The Stanford University Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) was first introduced to St.Lucia in 2002 by the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association (SLALA).

This renowned and respected self-management program has been conducted in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan for over twenty years. It has been proven to empower persons who choose to do it and it is not disease specific. The CDSMP is now being incorporated into guidelines across the world for management of people with any chronic illness. This is because it improves self-efficacy, reduces the amount of sick-leave people take, and reduces hospitalizations and number of days in hospital. The savings relative to cost of program in the U.S. is 4:1.
Since June 2014, there has been a revival of the CDSMP. The St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association brought trainers from Stanford University to St. Lucia then, to retrain leaders and reignite the flame of self-management promotion in St. Lucia. The program was renamed “Viv Byen” (which means Live Well in the local patois) as a way of making the program more attractive and identifiable to St. Lucians. Since June 2014 there have been 29 workshops conducted across island and about 290 persons have benefitted from this.

Viv Byen workshops are 6 weeks long. It involves committing to meeting in small groups of 8-12 persons for 2.5hrs once weekly. The workshops are geared at teaching persons self-management skills such as decision-making, action-planning, problem-solving, healthy communication, positive- thinking among many others, as well as addresses areas such as sleep hygiene, nutrition, exercise and pain management. It has helped persons develop and keep good habits which ultimately help them manage themselves better.

Bay Medical Centre has been a great partner with SLALA, and so has been one of the host centres of these Viv Byen workshops since 2014. We encourage all our patients and clients to do this workshop as it is not meant to only benefit persons with chronic disease but also anyone who is seeking ways of enhancing they health and life.

For more information on how you can participate in a Viv Byen workshop, contact the St. Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association at 459-0092/486-7000 or email slala.slu@gmail.com. You may also call us at Bay Medical Centre and we will be happy to assist.