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Continuing Medical Education and Cooperative Extension Health Education

Allison Rentfro, PhD, director; Molly Vetter-Smith, state health education specialist

photo: Continuing medical education program

Speaker Mary Tellis-Nayak, RN, MSN, MPH and vice president of Quality Initiative, leads a session at the 22nd annual conference, Caring for the Frail Elderly. She presented "My Inner View: The Residents' Perspective on Nursing Home Care."

The Continuing Medical Education program (CME) works to improve the health literacy of Missourians by developing, implementing and evaluating both clinic-based and community-based chronic disease prevention and self-management interventions. Major accomplishments during the year are highlighted by these efforts.

  • The CME program provided a research update for all MU Extension regional specialists who provide diabetes self-management education through the Eat Well Be Well With Diabetes program. A major effort during the year modified the program's curriculum to reflect recent diabetes self-management education research recommendations.
  • During 2012, the program reached 464 Missourians through 79 Eat Well Be Well With Diabetes workshops delivered across the state. Evaluation data show program participants reported improvements such as eating the right amount of food to keep blood sugars in a normal range, checking blood sugar levels as recommended by their provider, making healthier food choices and preparing healthy meals.
  • The program, Taking Care of You: Body, Mind, Spirit, a group multi-session stress management program, improved participants' ability to manage stress and adopt healthy behaviors. The program reached a total 1,295 people through 107 sessions. Research on the program shows that participants decreased stress levels and improved their nutrition, physical activity, stress management behaviors and spiritual health indices.
  • The CME program continued the partnership with Missouri Arthritis and Osteoporosis program to provide chronic disease self-management educational programs throughout the state by human environmental sciences regional extension specialists. The project aims to improve patient chronic disease self-management by implementing system changes in primary care clinics concerning patient-provider interactions around self-care related to lifestyle behaviors. Regional specialists delivered 23 multi-session programs to 214 Missourians around the state.
  • The program collaborated with a group of faculty and staff from MU's Center for Health Policy and the family and community medicine department to partner with Missouri communities to improve the health of Missourians. In the first year of this grant-funded effort, initial steps were taken to develop a prototype partnership with a community.
  • The CME program provided expertise and writing assistance for a manuscript on the role of the primary care extension program in the current and future national healthcare system. The publication effort is in collaboration with the Robert Graham Center in Washington, D.C., and other distinguished faculty around the country.