An initiative of The N.C. Center for Health & Wellness at UNC Asheville

National Organizations

A Matter of Balance

This link takes you to Maine Health, the National organizer of the A Matter of Balance program.

Many older adults experience a fear of falling. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls is a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults.

A Matter of Balance includes eight two-hour sessions for a small group led by a trained facilitator. This nationally recognized program was developed at the Roybal Center at Boston University.


The Arthritis Foundation

The Arthritis Foundation helps conquer everyday battles of arthritis through life-changing information and resources, access to optimal care, advancements in science and community connections. The organization strives to chart a winning course, guiding families in developing personalized plans for living a full life – and making each day another stride towards a cure. The agency is the national disseminator of the Walk With Ease program (


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Fall Prevention Information for Patients and Families

CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise. Falls prevention is one area of focus for the CDC.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Chronic Disease Information

Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year, and treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86% of our nation’s health care costs. Find out how CDC’s chronic disease prevention system brings together data, health care systems, and communities to support healthy choices and reduce risk behaviors for all Americans.


Chronic Disease Self Management Education

Our small-group workshops are given in community settings and on the Internet. They are facilitated by two leaders/facilitators with their own health problems. The workshops are highly interactive, focusing on building skills, sharing experiences, and support.

The Stanford Patient Education Research Center is part of the Department of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, located in Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.  For over 3 decades, we have developed, evaluated, and translated into practice self-management programs for English and Spanish-speakers with chronic health problems, as well as for cancer survivors and caregivers. All of our programs are designed to help people gain self-confidence in their ability to control their symptoms, better manage their health problems, and lead fuller lives.

Our main mission, however, is research. We only develop and offer programs that we test for effectiveness, usually with randomized, controlled trials that are funded by research grants and span one to five years. The aim of all of our programs is to improve the triple aims of better health, better health care, and reduced costs.


Fall Prevention Center of Excellence

The vision of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence is to create a center of excellence to ensure the independence, safety, and well-being of older persons through fall prevention. The mission of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence is to provide leadership, create new knowledge, and develop sustainable programs for seniors and their families, professionals, program administrators, and policy makers. The Center seeks to better understand and identify causes of falls and develop effective interventions at individual, program and systems levels.


Fit and Strong!

Fit & Strong! is an award-winning, multi-component, evidence-based physical activity program for older adults. This eight-week program targets older adults with osteoarthritis and has demonstrated significant functional and physical activity improvements in this population.


National Council On Aging

Founded in 1950, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is dedicated to improving the health and independence of older persons and increasing their continuing contributions to communities, society, and future generations. NCOA is a 501(c)3 organization located in Washington, DC.

At the heart of NCOA is a national network of more than 14,000 organizations and leaders that work with us to achieve our mission. NCOA’s 3,800 members include senior centers, area agencies on aging, adult day service centers, and faith-based service organizations, senior housing facilities, employment services, consumer groups and leaders from academia, and business.


National Institute on Aging Information Center

A number of publications are available on healthy aging at the National Institute on Aging’s Information Center site. Including:

Exercise: A Guide from the National Institute on Aging. This booklet has strength, balance, and stretching exercises you can do at home.

Exercise: A Video from the National Institute on Aging. A 48-minute exercise video/DVD is available for a nominal fee. 
The National Institute on Aging also publishes a collection of fact sheets, called “AgePages,” that offer practical advice on health related topics (including falls) for older adults.


National Institute on Senior Health

This website has health information for older adults, including information about exercise and physical activity. There are also special features that make it simple to use. For example, you can click on a button to have the text read out loud or to make the type larger.


Falls Prevention


The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance (OAAA) is a broad coalition of public health leaders and stakeholders committed to elevating Osteoarthritis as a national health priority and promoting effective policy solutions that aim to address the individual and national toll of Osteoarthritis. OAAA is housed at the Thurston Arthritis Research Center in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.  OAAA supports various evidence-based programs, such as the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, Fit & Strong, and Walk With Ease. Program providers can find resources for implementing Walk With Ease on the OAAA community partner page:


Powerful Tools for Caregivers

The Powerful Tools for Caregivers program is an evidence-based education program offering a unique combination of elements. The scripted curriculum and the intricately detailed training material, have guaranteed its consistency and quality. The program utilizes a train-the-trainer method of dissemination.

The 6-week scripted curriculum has been shown to improve:

  • Self-Care Behaviors: (e.g. increased exercise, relaxation and medical check-ups)
  • Management of Emotions: (reduced guilt, anger, and depression)
  • Self-Efficacy: (increased confidence in coping with caregiving demands)
  • Use of Community Resources: (increased utilization of local services)