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Center for Research on Health and Aging

The Center for Research on Health and Aging tests and builds evidence about how older adults can prevent disability and maintain health and examines how the health care system can address the health needs of older adults.

By 2030, one in every five Americans will be 65 or older. Most Americans that age have at least one chronic health condition. Learning how to prevent disability and improve the health of older adults will improve their quality of life and reduce U.S. health care costs.

CRHA is part of the Institute for Health Research and Policy housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The center achieves its research goals in partnership with researchers throughout the United States and with the counsel and support of health care professionals and agencies that serve older adults, such as the Chicago Department of Senior Services. View our list of partners.

Susan Hughes, professor of community health sciences, directs the center.

Researchers in CRHA are working to improve the health of older adults through these goals:

  • Disseminate Fit and Strong!, an evidence-based, award-winning exercise program developed and tested for persons with osteoarthritis, nationally.
  • Examine how public policy and funding affect the ability of older adults to maintain their independence.
  • Identify ways to increase physical activity, especially walking, among sedentary older adults.
  • Support the development of innovative approaches to improve the health behavior of older adults in ethnic or racial minorities.

The center is leading an effort, with funding by the chancellor, to strengthen research at the University of Illinois at Chicago to reduce disparities in healthy aging. The Center also supports the development of investigators through pilot grants offered by the Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Translation, funded by the National Institute on Aging.