Implementation of Project EngAGE: A Leadership Initiative to Improve the Health and Quality of Life of Older Adults in Orange County, NC Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • February 28, 2019
  • Womble, Callie
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Boten, Jessica
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Bruening, Rebecca
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Walters, Kellie
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Garcia Missri, Yvette
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior
  • Background: The world is aging, creating both challenges and opportunities for improving quality of life for older adults. The number of people worldwide aged 60 years and over is projected to increase from 605 million to 2 billion between 2000 and 2050, doubling from about 11% to 22% of the population in the same time period. North Carolina and Orange County match the national aging trends. The Orange County Department on Aging (OCDOA) Master Aging Plan (MAP) outlines pertinent areas to improve the quality of life for older adults living in Orange County. Project EngAGE is a 12- week action-oriented senior leadership program that addresses two major goals of the MAP: (1) information dissemination and (2) service gap resolution. In Project EngAGE, senior leaders are trained to become resource leaders who address concerns in their communities. Upon graduation from Project EngAGE, senior leaders organize themselves in Senior Resource Teams (SRTs) to collaborate on community projects. Methods: Two major activities were conducted during the Capstone project: (1) development of Project EngAGE and (2) implementation of the first phase of Project EngAGE. To develop Project EngAGE, we established long-term goals, adapted the existing Haywood County EngAGED curriculum to meet the needs of Orange County older adults, and created an evaluation plan and tools for the program. Subsequently, to implement Project EngAGE, we recruited for the program and managed program logistics such as budget creation, session planning and coordination, program facilitation and program evaluation. Results: Our key findings can be sorted into two groups: (1) results from development of Project EngAGE and (2) results from implementation of Project EngAGE. Within the development of Project EngAGE, we created the mission statement, goals, objectives, and logic model for Project EngAGE that informed the development of 12 lesson plans to address a variety of topics. Each lesson plan contains a brief description of the session, objectives, key knowledge points, methods, operational materials, an agenda of the class, and resources related to the topic. The evaluation plan and tools guided the Capstone team to ensure that all of the data were properly collected throughout the implementation of the program. During the implementation of Project EngAGE we recruited 15 senior leaders, exceeding our goal of 10-12, through personal interviews, snowballing and promotional materials. The participants came from a variety of rural communities, including three participants from Bingham, four participants from Little River, and one participant from each of the following communities: Cedar Grove, Mebane, Eno, and New Hope. The implementation of the program led to the development of handouts that can be utilized for future iterations of the program. Additionally, the utilization of the evaluation tools led to a multitude of data that was interpreted and presented in the evaluation report. Feasibility, reach, satisfaction, and fidelity were all achieved. Project EngAGE also resulted in 100% completion rate of the program, an increase in sense of community amongst participants, and high intention to participate in Senior Resource Teams. Discussion: Our Capstone project has significant implications for OCDOA as well as for older adult development, leadership, and volunteerism programs in other settings. The first cohort of Project EngAGE graduates are prepared to act as resource leaders in their respective communities, which will affect how OCDOA will gather information about the needs of Orange County citizens, design programs, and disseminate information to intended recipients of -- or participants in -- their programs. Furthermore, the process of planning and implementing Project EngAGE has created a framework for future iterations of the program that will aid in sustaining the program and network. More globally, the process evaluation findings indicate that this adaptation of Project EngAGE from the Haywood EngAGED model was acceptable and satisfactory to all stakeholders -- program participants, OCDOA staff and administrators, Advisory Committee members, and student implementers. Short-term outcome evaluation findings indicate that Project EngAGE retains the core components of a successful senior leadership program.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Thrasher, Angela
  • Smith, Jason
  • Tyler, Janice
  • Fraser, Mary
  • Master of Public Health
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2014
Deposit record
  • 36a78aac-8e48-4aeb-90fc-48567d9ca6cf

This work has no parents.