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Wellness 50+


Final Report: Wellness 50+ Pilot Program
January 2017

We are proud of the outstanding work the Wellness 50+ teams have done Alexandria, MN; the Hamline Midway neighborhood in Saint Paul; Oakdale and the Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis. The three-year pilot is done but their work is just beginning. Take a look at the report to learn about their ongoing work.


People 50+ as Catalysts for Wellness


The Vital Aging Network, with support from HealthPartners and a Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant, has launched four community-based wellness pilots led by self-directed teams of people 50+. The pilots operate in these Minnesota communities: Alexandria, Hamline Midway in Saint Paul, Oakdale and Phillips neighborhood in Minneapolis and work to achieve these goals:

  • wellness50_250_01Increase the awareness among people 50+ in the community about opportunities for self-care and its importance.
  • Implement projects that enable older adults to make measurable changes in attitudes/practices likely to contribute to better health outcomes.
  • Increase the capacity of individuals in the pilot community to provide ongoing leadership for wellness-related initiatives.
  • Ensure that the Wellness 50+ initiative can be sustained during and after the conclusion of the three-year pilot.


Richard Long and Cheryl Johnson, Phillips Wellness 50+


Vital Living Alexandria Team

Wellness 50+ in the news

Phillips Walkers Surpass 6 Million Steps. The Alley Newspaper, September 2016.

New Midway group takes aim at senior health. Monitor Newspaper, Saint Paul.
Vital Living Alexandria is wellness program designed for people 50+. Echo Press, Alexandria, MN.


How It Works

In each pilot community, trained facilitators help Wellness 50+ team members learn processes that help them design and implement wellness projects. The projects produce increased wellness and become the start of sustainable initiatives in the communities.

The Wellness 50+ teams are self-directed, engaging a cross-section of community members to:

  • Map existing community assets.
  • Build relationships among individuals and organizations.
  • Engage community members in setting priorities.
  • Plan and implement projects that change behaviors.
  • Work collaboratively to make sustainable, positive changes in the well-being of people 50+.

“For change to be sustained, it has to involve
and be led by the people who are living in the community. ”

—Dr. John Gaventa,
Citizen-Led Sustainable Change Vibrant Canada


Evolve for Wellness Training

In-community team training is a key element of the success of Wellness 50+. A VAN trained facilitator provides structure and processes to help community-based teams move quickly to innovation and success.

  1. Forming and  operating as an effective  team
  2. Being a collaborative leader
  3. Using principles and practices of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) for successful, grassroots community efforts
  4. Engaging a broad, cross section of residents in the Wellness 50+ effort
  5. Planning and implementing projects
  6. Planning for sustainability

Download the most current update: Wellness50-Update

With funding support from:





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