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Chronic disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. One-half of U.S. adults have at least one chronic disease condition and 25% have multiple chronic conditions that can lead to a restriction in an ability to do basic daily living activities. Low-income adults have a high incidence of chronic disease that increases with aging due to ongoing psychological stress, higher risk exposure, less healthy living conditions, and limited access to health services. Community-based wellness programs, in collaboration with academic institutions, can serve this population by providing access to health services, quality educational and activity-based experiences, and continual assessment and support. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the expertise of numerous faculty, students, and staff can be used to help mitigate a myriad of health conditions presented by this population. This article shares one university’s creation, development, and delivery of an on-campus, multidisciplinary community wellness program for low-income adults.
Wohl is professor and chair, Kinesiology Department, Washburn University, Topeka, KS. Lockwood is associate professor, Kinesiology Department, Washburn University, Topeka, KS. Ure is C.O.A.C.H. director and lecturer, School of Nursing, Washburn University, Topeka, KS.