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Montana Arthritis Program

Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP)

Montana: Living Life Well is the name Montana has adopted for the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) developed at Stanford University. Montana: Living Life Well is an effective self-management education program for people with chronic health problems. Montana: Living Life Well workshops empower participants to take an active role in managing their health. Montana: Living Life Well workgroups meet once a week for six weeks; each session lasts 2 ½ hours. During the sessions, participants learn skills needed in the day-to-day management of long-term health conditions such as arthritis, asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease, to maintain and/or improve their ability to carry out activities of daily living. Family members and other support people of those with a long-term health conditions are also encouraged to attend.

Workshops are facilitated by two trained leaders, one or both of whom are non-health professionals with a chronic disease themselves or possess life experience resulting in empathy to the needs and abilities of people with long-term health conditions.

This program covers topic such as: techniques to deal with problems associated with chronic disease, appropriate exercise, appropriate use of medications, communicating effectively with family, friends, and health professionals, nutrition, and, how to evaluate new treatments. The workshop does not address specific illnesses; rather, it addresses the challenges common to many long term illnesses, such as pain, fatigue, physical limitations, and difficult emotions. Each week, participants will create an action plan to accomplish a realistic, attainable goal. 

Participants who have completed a workshop demonstrated significant improvements in exercise, ability to do social and household activities, less depression, fear and frustration or worry about their health, reduction in symptoms like pain, and increased confidence in their ability to manage their condition.

Here are some resources with more information

Where can I find Montana: Living Life Well workshops in Montana?

Living Independently for Today and Tomorrow (LIFTT)
Joe Burst
(406) 259-5259
Stillwater Billings Clinic Community Health Services
Heidi Marshall
(406) 322-9969
Fort Belknap
Fort Belknap Indian Health Services
Ruth Burleigh
(406) 353-3246
Veterans Affairs (VA) Montana
Veterans Affairs (VA) Montana
Helen Williams
(406) 447-6897


o For information regarding the funding opportunity associated with this program, please contact Heather Beck at (406) 444-0958 or hbeck@mt.gov.