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March 2004

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From the Active for Life Program Office
Upcoming Events
Tips, Tactics and Tools
In the News
Funding Opportunities

From the Active for Life® National Program Office

Active for Life in Washington

On March 8th and 9th, 22 representatives from Active for Life grantee sites joined NPO and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) staff in visits on Capitol Hill with legislators and legislative staff in Washington, D.C. The Hill visits were part of the Connect Project, a RWJF initiative designed to help RWJF grantees educate policymakers about key prevention issues. As a result of the meetings in Washington, plans are underway to have congressional representatives attend several events at Active for Life centers during the next several months. In addition, the NPO will be working with staff from the Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Congressional Fitness Caucus to provide background information to legislators regarding the importance of increasing physical activity among the 50 and older population.

National Public Health Week is April 4-10

National Public Health Week (NPHW) 2005 will focus on empowering Americans to live stronger, longer. During NPHW, the American Public Health Association and its partners will promote the three Ps in adding more healthy years to life: Prevent, Protect and Plan. A series of fact sheets including Live Stronger Longer: Older Adults are available at The Administration on Aging has joined with the APHA as a partner in National Public Health Week. AOA invites and encourages members of the National Aging Services Network to promote the week as a way to reach older adults and family caregivers about opportunities to take the preventive actions necessary to keep aging Americans strong and healthy throughout their later years.

Plan for Older Americans Month

May is Older American’s Month. The theme for 2005 is “Celebrate Long Term Living.” For materials, including posters, logos, and census bureau news go to the Administration of Aging Web site

Upcoming Meetings of Interest

April 12 – 16, 2005. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance National Convention and Exposition. Chicago, IL. For more information see

April 13 – 16, 2005. The Society for Behavioral Medicine Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions will be held at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel, Boston, MA.

June 1-4, 2005. The American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting will take place in Nashville, TN. The program includes research presentations, current issues, tutorials, clinical lectures and clinical workshops. Outcome data for the Active for Life program will be debuted during the meeting.

Sept. 7-9, 2005 (tentative). Active for Life Annual Grantee meeting. Location TBD. AFL grantees will receive confirmation information later in the spring.

October 13-15, 2005. ACSM and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Walking for Health: Measurement and Research Issues and Challenges. Walking is the most simple and effective mode of physical activity but critical research and measurement questions remain. For more information see

Tips, Tools and Tactics

Achieving Cultural Competence:
A Guidebook for Providers of Services to Older Americans and Their Families

This guidebook, developed by the Administration on Aging, is designed for use by providers of services to racially and ethnically diverse older populations. There is growing interest in learning how effective, culturally appropriate services can be provided by professionals who have mastered culturally sensitive attitudes, skills, and behaviors. To download a PDF go to

New NCOA Center for Healthy Aging Web site

NCOA launched a new Web site designed to provide aging-service providers with easy access to resources, such as manuals, assessment tools, toolkits, and model programs. The four healthy aging topic areas include health promotion, disease prevention, falls prevention, and chronic disease self-management. The site is a National Resource Center for the AOA initiative "Evidence-based Prevention Program for the Elderly." The site is available at:

National Plan for Falls Prevention

In response to escalating concerns related to falls and fall-related injuries among the aging population, top health and safety organizations led by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA), the Archstone Foundation and the Home Safety Council, have collaborated in an initiative entitled Falls Free: Promoting a National Falls Prevention Action Plan. The National Action Plan is a one of its kind monograph that addresses the challenges and barriers related to a national falls prevention initiative and outlines key strategies and action steps to help reduce fall dangers for older adults. For a copy of the National Plan and background materials including an environmental scan related to current falls initiatives and research papers go to

Tool Kit to Help Prevent Falls

The Tool Kit to Prevent Senior Falls, a CDC product, has technical information and materials about falls and fall-related injuries. It can be used on an individual basis or incorporated into health promotion activities aimed at reducing falls among older adults. Fact sheets, graphs, and brochures about falls and fall prevention for older adults are included.

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Aging beagles supplied with a diet rich in nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, given exercise, and social and environmental stimulation remained more youthful and smarter than canines given run-of-the-mill treatment, a new study from the National Institute of Aging (NIA) reports. The report, published in the scientific journal Neurobiology of Aging, offers new insights into a range of factors that may keep the brain in peak condition into old age in humans as well. For more information see

Search ASA Publications with ArticleSearch

The ArticleSearch is a feature on the American Society on Aging’s Web site that provides both ASA members and non-members access to an array of useful information from the organization’s periodical publications including Generations, Aging Today and ASA’s eight constituent newsletters. To access ASA ArticleSearch visit

Nutrition Screening Initiative

The Nutrition Screening Initiative (NSI) is a broad, multi-disciplinary effort led by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Dietetic Association and a coalition of more than 25 national health, aging and medical organizations. The goal of NSI is to promote the integration of nutrition screening and intervention into health care for older adults. To get more information, including an order form for NSI materials, go to

Checklist helps older adults select age-friendly fitness facilities

The International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians have jointly developed a national, age-appropriate fitness and wellness facility locator and patient referral program. The Web site utilizes a comprehensive checklist to help compare and rate local fitness facilities. See for more information.

Racing Against the Clock

Racing Against the Clock is an 80-minute documentary that profiles five women between the ages of 50 and 82 who sprint, jump, and pole vault through track and field competitions on their quest to make it to the Masters World Championships, and in so doing, demonstrate that growing older is no obstacle to leading an active and athletic life. The film will be released theatrically this spring followed by broadcast on public television. Uncommon Productions is interested in incorporating it into a larger outreach campaign to bring the awareness of active older people to senior and fitness organizations across the country. Producer Debra Longo would welcome the opportunity to send organizations a copy of the film and full proposal for consideration. Additional information about the film can be found at

In the News

White House Conference on Aging Events

For the next year, HEALTHWORD will post Web sites listing White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) events and draft resolutions affecting health promotion. This month, we focus on transportation-related Listening Sessions for the WHCoA Policy Committee, as well as WHCoA-related sessions at the ASA-NCOA Joint Conference. To read more about the importance of participating in the planning process, read the December 2004 issue of HEALTHWORD (posted at

Benefits of Power Training

Weight-bearing exercise is frequently recommended for women to improve bone strength and protect against osteoporosis. But little information has been available on the most effective resistance training methods. Fifty-three post-menopausal women exercised for one year following a progressive resistance training protocol along with a gymnastics session and home training. About half were assigned to a strength training group using slower speed and the rest followed the same program using fast movements (power training). Other than speed of movement, there were no training differences. After 12 months, the power training group maintained bone mineral density (BMD) at the spine and hip sites while the strength training group lost BMD at both sites. No differences were seen between the groups for anthropometric data, strength or frequency/grade of pain. The researchers concluded that the faster power training was more effective in reducing bone loss. SOURCE: Journal of Applied Physiology, 2005;doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01260.2004.

Funding Opportunities

Community Participation in Research (PAR)

Deadline for Applications: May 17, 2005, 2006, 2007. The goal of PAR is to support research on health promotion, disease prevention, and health disparities conducted jointly by communities and researchers. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is defined as scientific inquiry conducted in communities and in partnership with researchers. The process of scientific inquiry is such that community members, persons affected by the health condition, disability or issue under study, or other key stakeholders in the community's health have the opportunity to be full participants in each phase of the work (from conception - design - conduct - analysis - interpretation - conclusions - communication of results). CBPR is characterized by substantial community input in the development of the grant application.

Aetna Foundation Regional Community Health Grants Program

The Aetna Foundation, a philanthropic program of Hartford-based Aetna, is inviting proposals for its Regional Community Health Grants Program. The program provides funding focused on reducing disparities in health care among racial and ethnic populations in eligible geographic areas. In 2005, Aetna will devote up to $2.6 million to regional initiatives to address this issue. Grant requests, ranging from $25,000 to $50,000, should address diabetes initiatives targeting individuals and families with prevention and healthy behavior modification messages to help combat the growing incidence of type 2 diabetes in children and adults and provide screening and education. Only programs serving eligible geographic areas are eligible to apply. Applicants must be non-profit organizations with evidence of IRS 501(c)(3) designation or de facto tax-exempt status. Proposals are accepted only through the Aetna Foundation's online system. See the foundation's Web site for complete program guidelines, eligible geographic areas, regional deadlines and application procedures.

Bikes Belong Coalition Grants

The Bikes Belong Coalition welcomes grant applications from organizations and agencies within the United States that are committed to putting more people on bicycles more often. The Bikes Belong Grants Program funds projects in three categories: facility, education or capacity building. For the education and facility categories, Bikes Belong will accept applications from non-profit organizations and from public agencies and departments at the national, state, regional, and local level. For the capacity building category, Bikes Belong will only fund organizations whose mission is expressly related to bicycle advocacy. For more information see

The Active for Life® E-Newsletter Update is produced monthly by the Active for Life® National Program Office at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health. To include information, contact Brigid McHugh Sanner at or call 214-244-4186. This program is funded by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation®.

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SRPH Building
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Phone: 979-458-4202
Fax: 979-458-4264

Active for Life National Program Office | SRPH Building | 1266 TAMU | College Station, TX 77843-1266
Phone: 979-458-4202 | Fax: 979-458-4264 | Email: