Potomac State College Partners With WVU Medicine-Potomac Valley Hospital to Offer The Group Lifestyle Balance Program


The Group Lifestyle Balance (GLB) Program, which helps individuals reach their healthy lifestyle goals, has been made available to employees and students at Potomac State College of WVU through a partnership with WVU Medicine-Potomac Valley Hospital. Pictured from left are: Diana Niland, APRN, FNP-C, PSC Nurse Practitioner and GLB Coach; Tricia Barbarito, RN, Cardiology Department Manager at WVU-PVH and GLB Master Trainer and Coach; Brenna Earnest, RN, GLB Master Trainer and Coach and Certified Diabetes Educator; and Cherise Southerly, RN, PSC Nurse. 

Potomac State College of West Virginia University (WVU) is partnering with WVU Medicine -Potomac Valley Hospital (PVH) to bring The Group Lifestyle BalanceTM (GLB) Program to employees and students on campus.

The GLB program provides education, encouragement and the tools necessary to help individuals reach their healthy lifestyle goals. This program is designed for non–diabetic, overweight individuals age 18 and older who have  pre–diabetes  and/or the  metabolic syndrome . These conditions increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

According to Cherise Southerly, RN, College nurse, the GLB program kicked off on Feb. 5 with eight individuals who committed to 12 weekly and four bi-weekly sessions. Topics include “Healthy Eating,” “Move Those Muscles,” “Ways to Stay Motivated,” and “Stress and Time Management” among others. These individuals will continue with monthly Post Core maintenance sessions for six months for ongoing support and guidance for a total of 22 sessions over a year.

“The goals of the GLB program are to lose 7 percent of weight through healthy eating and to do 150 minutes of brisk, physical activity each week,” explained Diana Niland, APRN, FNP-C, a nurse practitioner for the College and GLB Coach who taught the GLB program at the College.

Participants in the program also receive a pedometer for measuring the number of steps they take in a day and therabands also referred to as resistance bands used for light strength training exercises. Aside from the intrinsic value to individuals, another benefit is that participation in the program is free.

“We have Tricia Barbarito, [RN and Cardiology Department Manager at WVU-PVH] to thank for writing and receiving “Try This WV” mini grant to help cover costs of supplies for current and future programs,” stated Southerly. “Normally, these classes cost $50 per person.” In addition to Potomac State College, the GLB program is offered for free in other locations throughout the community including two at WVU-PVH, Piney Valley, and Church of the Assumption.

Additionally, partnerships with Mineral County Family Resource Network and WV Bureau of Public Health, Division Chronic Disease and Prevention help defray the costs of class materials.

Because the GLB program has received so much attention from community members and physicians, the need for additional GLB Coaches has increased. Current GLB Coaches at PVH are Barbarito; Niland; Brenna Earnest, RN, Certified Diabetic Educator; Nyssa Smith, RN; and Ellen Barnard, CHERP. In order to help offer future classes at Potomac State College, Southerly will become a GLB Coach. Barbarito and Earnest earned their Master Trainer certification and are qualified to train future GLB Coaches.

Southerly also pointed out that PVH’s GLB Program  is currently  the only Diabetes Prevention Program in the state to earn national recognition from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). PVH’s GLB program demonstrated effectiveness by achieving all of the performance criteria detailed in the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Recognition Program.

Vicki Haggerty, an employee in the College’s Dining Services, says a family history with diabetes is what prompted her to join the program. “I’d recommend the Group Lifestyle Balance Program to everyone, even if they’re not at risk for diabetes and are just wanting to lose a little weight or learn how to live a more healthy life,” said Haggerty.

“I like the fact that it’s not a ‘be all and do all’ type of program. They’re realistic about goals and results. For example, they tell you it’s ok to eat a cookie, just don’t eat the entire bag,” explained Haggerty.

“I found their support to be most beneficial to me. The Master Trainers and Coaches are very helpful and informative. They are there for us and will cover for one another if one of them can’t make a class.”

To learn more about the GLB program or participating in a future program, call 304-597-3565 or 304-597-3774.

Potomac State College Partners With WVU Medicine-Potomac Valley Hospital to Offer The Group Lifestyle BalanceTM Program