Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs

Background and Goals

Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) programs provide older adults and adults with disabilities with education and tools to help them better manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, chronic pain, and depression. Since 2003, the Administration on Aging (AoA) has supported the dissemination of CDSME programs through competitive grants in the form of cooperative agreements. Grantee organizations include state agencies, area agencies on aging, nonprofits, universities, and tribes. Funds are used to develop capacity for, bring to scale, and sustain evidence-based CDSME programs.

Grantees are undertaking a variety of activities under the scope of these awards, including: delivering programs in partnership with area agencies on aging, local health departments, rural clinics, and hospitals; targeting self-management programs to benefit those impacted by chronic pain and opioid abuse/misuse; documenting health care savings via health information exchange systems; and securing reimbursement via Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medicaid.

In September 2012, AoA began its Empowering Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities through Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs initiative, financed through the Affordable Care Act's Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF). Additional cohorts were awarded annually beginning in 2015.

Beginning in 2018, grants were competed via two funding options – Capacity-Building and Sustainable Systems. The Capacity-Building grants are intended to build capacity in areas with no or limited program infrastructure to introduce and deliver evidence-based CDSME and self-management support programs within underserved geographic areas and/or populations. The Sustainable Systems grants are focused on developing integrated, sustainable systems for delivering evidence-based CDSME and self-management support programs.

In 2018, AoA awarded 10 forward-funded cooperative agreements (three-year project period) totaling $6.6 million.

In 2019, AoA awarded 11 forward-funded cooperative agreements (three-year project period) totaling $6.4 million.

In 2020, AoA awarded 10 forward-funded cooperative agreements (three-year project period) totaling $6.4 million.

In 2021, AoA awarded 8 forward-funded cooperative agreements (three-year project period) totaling approximately $6.1 million.

FY 2021 Grants

                                                FY 2021 Grants


Award Amount

AgeOptions, Inc. (Illinois)


MAC, Inc. (Maryland)


Central Maine Area Agency on Aging (Maine)


Mid-America Regional Council (Missouri)


Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (Nebraska)


Cherokee County Health Services Council (Oklahoma)


Comagine Health (Oregon)


Pennsylvania Department of Aging (Pennsylvania)



FY 2020 Grants

FY 2020 Grants

Grantee Award Amount
Atlanta Regional Commission $300,000
University of Nevada Reno $299,333
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley $1,458,567
Health Promotion Council of Southeast PA $300,000
Metropolitan Community Health Services $300,000
Mid-Florida Area Agency on Aging Inc. $300,000
Partners In Care Foundation, Inc. $1,398,271
Presbyterian Healthcare Services $299,513
Rush University Medical Center $299,961
Sanford Health $1,457,938
FY 2019 Grants

FY 2019 Grants

Grantee Award Amount
Community Council of Greater Dallas $836,034
Florida Department of Elder Affairs $150,000
Idaho Commission on Aging $150,000
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine $819,237
Metropolitan Community Health Services, Inc. $150,000
National Kidney Foundation of Michigan $835,083
New York State Office for the Aging $837,823
Rush University Medical Center $149,925
South Dakota State University $811,330
University of North Carolina at Asheville $836,121
Washington State Department of Social and Health Services $837,823
FY 2018 Grants

FY 2018 Grants

Grantee Award Amount
Center on Mental Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago $838,425
Central Maine Area Agency on Aging $853,425
Innovations for Aging, LLC (MN) $863,425
MAC Incorporated (MD) $863,425
Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging $813,425
Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging $838,425
Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services $150,000
Open Hand Atlanta $149,042
The Curators of the University of Missouri $149,544
Wyoming State Department of Health $853,425
FY 2017 Grants

FY 2017 Grants

Grantee Award Amount
AgeOptions, Inc. (IL) $850,000
Big Sandy Health Care, Inc. (KY) $677,120
Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley (MA) $804,136
Health Foundation of South Florida $757,590
Partners in Care Foundation, Inc. (CA) $850,000
Rhode Island Department of Health $850,000
Utah Department of Health $764,750
Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging $845,851
Grantee Progress

PPHF Grantee Progress as of July 2018:

  • More than 23,600 CDSME workshops

  • Nearly 250,000 participants enrolled (approximately 180,000 completers for relevant program types)

The national CDSME infrastructure, developed in part with AoA funding, has engaged approximately 370,000 CDSME participants since 2010.

61% of participants reported having more than one chronic condition. The most common conditions are:

  • hypertension (43 percent)

  • arthritis (37 percent)

  • diabetes (36 percent)

The average age of a CDSME participant is 65 years old, and 43% of participants report having a disability.

With regard to race and ethnicity:

  • 30 percent are non-White

  • 19 percent Black

  • 4 percent Asian

  • 3 percent Native American

  • <1 percent Pacific Islander

  • 16 percent are Hispanic

Participants completing a range of CDSME and self-management support programs report an average of 8.4 (SD=1.7) on a scale of 0 to 10 in their level of confidence in managing their chronic condition after completing the program.

National CDSME Resource Center

AoA also funds the National CDSME Resource Center at the National Council on Aging’s Center for Healthy Aging. The Resource Center works collaboratively with many national, state, and local partners to achieve two overarching goals: 1) Assist the national network of CDSME partners with increasing the number of older adults and adults with disabilities who complete evidence-based CDSME programs; and 2) Strengthen and expand integrated, sustainable evidence-based prevention program networks within states/regions/tribal entities to provide CDSME programs.

The Resource Center provides leadership, guidance, and technical assistance to support its broad network of partners; manages a national database for CDSME programs; and serves as a national clearinghouse to highlight and share information and resources for CDSME programs. To access toolkits, webinar recordings, tip sheets, learning modules, and other online resources, go to

Last modified on 08/20/2021

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