Chronic Disease Self Management Programs of Tennessee

Creative and Technical Excellence

Directed branding, design, and content creation, developing a cohesive and engaging online and printed presence that effectively communicates the urgency and importance of the self management of chronic disease in Tennessee through a series of self management programs offered by the University of Tennessee Extension.

Managed a dynamic creative team, guiding the design and execution of web pages, social media marketing and printed materials.

Engagement and Outreach

Led branding and marketing efforts, crafting a powerful narrative that resonates with individuals and communities alike.


Chronic Diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and obesity are among the most prevalent, costly and preventable health problems in Tennessee and the nation. According to CDC, six in ten adult Americans have one chronic disease with four in ten having two or more chronic diseases. The rise in chronic conditions among Americans are directly hitting the United States purse resulting in 90% of the 3.5 trillion health care expenditures being due to chronic conditions. In addition, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently reported that 289 billion in healthcare costs can be attributed to patients not taking their medications. For persons with chronic diseases, limited health literacy impairs their ability to effectively self-manage their health conditions and increases likeliness of developing costly health complications associated with these diseases.


In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, UT Extension has mobilized four hundred seventy-seven (477) certified leaders to conduct the Living Well with Chronic Conditions (LWCC; Self-Management Resource Center’s Chronic Disease Self-Management)[93 counties], Take Charge of Your Diabetes (TCYD; Self-Management Resource Center’s Diabetes Self-Management)[92 counties] and Live Healthy Work Healthy (LHWH; Self-Management Resource Center’s Workplace Chronic Disease Self-Management)[9 counties] programs to citizens in-person and virtually across Tennessee. Through our network of leaders two hundred sixteen (216) Tennesseans participated in the self-management programs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that struck our nation in March 2020, our partner leaders with community education job responsibilities were reassigned to COVID-19 response duties. UT Extension lead the way in the continuation of these programs across the state by conducting programs virtually and face-to-face. It was our mission to not only serve Tennesseans with traditional chronic conditions, but to aid individuals affected by the COVID-19 virus and the chronic symptoms associated with surviving the virus.


As a result of participating in the self-management programs mentioned above, individuals with chronic conditions and caregivers experienced the following benefits:

·      91% are using self-management techniques to manage their chronic condition symptoms

·      74% are checking their blood sugar after meals according to health care provider’s instruction

·      87% are applying healthy eating principles when making food decisions

·      87% are exercising more often to help manage their chronic condition

·      82% are using positive thinking techniques to manage difficult feelings and emotions

·      83% are managing their fatigue caused by their chronic condition by prioritizing daily activities

·      75% are using stress management techniques to manage pain for six months or longer

·      76% are making healthy food decisions six-months after completing the courses

·      90% are communicating better their needs and concerns with their healthcare providers six-months after     completing the courses

Public Value Statement

The Living Well with Chronic Conditions program has an estimated net health care cost savings of $364 per participant and nationally $3.3 billion if 5% of adults with two or more chronic conditions are reached. Participants who attend the Take Charge of Your Diabetes program have an estimated healthcare cost savings of $815.  Reaching 66 Tennesseans through the Living Well with Chronic Conditions program and 134 people through the Take Charge of Your Diabetes Program in 2021, University of Tennessee Extension chronic disease self-management programming has a potential economic impact of $133,234 (Living Well with Chronic Conditions: $24,024; Take Charge of Your Diabetes: $109,210).

Ahn, S., Basu, R., Smith, M.L., Jiang, L., Lorig, K., Whitelaw, N., Ory, M.G. (2013).  The impact of chronic disease self-management programs: healthcare savings through a community-based intervention.  BMC Public Health, 13,1141.

Turner, R.M., Ma, Q., Lorig, K., Greenberg, J., De Vries, A.R. (2018). Evaluations of a Diabetes Self-Management Program: Claims Analysis on Comorbid Illnesses, Healthcare Utilization, and Cost. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20,6.

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