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Please join us in congratulating the recipients of our 2017 mini-grant awards:

Ardent Solutions, Inc., First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability, Farmington Valley Health District and Torrington Area Health District, Fayette County Family Resource Network, Health Promotion Council, MAC-Living Well Center of Excellence, Oregon State University, Reading Hospital, Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services, Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services, South Shore YMCA, Texas State University, Upper Valley Aquatic Center, WISE & Healthy Aging, and Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging.

2017 Mini Grantees Map

Awardees will be expanding dissemination and delivery of Walk With Ease (WWE) through innovative programming that reaches a diverse audience. WWE is among several arthritis-appropriate, evidence-based (AAEBI) programs recommended by CDC. Additionally, the chronic disease self-management program (CDSMP) is another CDC-recommended program and, while not a prerequisite for funding under this mini-grant program, the OA Action Alliance is also interested in tracking adoption/implementation of CDSMP IF applicants are also offering it to people with arthritis.  Below is a brief synopsis of each awardee and their proposed projects.

Ardent Solutions, Inc.
New York
WWE Implementation: Instructor Led + Self-directed
Program Coordinators: Helen Evans, Melissa Biddle, Jose Soto, Carrie Whitwood

Ardent Solutions, Inc. is a 501C3 Rural Health Network located in upstate New York that serves all adults 18+. Ardent will be adding WWE instructor-led program to its extensive offering of evidence-based disease self-management programs and expanding their self-directed WWE program through a learning collaborative with three surrounding counties.  Additionally, Ardent will work with healthcare providers to increase referrals to WWE. After the program ends, Ardent will encourage participants to participate in other evidence-based self-management programs.

Partnering counties: Allegany County, Steuben County and Cattaraugus County

Farmington Valley Health District and Torrington Area Health District and

WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led and Self-Directed
Program Coordinators: Justine Ginsberg

Farmington Valley and Torrington Area Health Districts will be working together to provide WWE Instructor-led and Self-directed programs. By combining resources, the Health Districts will be able to increase reach and provide high quality programming.  They will work with assisted living and long-term care facilities to develop referrals into the program.

Fayette County Family Resource Network
West Virginia
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led
Program Coordinators: Sue Slater, Aletha L. Stolar

Fayette County is a rural county located in Southern West Virginia and will be offering Instructor-Led Walk with Ease. Fayette County Family Resource Network (FRN) will work with New River Health Centers as a referral source for participants.  Fayette County FRN will also be working with Active Southern West Virginia to recruit and trainers and participants in Walk With Ease.

Partners: New River Health, Active Southern West Virginia.

First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led + Self-directed
Program Coordinators: Kathy Whitaker, Tracy Buckles, Melissa Johnston

First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability (FTAAAD) will partner with Heart & Soul, a free program sponsored by Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA) helping people 60+ to “be active, stay healthy and have fun”, to expand the WWE program to MSHA medical centers. Heart & Soul will recruit, train and certify volunteer instructors to teach WWE instructor-led workshops in five rural Northeast Tennessee counties; Carter, Greene, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington. FTAAAD administers CDSMP and will track program participation and expansion to people with arthritis.

Partners: Heart & Soul, Mountain State Health Alliance

Health Promotion Council
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led
Program Coordinators: Kimberly Labno, Samiah Foy, Caitlin Lam

Health Promotion Council (HPC) is a Philadelphia-based non-profit with over 35 years of experience in advancing chronic disease prevention and management in Pennsylvania. By scaling and embedding WWE within existing community-based organizations and city government partners, HPC aims to address the burden of chronic diseases affecting Philadelphia. Emphasis will be placed on participants with chronic disease self-management conditions and aging populations, and partner sites such as faith based organizations, that will deliver the program to a diversity of audiences. HPC administers CDSMP and will track program participation and expansion to people with arthritis.

Partners: Beulah Baptist Church, PHMC Worksite Wellness Network, Get Healthy Philly (Philadelphia Department of Public Health), Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation Older Adult Center

MAC INC –  Living Well Center of Excellence            
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led
Program Coordinators: Leigh Ann Eagle, Jill Kenney

The Living Well Center of Excellence of MAC INC, the Area Agency on Aging, serves older adults on the rural Eastern Shore of Maryland. MAC will be expanding its current offering of CDMSP by adding the WWE instructor-ledd program to their Health and Wellness Center. MAC will expand WWE in part, by training instructors to lead programs at the Peninsula Regional Health Center Weight Loss & Wellness Center.

Partner Organizations: Peninsula Regional Health System Weight Loss & Wellness Center

Oregon State University
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led, Self-directed, Virtual
Program Coordinators: Sally Bowman, Katie Dunker

Since 2012, Oregon State University (OSU) has been a leader in implementing both group and self-directed WWE across the state of Oregon. For this project, OSU’s goal is to build a better self-directed and virtual class structure, resulting in sustainable program growth. OSU’s innovative hybrid program format will reach new and existing participants through virtual instructor-led WWE groups. Within the state, Oregon has created a portal for self-directed participants and is expanding programming to three counties: Malheur, Lane, Linn. OSU administers CDSMP and will track program participation and expansion to people with arthritis.

Partners: Arthritis Foundation, Oregon Health Authority

Reading Hospital
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led, Self-directed, Hybrid
Program Coordinators: Stephanie Seiffert

Reading Hospital will be implementing a variety of WWE formats at a variety of health care partner sites.  Reading Hospital will work with health systems within Reading  Healthcare and the Berks Encore Senior Center to obtain referrals into WWE. Reading will also encourage referrals into WWE from Matter of Balance participants. The innovative Hybrid program will allow participants to complete the work book on their own and be able to participate in a guided walk from a trained leader.

Partners: Reading Health Rehabilitation Hospital, Berks Encore Senior Centers, The Highlands, Reading Hospital Conference Center, Pennsylvania Arthritis Foundation.

Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led
Program coordinators: Marianne Christensen, Jayme Haight, Sara Julian

Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services (SLCoAA) serves 14,000 older adults each year within Salt Lake County’s 16 Senior Centers. SLCoAA will be targeting adults 60+ to join their expanded WWE program offerings in Mill Creek, 10thEast, Columbus, Friendly Neighborhood, River’s Bend senior centers. SLCoAA will also expand WWE program offerings through a mentorship with Friendship Manor and Highland Cove Retirement Community. SLCoAA administers CDSMP and will track program participation and expansion to people with arthritis.

Partner organizations: Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake County, Friendship Manor, Highland Cove Retirement Community

Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services (OOA&DS)
New Jersey
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led
Program Coordinators: Caitlin Witucki, Stacey Legg

The Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Servies (OOA&DS) is committed to promoting health, independence, dignity and choice for the estimated 57,869 minority, impoverished, frail and vulnerable county residents who are 60 and above in Somerset County. The OOA&DS in collaboration with the Somerset County Department of Health and Somerset County Employee Wellness Committee plan to establish the instructor-led format of the Walk with Ease program at six community locations for individuals who live or work for Somerset County targeting adults 60+. One workshop will specifically target Somerset County Employees ages 18+. The locations will include four county-operated senior centers; one senior housing complex; and one county-operated facility.

Partner Organizations: Somerset County Department of Health, Somerset County Employee Wellness Committee

South Shore YMCA
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Karen Peterson, Katelyn Szafir, Emily Hubert

South Shore YMCA is just south of Boston, primarily reaching Norfolk and Plymouth County residents of all ages. The South Shore Y will be offering instructor-led and self-directed programs at four YMCA sites (Zone Wellness, Quincy Y, Hanover Y, Germantown Neighborhood Center) and Hanover Senior Center. South Shore Y will be partnering with three medical centers (South Shore Medical Center, South Shore Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network) to build a referral system into the WWE program at Zone Wellness.

Partners: Hanover Senior Center, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, South Shore Medical Center, South Shore Hospital, Manet Community Health Center.

Texas State University
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led
Program Coordinators: Janet R. Bezner, Lisa Lloyd, Carolyn Cook Swearingen

Texas State University has been building a culture of health for employees since 2014 through their Well Cat program that offers a variety of healthy lifestyle classes and programs like Walk With Ease. Through this grant, Texas will expand their current offering of Instructor-Led Walk With Ease on its main campus as well as a second Texas State Campus location. Texas State will also be providing Walk With Ease to adults in the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District (SMCISD), the San Marcos Activity Center (SMAC), and Mariposa Apartment Homes, an independent senior living community in San Marcos.

Partners: San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District, the San Marcos Activity Center, Mariposa Apartment Homes

Upper Valley Aquatic Center
WWE Implementation: Instructor Led
Program Coordinators: Rich Synnott, Katherine MacPherson, Kathleen Danforth

The Upper Valley Aquatic Center (UVAC) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) aquatic and fitness center that delivers a diverse range of high quality aquatic and fitness activities that are accessible to all members of the Upper Valley community in Vermont and New Hampshire. UVAC estimates that approximately 400 of its 1,700 members have arthritis currently. UVAC will add instructor-led WWE to its existing schedule of general wellness and evidence-based programs. At the end of the grant funding period, UVAC will expand to include self-directed WWE.

Partner Organization: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Aging Resource Center

WISE & Healthy Aging
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led + Self Directed
Program Coordinators: Suzanne Peckels, Miriam Caiden, Barbara Browning

WISE & Healthy Aging is a nonprofit, multi-service, community-based organization that provides programs and services to promote quality of life for seniors and their caregivers in Los Angeles County. WISE & Healthy Aging will be training staff and volunteer lay leaders (Peer Educators) to lead WWE instructor-led programs 5 different community centers. After the grant period ends WISE & Healthy Aging will provide technical support to sustain WWE self-directed and instructor-led programs led by volunteer lay leaders at community centers.

Partners: Kaiser Permanente and Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Community Centers

Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
WWE Implementation: Instructor-Led
Program coordinators: Betsy Abramson, Michelle Comeau, Kris Kransowski, Jessica Graser, Anne Hvizdak

The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA) is the statewide clearinghouse for evidence-based health promotion programs in healthy aging.  Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging (WIHA) will be supporting the implementation of Walk with Ease instructor-led programs at 16 sites around the state. A majority of sites will be offering WWE for the first time, while others have not offered the program in the past two years. These locations will be local health agencies, tribal health agencies and aging/disability resource centers.  WIHA will also develop a website for WWE instructors for technical support and data collection. A learning collaborative will be established with the workshop site leaders for support and sustainability.

Partner agencies: Wisconsin Arthritis Foundation, Wisconsin Division of Public Health, Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources

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