About Project Enhance
Developed by Sound Generations (Seattle, WA – formerly known as Senior Services) in partnership with the University of Washington and Group Health Cooperative (now known as Kaiser Permanente) in the mid-1990’s, Project Enhance offers state-of-the-art, community health promotion programs designed especially for older adults. This innovative project offers two tested and nationally recognized evidence-based programs:
Enhance®Fitness (EF) is a low-cost, adaptable exercise program offering levels that are challenging for active older adults and levels that are safe for older adults who are less fit and/or frail.
Enhance®Wellness (EW) is a motivational behavior change intervention specifically targeted to those with chronic conditions. EW encourages older adults to take on health challenges and maintain control of their lives through a participant-centered approach.
Both programs have been implemented successfully and sustainably with diverse populations in facilities around the country, including senior centers, YMCAs, churches, parks and recreation sites, affordable housing and retirement communities. Most importantly, they result in measurable improvements in health outcomes for participants.
We value our strong relationships with the researchers, health care providers, delivery organizations and funders that support Project Enhance in various settings and populations. We are equally committed to quality assurance and innovation.
Examples of Project Enhance innovation include:
- Development of quality assurance and program monitoring tools and activities
- Development of robust data collection and reporting systems
- Founding member of Evidence-Based Leadership Collaborative to leverage multiple evidence-based programs to measurably improve health outcomes for diverse adult populations
- Promotion of EnhanceFitness as a benefit for Medicare-Advantage eligible members of payor organizations
- National Partnership with Y-USA
- Ongoing research to test program adaptation efficacy in diverse environments
- Development of data collection and reporting systems for two additional evidence-based programs: A Matter of Balance falls prevention program and PEARLS depression management program
Throughout Project Enhance’s history, crucial support from several directions has spurred and sustained its growth. National policymakers and funders have embraced the program, prompting significant uptake far beyond the borders of the program’s home region of western Washington. In addition, these agencies have helped to fund our development of a comprehensive online data management platform that allows both local and centralized reporting about participant- and site-level participation and outcomes. The same platform supports our tracking of program licensing and funding, as well as site, staff, and training information. This internal data management infrastructure has been invaluable in allowing Project Enhance to monitor program reach and fidelity, while the user-facing element allows program licensees to provide meaningful reports both to their funders and to their participants, and to monitor the success of their own implementation efforts.
At the other end of the spectrum from federal agencies, program participants themselves, not to mention their physicians, bolstered by subjective and objectively demonstrable changes in health and fitness, have been important champions for driving demand for program expansion at the community level.
EnhanceFitness can currently be found in 44 states and the District of Columbia and EnhanceWellness in 6 states. Together, they have reached over 100,000 unduplicated participants and continue to grow.
The project is continually evaluated for effectiveness and reach and both programs are eligible for use of Title III funds for evidence-based health promotion programs.
There have been several formal evaluations of EnhanceFitness conducted by the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center, a CDC-funded prevention research center. In 2007, the CDC designated EnhanceFitness as an Arthritis Appropriate Evidence-Based Intervention (AAEBI). In 2017, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) designated EnhanceFitness as an evidence-based Fall Prevention program, in addition to Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Self-Management Support program.
EnhanceWellness is federally designated as a Chronic Disease Self-Management program and listed as a legacy program in in The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), a searchable online registry of interventions supporting mental health promotion, substance abuse prevention, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. EnhanceWellness is also on the US HHS Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality Health Care Innovations Exchange website as an innovation that improves quality and reduces disparities.
As relevant new research emerges, appropriate revisions are made to program protocols. Review the citations of published studies and articles here.
Project Enhance is proud of the awards our programs and our affiliates have received from organizations across the U.S.:
- International Council on Active Aging, 2006 Industry Innovators Award
- National Council on Aging / Health Promotion Institute, 2004 Best Practice Award
- Archstone Foundation, 1999 Award for Excellence in Program Innovation
- Administration for Community Living, Designation as Fall Prevention Evidence-Based Program 2017
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Designation as Arthritis Appropriate Evidence-Based Intervention 2007
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s 2005 Innovation in Prevention Award, Non-Profit Category
- U.S. Administration on Aging, You Can! Program Champion, 2005
- Washington Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity, Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Physical Activity, Community Based Program, 2005
- National Council on Aging, One of Ten Exemplary Physical Activity Programs for Older Adults in USA, 2003
- National Council on Aging, National Institute of Senior Centers’ 1999 Research Award, presented to Northshore Senior Center (SWP Pilot Site)
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) Legacy Program
- US HHS Agency for Healthcare and Research Quality Health Care Innovations Exchange, Innovation that improves Quality and Reduces Disparities
- Administration for Community Living, Designation as Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program
Our affiliates have also won awards: