to make healthier food choices, work through emotional challenges associated with chronic disease, and learn self-care strategies that fit into their life. A Chronic Disease Management virtual workshop just started, and a small number of spots are still available.

The High Blood Pressure Management workshop is a new, interactive approach to a very common health concern. Participants learn how to better manage their blood pressure through diet and exercise, medication, and stress and coping skills. Participants receive a blood pressure cuff and learn to track how healthy lifestyle changes positively affect blood pressure. There are several free, virtual workshops starting in January and February, including one on Feb. 8.

For more information about these and other self-management workshops visit www.MyHealthyVT.org online or locally you can reach out to the Community Health Improvement Department at Rutland Regional at (802)-747-3768.

This week’s Health Talk was written by Heather Brouillard, community self-management coordinator for Community Health Improvement at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

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