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From Research to Practice: EnhanceFitness, an Innovative Community-Based Senior Exercise Program

Belza, Basia PhD, RN, FAAN; Snyder, Susan MS; Thompson, Meghan; LoGerfo, James MD, MPH, FACP

Section Editor(s): Lewis, Carole B. DPT, PT, GTC, GCS, MSG, MPA, PhD, FAPTA; Editor

doi: 10.1097/TGR.0b013e3181fee69e
Original Article

Successful health promotion and disease prevention efforts require not only the development of evidence-based programs but also the broad dissemination of those programs. In this article, we trace the development and dissemination of an evidence-based exercise program for older adults, EnhanceFitness (EF). We summarize its effectiveness, describe its adoption by partners, and highlight best practices related to program maintenance. We organize the article around a program planning and evaluation framework called RE-AIM. The EF enterprise remains robust because of its scientific evidence (it works), easy replicability, low-cost, strong advocates, timely technical assistance, and affiliation with an academic partner.

Department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems (Dr Belza), Health Promotion Research Center, Department of Health Services (Drs Belza and LoGerfo), University of Washington, Seattle; and Senior Services, Seattle, Washington (Mss Snyder and Thompson).

Correspondence: Basia Belza, PhD, RN, FAAN, Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, 1107 NE 45th St, Ste 200, Seattle, WA 98105 (basiab@u.washington.edu).

We thank participants, staff, instructors, researchers, and advocates of EnhanceFitness who have been instrumental in helping the program grow to what it is today and believe in what it can still become.

Marianne LoGerfo, the director of the Northshore Senior Center when EnhanceFitness was initially introduced at the Center.

This project was partially funded by: (1) the Prevention Research Centers Program of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, under cooperative agreement number U48/DP000050 to the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center; and (2) Department of Health and Human Services—Administration on Aging, sponsor award number 90OP0001/01 to Texas A & M.

The contents of this article are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Department of Health and Human Services.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.