BROOKINGS, S.D. - South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension is offering a virtual Better Choices, Better Health SD (BCBH-SD) Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Lay Leader Training Aug. 19 to Sept. 30. The training will be held Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30 to 5 p.m. CDT over Zoom.
"Becoming a BCBH-SD lay leader and facilitating workshops is an excellent opportunity to stay on track with your own health as you teach valuable self-management skills to people with chronic conditions," says SDSU Extension Nutrition Field Specialist Megan Jacobson. "No teaching experience or health care background is necessary to become a BCBH-SD lay leader. In fact, research shows that the best facilitators are those who are living with chronic conditions."
To become a certified BCBH-SD Lay Leader, participants must attend the full virtual training offered over seven weeks (two weekly sessions/each two-and-a-half hours). They must have reliable internet and a computer with audio and visual capability. Also, participants must show a willingness to follow a detailed leader's manual and demonstrate a mastery of the facilitation skills by the end of the training.
"Once these requirements are met, you will be paired with an experienced leader to facilitate a workshop within one year of the training as the final step of certification," Jacobson says. "After certification, we ask that you facilitate at least one workshop per year, and workshops meet for two- and-a-half hours per session for six weeks."
According to Jacobson, there are a variety of cross-training opportunities for active BCBH-SD leaders in additional BCBH-SD chronic disease self-management education (CDSME) curriculums, including: the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program, Diabetes Self-Management Program, Cancer: Surviving and Thriving, Worksite Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and Tomando Control de su Salud.
The BCBH-SD suite of CDSME curriculums has been approved as a training program for lay leaders to work, providing a service of the Community Health Worker (CHW) Scope of Work in regard to reimbursement. Additionally, certificate-level CHWs can also train to be a lay leader to expand the services they offer to the communities they serve.
Jacobson says the feedback from current BCBH-SD lay leaders has been enthusiastic.
"We had a BCBH-SD Lay Leader from Aberdeen tell us, 'I love participating in such a positive environment. It is so refreshing to feel like you are making a difference,'" Jacobson says.
To apply for BCBH-SD Lay Leader training, visit the SDSU Extension Events page. After applications are received, participants will be contacted to set up a Zoom interview. During the interview, BCBH-SD will review leader expectations and training details and provide the opportunity to address any questions. After the interview, to complete registration, participants will be sent required paperwork and online payment information (sponsored volunteer leaders only).
For more information, contact BCBH-SD at BetterChoices.BetterHealth@sdstate or 888-484-3800.