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Please join us in congratulating the recipients of our 2018 mini-grant awards:

Detroit Area Agency on Aging, Fairhill Partners, Five County Associations of Governments, Kalkaska County Commission on Aging, Keswich Community Health, Michigan State University, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, NC Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville, Northern Arizona Healthcare’s EntireCare Rehab & Sports Medicine Program, Northwest Human Services, Sunshine Center, Town of Groton Senior Center, and Washington County Commission on Aging, Inc. 

2018 Mini Grantees MapAwardees 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. Below is a brief synopsis of each awardee and their proposed projects.


WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Anita Kanakaris

Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA) is a nonprofit agency that serves older adults, persons with disabilities and caregivers residing in the Detroit area. DAAA will partner with the St. Patrick Senior Center and Neighborhood Service Organization to integrate the WWE program into two of their Community Wellness Service Centers. WWE will be added to their falls prevention and other evidence-based programs that will educate participants on arthritis self-management and incorporating walking into their daily lives.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Stephanie FallCreek, Pamela Brackett, and Alice Simon

Fairhill Partners is a non-profit organization that has been offering evidence-based health promotion programs since 2006. They have a strong history of training leaders, training up to 100 people annually as Leaders or Coaches in the Self-Management Resource Center suite of programs and A Matter of Balance. They will be adding WWE to their repertoire in collaboration with Buckeye HEAL (a neighborhood-based Healthy Eating Active Living Coalition), Age-Friendly Cleveland led by the City of Cleveland Department of Aging, and other community-based organizations.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led
Program Coordinators: Carrie Schonlaw, DaCota Terry and Tracy HeavyRunner

Five County Associations of Governments is the designated Area Agency on Aging for the Southwest Region of Utah with plans to offer WWE at 13 senior centers in the Five County area.   Having offered evidence-based health promotion programs for more than 10 years, Five County will work with their community partners; including Intermountain Health Care in Washington, Iron, and Garfield Counties, as well as local hospitals in Beaver and Kane Counties to advertise classes and help identify and recruit volunteers. WWE classes will be delivered in senior centers throughout the region.  After the project period, they will continue the program using RSVP Volunteers as leaders.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Jodi Willison, Bonnie Avery, and Diane Patterson

The Kalkaska County Commission on Aging (KCCOA) and Cadillac Senior Center have partnered, combining efforts to promote a more physically active lifestyle as people age and to encourage movement for those individuals who know the struggles that come from having arthritis. Both locations will partner with local health providers as referrals to help promote physical activity among the senior population. Previously, the KCCOA partnered with mParks “Walk Michigan” program to successfully completed a WWE class that was sustained as a walking club.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Susan Bender, Dr. Muslimah ‘Ali Najee-ullah, and Lisa Clerman

Keswick Community Health (KCH) is a locally owned, not-for-profit organization that provides a full spectrum of services dedicated to enhancing quality of life for older adults. KCH has an established “hub and spoke” model that delivers programs on the Keswick campus and through trusted program partners in the local community. KCH will work with the Baltimore City Health Department and Maryland Department of Aging and various other partner organizations as the “spokes” to implement WWE. WWE will be sustained as an integral part of KCH’s Wise & Well program delivery model that enables older adults to live at home, in their community, doing the things that they love.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Gretchen Stelter and Bree Carlson

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension has Disease Prevention educators strategically located throughout the State of Michigan who are trained to offer evidence based programs in their communities. MSU Extension has strong relationships with community members and partnerships with agencies throughout their area and beyond. MSU Extension will bundle the WWE program with Chronic Pain, DDP, and Powerful Tools for Caregivers. MSU Extension will continue WWE after the project period by adding it to the repertoire of the researched and evidenced programs offered throughout the State of Michigan.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Samantha Raad and Lora Underwood

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is a non-profit organization that provides prevention and management programs for chronic conditions. In 2016, NKFM began implementing the self-guided version of WWE in Inkster, Michigan. NKFM will partner with 14 different locations in Wayne and Oakland Counties in Michigan where other evidence-based programs are offered. They are committed to continuing the Walk with Ease program beyond this project period.

North Carolina
WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Jeanne Dairaghi and Janice Self

Healthy Aging NC is an initiative of the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville. NCCHW has been offering WWE and other evidence-based programs since 2014.  NCCHW will work with the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, 16 Area Agencies on Aging, and other community partners to connect people to WWE. WWE will be promoted by the Healthy Aging NC Resource Center through the website which provides program overviews, workshop registration, and training opportunities. NCCHW will provide additional training opportunities, marketing, and materials support.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Jon Cook and Patricia Lough

Northern Arizona Healthcare’s EntireCare Rehab and Sports Medicine Program will combine WWE with other evidence-based programs that EntireCare offers. They will be recruiting participants from their wide service area covered by Northern Arizona Healthcare subsidiaries, including Flagstaff Medical Center and Valley View Medical Center and work with healthcare providers to refer patients to WWE. Additionally, they will add WWE to the NAH lifepath program to foster healthy activities by NAH employees. They will also develop an online portal for all WWE participants to share their ideas and experiences while in the program.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Yutonah Bowes, Teresa Weltz, and Aaron Flager

Northwest Human Services (NWHS) has been providing residents of Marion and Polk counties with comprehensive medical, dental, mental health and social services for over 45 years. They will work with multiple community partners, social service providers, and healthcare providers to promote, refer and implement WWE. After the project period, WWE will be added to their Healthy Living/Healthy Families programming.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Carole Ware

The Sunshine Center is a nationally accredited multi-service center where seniors gather for support, socialization, fitness and/or other services provided for older adults. They plan to partner with Hygeia Home Health, a Medicare home health program and Dedicated Senior Medical Center, a Doctors group focused on 55+ patients and Simply Healthcare. Additionally, WWE will be added to their 2nd Annual Fitness Challenge where participants engage in a variety of fitness programs and health talks to earn points. Adding WWE to the challenge will provide more structure and education to their current walking club where participants can earn points.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Mary Jo Riley and Kathy Williams

The Groton Senior Center is the premiere location for nutrition, health and recreational classes, special events and trips, transportation, information and referral services for Groton residents 55 years and older. The WWE program has been offered in the past with many other fitness programs. They plan to work with the Northeast Medical Group and Senior Centers of Southeastern Connecticut to promote the WWE program.

WWE Implementation: Instructor led + self-directed
Program Coordinators: Brad Tritsch, Dawn Reynolds, and Kim Torsiello

The non-profit Washington County Commission on Aging, Inc. (WCCOA) serves the community of Washington County, MD by providing ongoing services and programs to seniors, those with disabilities regardless of age and caregivers. WCCOA currently offers a wide array of programs including health education, fall prevention courses, and evidence-based courses at their Senior Activities Center and seven congregate sites located throughout the County. They will implement WWE in partnership with the Health Department and Meritus Medical Center and bundle WWE with Stepping On and Tai Chi for Arthritis.  After the project period ends, WCCOA plan on sustaining the WWE program through the Senior Activities Center.

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