Recruiting Program Facilities


AF Northern New England Chapter Adds The AF Self-Help Program To Aquatic Sites As Part Of The Arthritis Fitness Project In Vermont
AF Tennessee Chapter Partners with Americorp to Expand AF Programs


AF Northern New England Chapter Adds The AF Self-Help Program To Aquatic Sites As Part Of The  Arthritis Fitness Project  In Vermont


  • This project is in collaboration with the Vermont State Health Department Arthritis Program.
  • Presently, this is only happening in Vermont and works largely because of state support; however, it could work in other states that do not have state health department support.
  • The goal was to embed the programs at various sites and increase awareness of AF programs.
  • The chapter extended an invitation to existing AF Aquatic Program sites to implement the AF Self-Help Program.
  • The AF Aquatic Program sites sent their existing program leaders to the AF Self-Help Program leader training instead of identifying new leaders from the site.
  • If program sites sign on, the state health department offers free Arthritis Helpbooks to the class participants and underwrites the cost of leaders to attend the trainings. In exchange, participating facilities must offer at least two AF Self-Help courses within a 12 month period.
  • The chapter offers quarterly in-service trainings for participating facilities, and leaders come to designated sites for two to three hour informational sessions. 
  • Typically, between 10 and 12 attendees attend these sessions, and they include AF Aquatic Program leaders and AF Self-Help Program leaders, program directors and leaders whose sites are not yet a part of the AF Exercise Program.
  • Programs feature topics like Nutrition and Older Adults (with emphasis on arthritis) or an AF Aquatic Program update with exercise demonstrations and a mock class. These meetings were a good networking opportunity for leaders, as well as a way to keep leaders energized.




  • AF Aquatic Program participants can serve as role models to the new AF Self-Help Program participants and vice versa. The AF Self-Help Program participants open the minds of AF Aquatic Program participants to something new.
  • The project has helped sustain the existing AF Aquatic Program leaders.
  • It is logical to work with AF Aquatic Program sites because they tend to be popular and have longevity.
  • Sites are marketing the programs together to the community, and many aquatic participants can take the AF Self-Help program for free or at a reduced cost.
  • Approximately six to eight sites have added the AF Self-Help Program.
  • To make it easier and to follow Stanford University’s policies of conducting the AF Self-Help program, the sites offer the classes on separate days.


Key Learnings/ Tips


  • Offer sites concrete benefits as to why they should take on another program.
  • Make a commitment to bring program leaders together throughout the year.
  • Recruit a strong lead partner that is already doing both programs, particularly in those states that are not supported by CDC/state health department funding.
  • Be creative in how the programs are offered together.


Contact:  Margaret Duffy/AF Northern New England Chapter/603-224-9322  


AF Tennessee Chapter Partners with Americorp to Expand AF Programs


  • The chapter pursued the partnership through networking.
  • Americorp serves seniors residing in the middle portions of Tennessee.
  • Americorp recruited their own sites, and the chapter helped placed Americorp leaders in sites where the chapter already had leads.
  • Since 2004, under NAAP grants, the chapter trained approximately 10 new leaders in the AF Self-Help and AF Exercise Program.
  • Americorp targeted churches and senior centers.
  • The AF Self-Help and Exercise Programs were offered for free to participants.




  • Americorp offered bone density scans at an AF table at a health fair.
  • The AF received REACH data from these leaders.
  • The partnership was a win/win for both organizations.
  • From September 2005 to July 2005, the partnership reached approximately 50 people.


Contact: Carrie Thompson/AF Tennessee Chapter/615-254-6795

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