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Program Overview

Self-management refers to an individual’s ability to manage the symptoms, treatment, physical, emotional, psychosocial, financial and lifestyle changes inherent in living with a chronic condition. Master Your Health is the Chronic Disease Self Management Program developed and researched by Stanford University in California. Participants set goals and action plans; problem solve; improve coping skills; and learn about becoming more active, eating healthier and managing difficult emotions. They also focus on: managing medications, pain and fatigue; using positive thinking; working with health teams; and making decisions about their health. The program is structured as a series of six weekly two-and-a-half hour workshops and is completely funded by MOHLTC. Master Your Health is available throughout the Windsor- Essex, Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton region for adults living with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, lung disease, heart disease, stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, chronic pain and more. The program is also open to family members and friends of a person living with a chronic condition. A medical referral is not required. Health care professionals are being encouraged to recommend the program to their patients. Master Your Health offers strategies that people can adopt to keep themselves healthy, active and living at home.

Background and History

Chronic diseases are the major cause of death and disability worldwide. The World Health Organization projected that between 2005 and 2015, over two-million Canadians will die from a chronic disease, and that chronic diseases will account for 89% of all deaths in the country. (

The Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) reports that compared to the Ontario average, the region has a significantly higher incidence of overweight/obese individuals and people with arthritis/rheumatism. Residents also have higher rates of chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. There are significantly higher rates of hospitalization, potential years of lost life, and mortality due to higher rates of neoplasm (tumours), circulatory disease and external causes such as injury. A slightly higher proportion of individuals practice poor lifestyle habits such as smoking, drinking, poor nutrition and inactivity, which increases their risk of developing a chronic disease. (Integrated Health Service Plan /

A Statistics Canada study released in November 2012 shows that Canadians aged 50 or older who were diagnosed with chronic health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, respiratory disease and diabetes made only modest lifestyle changes to improve their health. ( This study highlights the need for the Chronic Disease Self Management Initiative. Individuals living with chronic conditions can learn to change their behaviour when given support.

The Self Management Initiative: Self-management is a key component of improving the management of chronic disease(s), such as diabetes. The ability of individuals to self-manage their condition 365 days per year has a powerful impact on their health and well-being. For many individuals, chronic disease education alone is insufficient to change the behaviours that increase the risk of complications.

The ODS Self-Management Initiative is designed to achieve a much needed shift in the health system focused on preparing and empowering individuals with or at risk of developing chronic disease, to assume greater control and responsibility for daily health care decisions, including:

  • Addressing behaviours and choices that may exacerbate their condition and increase the risk of complications (e.g., exercise, diet, smoking)
  • Taking medications appropriately
  • Monitoring and managing the signs and symptoms of disease
  • Maintaining regular contact and productive communication with health care providers

Self-management education and skills training workshops for individuals and providers have been shown to improve clinical outcomes, including blood glucose levels (HbA1C), improve behaviours that impact health such as exercise, diet and engagement with health care providers and reduce overall health system cost by supporting reduced emergency department visits and hospital admissions related to disease progression and complications.

Supporting improved self-management on the part of individuals is a key component of chronic disease prevention and management best practices, as highlighted in Ontario’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Framework (2007), the Canadian Diabetes Association’s 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario’s Best Practice Guideline (2010). (

Our Team

Kunval Chaudhery, Chronic Disease Self Management Coordinator
Phone: 1 (855) 259-3605

Christina Lepera, Chronic Disease Self Management Coordinator (on mat leave)
Phone: 1 (855) 259-3605

Erin Hodgson, Chronic Disease Self Management Administrative Assistant
Phone: 1 (855) 259-3605

Peer Leaders:

a.  How to become a Peer Leader?

What is Self-Management?
Self-management programs are structured, time-limited interventions designed to provide health information and engage patients in actively managing their chronic conditions. The Stanford Chronic Disease Self Management program is evidence based and designed for clients who have chronic conditions and their caregivers. The Self Management Master Your Health program is associated with improved quality of life and health outcomes.

Stanford Leader Training
This 4 day program is designed to prepare you to lead and co-facilitate workshops that assist clients/participants to: set goals, action plans, problem solve, improve coping skills, manage difficult emotions, become more active and eat healthier, manage medications, pain and fatigue, engage in positive thinking, work with health care teams and make informed decisions about treatment.

Who can become leaders?
Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) Leader Training is available for individuals living with chronic conditions including volunteers, clients, family members, caregivers, and healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers, therapists, educators, mental health workers, pharmacists, etc.) interested in facilitating workshops. Thousands of individuals living with chronic conditions and their caregivers have been trained to lead Self-Management Workshops in over 25 countries. Leaders are individuals interested in helping others learn how to better self-manage their chronic conditions and to live a healthy life.

Importance of Becoming a Self Management Stanford Leader:

  • Prepares you to lead and co-facilitate Chronic Disease Self Management workshops to assist clients to positively manage their chronic conditions
  • Course training, leader manual and materials are FREE!
  • Leader training and workshop licenses are held by Windsor Essex Community Health Centre to support the Erie St. Clair LHIN Chronic Disease Self Management Initiative
  • Certificate will be awarded upon completion and can be applied to Reflective Practice or Continuing Education Credits
  • Training led by two Stanford University trained Master Trainers

Leader Expectations:
Co-Facilitate 2 workshops within a year. First workshop is to be completed by within one year of becoming certified. Provide participant peer/social group support as needed. Submit participant information to the Project Coordinator. Agree to follow Stanford Leader and WECHC contract agreement.
**Click Here for upcoming Peer Leader Training Registration Form

b.  Current Peer Leaders:

Annette Abaribe
Ken Balkwill
Tamara Bechard
Cynthia Brown
Earl Brownell
Marvia Chase
Cheryl Colborne
Jillian Conlon-Ray
Mary Cunningham
*Debbie Doherty
Lorraine Douglas
Beth Duell
Karen Francis
Wendy Gatti
Vicky Gould
Linda Hamlin
*Ann Hucal
Darcy Kaput
Georgina Kelly
Cheryl Kranachar
Laura McKee
Heather Lauzon
Lauri McQueen
Sharon Mueller
Rola Osman
Bonnie Pacuta
Jamie Peel
CarrieAnn Peters
Rodney Richardson
*Geri Robitaille
Kristina Tocco
Vicki Trudell
Fatima Umaro
Ann Wilson-Grossett

Chatham Kent

Jaimie Abrieu
Sabrina Adair
Mary-Ann Angels
Candice Austin
Carla Comartin
Michelle Kosik
Jennifer Kreiger
Mallory Nowakowski
Anuja Panditrao
Lisa Shepley
Karen Sinclair
Bonnie Showers-Malanoski
Sonia Teeuwen
*Suzanne Webster

Sarnia Lambton

Miranda Burgess
Marion Clouse
Val Conway
Barb DeLine
Nadine Devin
Sara George
Laura Goodison
Becky Hills
Amanda Joseph
Carole Joseph
Katie Leblang
Lois McGirr
Susan Newman
Dawn Norton
Karen Riley
Peggy Rogers
Alyssa Straatman
Leah Willemse

*master trainers