In the early 1990s Sanford University developed and studied the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. Early studies found that CDSMP participants had an increase in healthy behaviors, improved health status, and less health care utilization. Since the original study, numerous studies have been conducted with similar outcomes across a wide variety of settings, populations, and conditions proving the effectiveness of CDSMP on health behaviors and health related costs. The continued positive results of this evidenced-based program have made CDSMP wildly used across the United States and in 28 other countries. In the United States alone, over 300,000 people have participated in a CDSMP.

Living Well Alabama, a CDSMP, was originally developed by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Department of Senior Services through an Administration on Community Living grant. The Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging is now sustaining Living Well Alabama through the 2018 Empowering Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities through Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs Financed by the Prevention and Public Health Fund.