159181 Learning Network for Active Aging: Challenges and successes to date

Tuesday, November 6, 2007: 5:30 PM

Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Cathy Liles, MPH , School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Angie Wade, MPH , Active for Life Learning Network, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX
Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, PhD , Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
Terry L. Bazzarre, PhD , The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ
Active for Life® and the National Blueprint, in collaboration with the EPA's Aging Initiative has created the Learning Network (LN) for Active Aging, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and receiving technical assistance from the CDC Healthy Aging Research Network. Many communities desire better programming and/or environments for healthy living but are often unsure of best practices or how to implement them. The LN brings together those interested in creating healthy communities by bridging research and practice through an innovative approach of e-collaboration and networking. Coordinated with the Building Healthy Communities for Active Aging (BHCAA) initiatives, the LN aids in linking programs and paradigms, sharing best practices and evidence-based practices, dissemination of ideas/experiences, and building recognition in the broader community for strategies to create healthier communities. During the initial planning phases of the LN, a series of learning sessions were held to determine technical assistance most useful for professionals/organizations interested in implementing and/or sustaining programs. Increased recognition and interest in the LN has been achieved through 1) discussion groups at national conferences and various workshops, 2) distribution of media (e.g. flyers, posters, email), and 3) networking. Feedback received during the discussion groups has aided in the development of the LN. The LN provides a very practical approach for communities to learn from one another through mentoring and information sharing, and will serve to increase collaboration between government agencies, academia, non-governmental and for-profit organizations. This session will discuss the LN concept, its challenges and successes to date.

Learning Objectives:
Identify strategies for enhancing BCHAA initiatives through information sharing. Identify basic components of a Learning Network and determine best administrative structures and mechanisms for implementing a Learning Network. Learn innovative ways to build on learning’s already available, simplify access to information, reduce duplication of efforts, locate effective research-based information, resources and tools, highlight best practices, identify and share effective programs, find support, recognize environments that support healthy living, describe challenges and barriers, link new and experienced professionals, disseminate research translation, focus on sustainability, plan future programs, and develop policy.

Keywords: Aging, Interactive Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.