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Mayo Clinic would hold two free classes in Colfax if enough are interested

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  Do you suffer from a chronic health problem or know someone who does?

The Mayo Clinic Health System Red Cedar out of Menomonie would be willing to hold two different six-week workshops in Colfax about dealing with chronic conditions and diabetes if enough people are interested.

Living Well With Chronic Conditions would be held one day per week for 2.5 hours for six weeks, and Healthy Living With Diabetes would be held one day per week for 2.5 hours for seven weeks, said Joanne Walker, an RN with Mayo Clinic, at the Merry Mixers April 2 meeting at the Grapevine Senior Center.

The workshops would be free of charge and would be held at the Grapevine.

Participants in the classes must be 18 or older. People who suffer from a chronic condition or their family members are all welcome at the classes, Walker said.

Chronic conditions would include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, depression, anxiety, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, asthma, chronic pain — or anything that lasts for more than a few days, she said.

Chronic conditions put patients in the position of acting as a partner with their doctor to manage the condition, Walker said.

The workshop classes teach people how to be an active manager of a condition, she said.

Each workshop focuses on a different tools: problem solving (how to get somewhere when mobility is compromised, for example); how to get enough sleep; healthy eating; physical activity; dealing with emotions.

Research done at Stanford University shows that after a six-week workshop, people with chronic conditions end up in the emergency room or hospital fewer times.

“There are studies that show this really does work,” Walker said.

The Healthy Living with Diabetes workshop focuses on nutrition and showing people how to eat healthy to control their diabetes, she said.

During the seventh week of the diabetes class, a diabetic educator from the hospital would come to the workshop to answer individual questions and work with class participants, Walker said.

Workshops would need at least six participants in order for the classes to be held in Colfax, she said.

The ideal workshop size is six to 12 people, Walker noted.

Both of the workshops are offered in Menomonie, but if enough people are interested in Colfax, the workshops can be held at the Grapevine, she said.

Mayo Clinic also will be offering classes in Boyceville this summer, Walker noted.

The program kicked off last year, has been growing and will be around for a while, she said.

Dates for Colfax will be determined if there is enough interest in the workshops.

Anyone who is interested in signing up for one or both workshops can contact Vickie Hendricks, president of the Colfax Merry Mixers, at (715) 962-4037; the Grapevine Senior Center at (715) 962-2550; or by calling Walker at (715) 233-7779.

Workshops at the Grapevine would be held in the afternoon.