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Education and Training

Heart Failure Initiative

Supporting Personal Accountability and Resiliency for Chronic Conditions (SPARCC) is an initiative sponsored by The University of Kansas Health System as part of Kansas Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Tool (DSRIP) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).

Facilitator training

The initiative provides training on an empirically based program for heart patients that address heart failure. It teaches resilience to address the psychosocial aspect of heart failure – coping, stress reduction, self-management, hope, optimism and social support – while covering the medical management of heart failure, including: medications, diet, devices, symptom monitoring and reporting.

  • Training is designed for RNs, PAs, NPs, nurse educators, social workers, psychologists, professionals with a master's in public health, dietitians and other health professionals caring for heart failure patients.
  • It provides a model for management of any complex chronic disease.
  • Healthcare providers build facilitation skills for use in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
  • Facilitators develop skills to enhance their own lives and well-being.

Following completion of this training, facilitators receive resources and assistance to recruit and facilitate this education program to heart failure patients/supporters in the care of rural organizations.

What is the goal of the training program?

DSRIP/SPARCC-Heart Failure's goal is to lower heart failure admissions, measurably lower heart failure readmissions and substantially improve quality of life for heart failure patients, their families and supporters.

What are the program expectations?

After completing the 2-day training, each facilitator is expected to partner with other trained facilitators and plan and set up a minimum of 1 group session for heart failure patients/supporters within 2 months of the training, repeating group sessions each year. A group session consists of 4 weekly, 2-hour meetings with a follow-up 2-hour meeting at 6 months.

Benefits of the initiative


  • Decreases hospital admissions/readmissions
  • Patient group training is very effective; patients learn from each other
  • Reduces morbidity and mortality while increasing patient quality of life
  • Reduces depression, anxiety and stress


  • Enhanced ability to support patient care for heart failure patients
  • Acquire new skillsets on the facets of resilience and how to implement into practice
  • Impart to patients the skills to strengthen resilience
  • Implement resilience strategies into clinical practice

Facilitator's organization/institution 

  • Reduces hospital readmissions
  • Provides a model for management of any complex chronic disease
  • Program may be branded by each institution
  • Monetary incentives available for commitment and meeting program milestones

For questions about training or patient/caregiver groups, contact Nicole Palmer, DSRIP program manager, at or 913-588-7860.

Managing heart failure

Training and support resources

Use these education tools in working with patients, caregivers and family members. These PDFs are provided by the American Heart Association.

Related links