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USA Center for Generational Studies

 

Founded in 2011 through a partnership between the University of South Alabama Programs in Gerontology and the Via Health, Fitness and Enrichment Center (Via is a community-based, multi-purpose center for older adults facilitating the practice of preventative healthcare, physical fitness, continuous learning, socialization and recreation).

  • The Via Center is utilized as a living laboratory to research and create solutions for similar issues (diseases, social problems) among youth, older adults and families
  • Focus areas include: increasing community based services; professional and volunteer training; multi-generational approaches in research and program delivery; and research to keep people and families healthy across generations

KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Internship Programs
USA students are placed for internships in various programs at the Via Center.

USA Intergenerational Recreation and Wellness Course
A partnership with the Via Center and the Mobile Housing Board, students develop health, education and recreation programs for older adults to improve their health, functional abilities, independence and overall quality of life. Activities include an annual “Intergenerational Day.”

Intergenerational Programs
Song Ministry - area home-schooled youth ages 8-14 sing with older adults each week
High School Outreach - students from Murphy and St. Paul’s High Schools socialize with adult daycare clients, playing games, watching movies and reading weekly
MFuge – nationwide group of student volunteers, ages 12-18, spend Wednesdays from June through August doing arts and crafts projects and other activities with older adults
Community-based Activities – students from surrounding elementary schools participate in an annual Mardis Gras parade with adult daycare clients
Art Program - students from St. Paul’s complete art projects with adult daycare clients

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Program
A partnership between the Via Center and HandsOn South Alabama, this program utilizes specially trained volunteers of all ages to help elderly neighbors keep their independence through telephone calls to monitor their safety, general health and well-being.

Via Wellness Clinic
Through a grant with the USA Department of Family Medicine, the Via Center will provide an on-site health clinic to provide geriatric counseling for the low income elderly in our area.

Sustainability/Development Activities
In May of this year, the Center for Generational Studies will submit a multi-year, federal grant proposal to the National Institutes of Health (National Institute on Aging) to fund the “Generations Scholars” program, designed to recruit students to increase diversity in the field of aging research.Join us in our effort to unite multiple generations to bring about positive, lasting change within our community.

 

Contacts:

Dr. Roma Hanks
Academic/Research Director
rhanks@southalabama.edu

Barbara Estes
Director of Resource Development
bestes@viamobile.org