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Upcoming programs to improve health

A number of upcoming programs at St. John's Medical Center are being offered to improve health and well being.

St. John’s Diabetes & Metabolism offers a free, CDC-recognized, Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), proven to cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%. The program educates people with pre-diabetes, and those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, about changing behaviors and developing new, healthy habits. Classes help people make achievable and realistic lifestyle changes focusing on strategies for weight loss, exercise, stress management, problem solving, and coping.

Led by St. John’s registered dietitian Sarah Peterson and certified diabetes educator Susanne Schenk, the group will share experiences, gain knowledge, and receive support from peers and professionals. This interactive support group empowers clients to achieve and maintain long-term healthy lifestyle changes.

The program meets weekly from noon to 1 pm, beginning on Tuesday, January 23. For more information or to enroll, call 307 739 7634.

A new series of support group activities are available for people and caregivers affected by cancer. Led by oncology nurse Beth Shidner, RN, OCN, and social worker Lynnette Gaertner, MSW, LCSW, classes are held on the first and third Thursday of the month, from 3:00 to 4:00 pm. Topics for upcoming sessions include mindfulness techniques for living with cancer, forgiveness and cancer, cancer survivorship, and meditation and cancer. The group meets in the Eagle classroom in the lower level of the hospital. For more information, call 739 6195.

On February 16, cancer survivors and their families are invited to attend a Stepping Out activity: a healthy cooking class featuring Asian-inspired cuisine. Attendees will learn how to cook a healthy meal and then sample their culinary creations. The class will be led by oncology nurse Addie Pascal, RN, and registered dietitian Tenley Burlingame. The class will take place from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at the Presbyterian Church of Jackson Hole, 1251 South Park Loop Road. Call 739 6195 by February 13 to sign up.

Healthy U is an evidenced-based program for anyone with a chronic condition, including diabetes, cancer, heart and lung issues, arthritis, and more. Developed by Stanford University, the program teaches people how to manage their daily lives in order to lead a happier and healthier life.

Past participants in Healthy U demonstrated a significant improvement in exercise, cognitive symptoms management, communication with physicians, self-reported general health, health distress, and fatigue.

The six-week program is facilitated by St. John's certified wellness coaches Lisa Smith, a registered dietitian; and Natalie Stewart, a board-certified registered nurse.

According to one past participant, “This class has helped me to sleep better, exercise and stretch, communicate effectively, and strive to work the many limiting physical disabilities I have. I’m feeling inspired and positive for a bright future.”

Healthy U meets on Tuesdays, from 2:00 to 4:30 pm at St. John's Medical Center. The fee for the program is $60.00. For every session attended, each participant will receive $10.00 back. For those attending all six sessions, the program is free.

The next session runs from February 7 to March 14. Register by February 1 by calling 307 739 7243.


Media contact: Karen Connelly, 739 7380,

St. John's Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming, offers patient-centered clinical excellence and community wellness services through a full-service hospital, primary care, and specialty physician practices, and a long-term care Living Center.

The mission of the St. John’s Hospital Foundation is to secure philanthropic support to advance the mission and strategic objectives of St. John’s Medical Center, including patient-centered care, clinical excellence, and community wellness. For more information, visit