UW’s Center on Aging Announces Healthier Wyoming Initiative | News – University of Wyoming News

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June 23, 2022

The Wyoming Center on Aging (WyCOA) at the University of Wyoming has established the Healthier Wyoming initiative, which has a goal to empower all Wyoming residents to take charge of their health through the use of a comprehensive statewide directory of chronic disease prevention and management resources.  

The Healthier Wyoming initiative is offered in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program and WyCOA.

The Healthier Wyoming website provides resources on evidence-based programs available in Wyoming, including diabetes prevention programs; diabetes self-management education and support programs; Healthy U workshops on chronic disease self-management programs; and information on heart disease prevention and self-monitored blood pressure programs.

“It’s the perfect time to take action and move toward a healthier you,” says Maggie Kougl, a WyCOA regional coordinator. “The resources and programs offered around the state can help those living with chronic health challenges.”

The evidence-based programs supported by the Healthier Wyoming initiative are based on rigorous research and serve to educate and empower participants to take control of their health and live their best, healthiest and most fulfilling lives. Programs focus on addressing relevant health risks to Wyoming residents.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso produced a video that highlights the resources available on the Healthier Wyoming website, noting that this resource focuses on education and support of health conditions affecting Wyoming residents. Barrasso says that Healthier Wyoming is a resource for those with chronic health conditions, as well as a resource for Wyoming health care providers.

“We are excited that our work with the Wyoming Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention Program has garnered the attention of many in the state, including Sen. Barrasso,” Kougl says. “Our goal is to create a healthier Wyoming for everyone through education and health resources. The Healthier Wyoming initiative is an important resource for those living with chronic health conditions and providers supporting patients.”

One in three adults in Wyoming has prediabetes, and 84 percent do not know they have it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. Individuals interested in learning if they are at risk of prediabetes can take the CDC’s prediabetes risk test. Healthier Wyoming can help those individuals find a diabetes prevention program in their area.

According to the CDC, in 2018, 7.9 percent of adults in Wyoming reported a diabetes diagnosis. Diabetes self-management education and support programs provide information and skills to help adults manage their diabetes. Healthy U is a free six-week program designed to help participants manage chronic health conditions. This evidence-based program is particularly relevant for older Wyoming residents, who have two to three times higher rates of chronic disease compared to national averages.

Heart disease continues to be the greatest health threat to Americans and is still the leading cause of death worldwide, according to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2022 Update. Nearly 18.6 million people across the globe died of cardiovascular disease in 2019, and 523.2 million cases of cardiovascular disease were reported.

For more information about the Healthier Wyoming initiative, call (307) 766-2829, email healthierwyo@uwyo.edu or visit www.uwyo.edu/healthierwyo.

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