Wendy MacLennan has been a valuable asset to the Get Better Together program in Prairie Mountain Health for many years. Over 13 years ago, Wendy was approached by a local Health Promotion Coordinator to see if she would be interested in learning more about the program. Little did she know it would be the start of a life long journey of working to manage her chronic condition as well as help others to become better self-managers of their personal health issues.
“After taking the training to become a leader of the Get Better Together program and having numerous ‘ah-ha’ moments, I could see that this program would work for me to take charge of my diabetes instead of it controlling my life. I knew it was a good fit for me. It was so empowering!” Wendy laughs as she shares that her children teased her about how she would practice her newly acquired skills on them and how making weekly action plans to adjust her menu and incorporate physical activity resulted in positive changes in her life.
It wasn’t long before Wendy was leading Get Better Together in communities and helping others also to experience the same benefits from the program that she did. “After leading a few community programs, I was approached to take the master trainer course for the program. I jumped on this opportunity so I would be able to encourage others to lead community-based sessions.” Wendy became a Master Trainer of the Get Better Together program in 2010. She has been helping our region ever since to lead programs and train other people to become leaders of this program.
“Get Better Together has shown me how to work with health care professionals to improve my quality of life. It has shown me how to break my symptom cycle so that I can manage my health issues better. I can break down issues into more doable healthy changes instead of looking at them and saying I can’t do it. Yes, you can make small changes to your lifestyle, which will make huge changes to your quality of life. Get Better Together showed me how helping others can also help me stay on track and live a better life.”
When asked what she would tell others living with a chronic condition Wendy replied, “Try it! Everyone can learn new tools to improve their quality of life. It showed me that even though people’s health issues may be different when you break them down, we all can benefit from helping ourselves and each other. No one is alone in their struggles.”
We are so grateful to have Wendy as one of our four Master Trainers in the region. Their skills and desire to continue helping others to become better self-managers is second to none. “I continue to be a part of the program because it helps people improve their lives. Small improvements are still improvements. I have met so many people through Get Better Together, and they have encouraged me to continue co-leading the program.”
The Get Better Together program is offered in group settings throughout PMH communities; however, because of the current situation, we have moved to offer it using a virtual platform via zoom. For more information on any upcoming programs, please call our toll-free line 1-877-509-7852.
Wendy (Front row, first on the left) is pictured with a group of newly trained GBT leaders from Fall 2019