Introduction webinar set for Master Health Volunteer Program

South Dakota State University Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS, S.D. - SDSU Extension recently launched a community changing volunteer program called the Master Health Volunteer Program. Similar to the Master Gardeners or Master Food Preserver, programs also offered through SDSU Extension, a Master Health Volunteer becomes certified to provide program-specific workshops and educational opportunities for their communities.

“With South Dakota being a large state geographically, the Master Health Volunteer Program was built to expand program reach to rural communities,” said Hope Kleine, health education and food safety field specialist with SDSU Extension.

When signing up to become a Master Health Volunteer, one can select one of five program tracks to become certified to lead:

Better Choices Better Health:

  • Facilitate a self-management education workshops to help improve other’s quality of life.

Fit & Strong!:

  • Instruct a program focusing on cardiovascular fitness and strength training to improve overall health.

Walk With Ease:

  • Help those who suffer from arthritis by being active through this walking program.

Money Mentor:

  • A network of trained volunteers who will provide one-on-one money management guidance and group personal finance education.

Growing Healthy Families & Communities:

  • Offer evidence-based program to youth and adults that focuses on healthy eating, physical activity, food resource management, food security, and food preparation.

Training for this program includes an estimated 40 hours of online training. Following the completion of this training, Master Health Volunteers are considered an intern until 40 hours of give back volunteer hours are completed within the first year of service. After those hours are completed, the volunteer becomes a certified Master Health Volunteer.

“As a leader, hearing participant success stories from our programs is so rewarding. When you hear these successes, there is an innate desire to spread the reach of these programs to help others,” Kleine said in a news release. “The Master Health Volunteer program was developed to onboard others who are passionate about health and wellness to bring these programs to their communities.”

SDSU Extension plans to onboard new volunteers every year. This year, registration will begin in March.

To kick off the program, SDSU Extension will be hosting the webinar “The Master Health Volunteer Program: A Way to Expand Health Programming in Your Community” on March 24 at noon CDT. Register for the webinar at

“Our team has been working hard with this program over the last year, and seeing it come together is very exciting,” said Cheyanne Roth, AmeriCorps VISTA Master Programs developer. “I believe this program will benefit South Dakotans for the long run.”

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