FEB 22 - FEB 23
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Future classes TBD

Maximum attendees 10.

Weight Management: Building the Foundation

Training Workshop


HIP offers a 2-day workshop to train health promotion and wellness professionals to coordinate and facilitate Weight Management: Building the Foundation (WMBF) within their organization. WMBF is a 12-week lifestyle change class that is firmly grounded in behavioral science and has a focus on gradual lifestyle change and sustainable behavior patterns. For more information on WMBF, click here.

Organizations can send two or three people to the training. One person from the organization should be identified as the Program Coordinator (the person responsible for overseeing the whole program). The other individual(s) would be group facilitators.

The two-day training reviews background information on behavioral science theory, motivational interviewing, and group facilitation, as well as information specific to the class curriculum. Attendees will also receive instruction about screening and enrolling participants. Ample time will be allowed for participants to practice the screening and facilitation procedures. Attendees will be encouraged to brainstorm how the administration of the group will take place in their specific organization. Finally, quality assurance procedures will be reviewed.

At the end of the two-day training, attendees will be evaluated as to whether they are qualified to facilitate the program. Qualified attendees will become "authorized" to facilitate the program. Those who are not deemed qualified by the end of the training will receive additional training (free of charge) until they have met the necessary level of competence.

In order to ensure that the program's integrity is kept intact, we will require that individuals interested in attending a training complete a short application process. Once the training is over and the organization begins to offer the program, there will be further quality control measures that must be met, including annual progress reports.

Training Requirements

Individuals attending a training should have the following qualifications:

  • •    Bachelor’s degree (degree and/or certification in a health-related or social science field a plus)
  • •   Group facilitation experience (knowledge of motivational interviewing a plus)
  • •   At least two years experience working in the health promotion field
  • •   Up-to-date knowledge of healthy eating, physical activity, weight management, and stress management practices
  • •   Be a good listener, respectful, tolerant, detail-oriented, friendly, compassionate, open-minded, non-judgmental, non-prescriptive. The person who will be coordinating the program for your organization should also have program management experience

Training and Licensing Fees

Only individuals who are trained by Stanford are authorized to deliver WMBF. Organizations interested in offering WMBF need to send 2 (possibly 3) individuals to the training, at a total cost of $3,000.

An additional license fee of $500 is also required.


Stanford University School of Medicine
1070 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304


Deborah Abrams Balfanz, PhD

Debbie has been with HIP since January 2002. Currently, she coordinates a 12 week behavior change program that teaches participants the skills needed to improve the health of their lifestyle. In addition, she contributes to the development and implementation of the BeWell Employee Incentive Program, as well as several special projects done in collaboration with the YMCA of the USA organization.

Originally from Philadelphia, she received her BA in Psychology from University of PA, and a Ph.D in Social Psychology from Princeton University.

An East Coast person her whole life, Debbie appreciates the California weather. She enjoys jogging, strength training, and shopping as a competitive sport. She also gets exercise chasing after her young sons, Alex and Luke.

Jerrie Thurman, MA

Jerrie is a Senior Health Program Manager for Stanford Health Improvement Program (HIP). She coordinates the efforts of 90 fitness professionals who instruct over 200 group fitness classes per week at Stanford University. She has collaborated on numerous Worksite Wellness and Department Programs, and instructs a variety of fitness and health education classes for HIP.

In January 2014, Jerrie completed a Fellow in the first cohort of the Stanford Health 4 America Fellowship Program, being offered by the Stanford Prevention Research Center. During the 9-month fellowship, she worked with a community partner organization to develop, implement and evaluate a program that will improve the health of Americans. She has worked at Stanford for almost 25 years, and with HIP for 21 of those years. She is also a 30+ year veteran of the fitness industry and is a former presenter at many local and international fitness conventions. Some of her professional accomplishments include: M.A. degree in Instructional Technology; B.S. degree in Human Performance/Exercise Physiology; American Council on Exercise Certified Group Fitness Instructor and Lifetime Community College Teaching Credential.

As a mother of three children, she keeps busy with their various activities and sports. In her spare time she enjoys dancing, singing, reading and fine arts activities.

E-mail her: jerrie.thurman@stanford.edu

How to apply for the training

Those interested in the training should email Debbie Balfanz at dbalfanz@stanford.edu for information regarding the online application, licensing agreement and payment.