Please join us in congratulating the recipients of our 2016 small grants awards: Arthritis Services of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud, the University of South Alabama, and the YMCA of Greater Des Moines. Below is a brief synopsis of each awardee and their proposed projects.
Arthritis Services of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, NC)
Arthritis Services of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County is a local community-based direct services provider of evidence-based self-help services for people with arthritis. With this funding, they will expand the reach of their Fit and Strong! program to three new communities not previously addressed in the area. Arthritis Services has developed partnerships with the United Way and local Catholic Services, Centralina Area Agency on Aging, Jewish Community Center, and Mecklenburg County’s Department of Social Services to leverage resources, staff, and facilities to promote and provide programming.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud (St. Cloud, MN)
Catholic Charities Senior Services and the Health Promotions program have developed, implemented, and coordinated evidence-based health improvement modules and resources that support the health and functional capacity of persons 60 years and older. The goal of this project is to expand the use of Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance™ by seniors living with osteoarthritis. Tai Ji Quan is known to increase muscle strength, balance, and flexibility, and to reduce seniors’ risk of falls. Catholic Charities will partner with Rejuv Medical Clinic to provide the program facility and promote long-term sustainability.
University of South Alabama (Mobile, AL)
In partnership with the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission/Area Agency on Aging, the University of South Alabama aims to increase and sustain physical activity and reduce the fear of falling in older adults with OA who live in low income senior housing. Their project will use a model in which health professionals and students provide fall screenings, OA education, and the evidence-based falls management program, A Matter of Balance, which emphasizes practical strategies to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.
YMCA of Greater Des Moines (Des Moines, IA)
Through Tai Chi for Arthritis, the YMCA of Greater Des Moines will help older adults and adults with OA and disabilities decrease their risk of falling, increase their physical abilities, and manage chronic pain to inspire confidence to lead active lives. Programming will be offered through the YMCA Healthy Living Center, a medically-integrated health and fitness center that is led by a team of health and fitness experts who partner with health care providers to help them reach their highest risk patient populations. Des Moines YMCA will also promote Enhance Fitness programs.
This grant program aims to support organizations to increase access to physical activity among adults with arthritis in communities across the United States.
We would like to thank all those who applied. All of our applicants identified a clear need among their community members with arthritis to have greater access to physical activity education and classes and for resources to support this type of programming. Applicants were thoughtful in their approach and demonstrated readiness and enthusiasm to begin addressing the needs of their community.
The OAAA sends special thanks to our grant reviewers, whose time was precious, expertise was undeniable, and perspectives were invaluable.
Finally, many thanks to our supporters for making the 2016 OAAA Small Grants Program possible!