Thumb Community Health Partnership offers a program for women

The Thumb Community Health Partnership runs a free Women 2 Women program for women with chronic conditions.

The TCHP was established in 2019 to address physical and behavioral health issues in the Thumb, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac and Tuscola area counties. Community members include local mental health organizations, public health departments, eight local hospitals and the Human Development Commission.

Two years later, the TCHP launched the Women 2 Women program. The program is a pilot project program, part of a network development grant from the Office of Rural Health Policy. The partnership organization has provided three programs since, offering self-help tools that will help women achieve their personal goals.

This free, 11-week online program is offered year-round, providing support, guidance and tools for women to improve their health and well-being. It helps explore stress, communication skills, physical activity and nutrition as well as other topics that impact chronic disease. Women from Huron, Sanilac, Tuscola and Lapeer counties can apply to participate in the program.

“It’s exciting to be able to help participants find resources and tools that improve their overall quality of life and relieve some of the stress that can come with chronic health conditions,” said Gail Innis, program health coach. .

In addition to the course, online learning will include participation in Canary Health’s Better Choices, Better Health program. This approved chronic disease self-management program emphasizes decision making, problem solving and action planning.

Gail Innis, health counselor, has 25 years of experience providing education and support through programs focused on health, parenting and stress management. She facilitates all courses and provides support to participants throughout six weeks of independent online learning.

“Being able to mentor women through a program to better manage their chronic disease has been rewarding,” Innis said.

In a world where mental health is not talked about openly all the time, TCHP partners are committed to working together and helping the community see that mental and physical health are inseparable. The Women 2 Women program takes a similar approach to overall health.

This program will help empower people to self-manage their health for the life they want, by connecting people with others who share their experience and tracking their progress towards behavior change and improving their health.

Data from past programs has shown that participants find it very useful and has had a huge impact on them. At the end of the 11-week course, 52% increased their daily physical activity, 35% of participants increased their confidence in managing their condition, while 43% increased their exploration of community resources. The women also gave positive feedback saying, “This program showed me so many things — I actually felt like moving instead of getting tired. The meetings and classes gave me something to look forward to and I learned from each one.

Course registration is open until October 4 for the fall program. For more information on the program or any information related to TCHP, visit their website.

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