PATH: Personal Action Toward Health

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PATH (Personal Action Toward Health)

What is it:

The Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (PATH in Michigan) was developed and tested by Stanford University to help people learn to better manage their long-term health conditions. It is a six-week workshop conducted in 2 1/2 hour sessions each week. Workshops are offered in community locations. Search for NKFM provided PATH Workshops happening near you or visit

Who should participate:

PATH is designed to benefit adults with chronic or ongoing health conditions including arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, and depression. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also encouraged to attend.

Types of PATH Workshops:

PATH workshops are also offered to people with specific health challenges such as diabetes, kidney disease, and chronic pain. These workshops are similar to the traditional PATH but offer additional information and support for people with those conditions.  

  • General PATH is for anyone with a chronic health condition such as arthritis, hypertension, cancer, and other long term health problems. Our General PATH program will be available online in Spring 2020! Learn more below. 
  • Diabetes-PATH is for people who are living with Type 2 diabetes. The NKFM has been identified by the American Diabetes Association for providing high-quality Diabetes PATH programming. 
  • Chronic Pain PATH is for people living with chronic pain.
  • Kidney PATH is for people living with chronic kidney disease.
  • Building Better Caregivers and Powerful Tools for Caregivers are geared toward caregivers to learn how to take care of themselves.

What are the benefits of participating?

  • fewer symptoms
  • better communication with physicians
  • a greater sense of control over your health
  • increased physical activity
  • better general health compared to those who had not participated in the workshop

View the video above to find out more about PATH for consumers. To view the video created for providers, click playlist and then select Michigan Partners on the PATH: Providers.

What happens in a PATH workshop?

Workshops are led by two trained leaders who may, themselves, have a long-term health condition. The workshop content is not disease specific; rather, it focuses on symptoms that are common to people with a variety of health conditions. The goal of the workshop is to help participants become better self-managers by creating personal action plans and setting practical, achievable goals. Participants learn to deal with problems such as pain, fatigue, and difficult emotions. Other topics include managing symptoms, managing medications, working with health care providers, relaxation, healthy eating, physical activity, and communicating with family and friends.

Better Choices, Better Health - Online General PATH Program

Better Choices, Better Health® (BCBH) is a 6-week small group workshop offered on a dedicated web site to help people living with chronic conditions to manage them better. BCBH is an online version of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program developed at Stanford University (called PATH in Michigan). It has been thoroughly evaluated and found to be effective at increasing health behaviors and reducing negative health indicators and health care utilization. Classes are offered through Canary Health and consist of about 25 persons per workshop, with participants located across the country. Click here to learn more. 

PATH Testimonials 

Suzanne P. [PATH - 7 years; D-PATH - 4 Years] “I love the discussions and interaction with all the participants. As the weeks progress, it’s rewarding to hear them verbalize solutions and new approaches in living with the daily challenges in managing their chronic diseases. I love to hear their stories and watch the change from overwhelmed to “I can do this!”
Octavia S. [PATH - 1 year; D-PATH - 4 years] “My Favorite thing about being a Leader is helping others to help themselves; by being an advocate and facilitator, as I share, I learn. Everyone has their own story and their way of self-managing which when shared help those who are seeking help. It put joy in my heart to know I can help.”
Susan L. [PATH, D-PATH - 5 years] “My favorite part of teaching is meeting new people and teaching them all that I know about pain management or diabetes, and learning new things from them.”
Kathy C. [PATH - 7 Years, D-PATH - 3 Years] “My favorite thing about leading workshops is getting to know the participants and hopefully making a positive impact on their health.”
Ruby K. [D-PATH - 6 years] “My favorite thing is getting the information out to the people and that I’m helping them. I really get excited to start a workshop.”
Debbi I. [PATH - 10 years; D-PATH - 3 years] “I love leading workshops because it’s fun to see participants getting into the lessons by trying the tools out and then reporting on their successes or ‘trys’. It’s satisfying seeing them continue on with determination in spite of a set back.”
Deborah P. [D-PATH - 3 years] “I really enjoy the response from the attendees during the first session. Their skepticism disappears and they realize that the class will enhance their lives and worth the commitment.”
Donna B. [D-PATH - 4 years] “I enjoy empowering people through education& role modeling when possible to take charge of their life situation and make a positive difference . They are responsible to work with their physicians & health team. No one can be an advocate for them like they can with Diabetes each person is responsible for working their life’s plan. And it is always good to se the “light” go on & they really
understand that their actions make the biggest difference."
Pat B. [PATH & D-PATH - 3 Years] “My favorite thing besides reinforcing what I learned when I completed the workshop as an attendee is when I see participant embrace the concept of stating a goal on week 6 and describing the actions plans they will utilize to achieve their goal."

Path Workshop Topics: Six Session Course 

  • Self-management and chronic health conditions
  • Using your mind to manage symptoms
  • Getting a good night's sleep
  • Action Plans
  • Problem solving
  • Dealing with difficult emotions
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Preventing falls
  • Making decisions
  • Pain and Fatigue Management
  • Better Breathing
  • Healthy eating
  • Communication skills
  • Medication usage
  • Making informed treatment decisions
  • Dealing with depression
  • Working with your health care professional
  • Weight Management
  • Future Plans




Search for PATH Workshops happening near you.

Becoming a PATH Leader:

If you would like to become a PATH Leader or would like to talk to someone for more information, please fill out the PATH Leader Form.

Generous Program Funders:PATH infographic
Area Agency on Aging - 1B
Area Agency on Aging  – The Senior Alliance
Area Agency on Aging – Valley Area Agency on Aging
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
University of Michigan Transplant Center
University of Michigan MHealthy -  Employee Health and Well-being
Beaumont Health
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan - Ralph Wilson Jr. Legacy Funds