HealthMatters Alert Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1 (January/February 2017)

Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children’s Awarded Grant from Ohio DD Council to Incorporate Health Matters Curriculum

Cincinnati, OH – Cincinnati Children’s has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council to study Healthy Lifestyles for People with Disabilities. The goal of the project is to incorporate Health Matters Curriculum, a health education curriculum specifically designed for people with developmental disabilities, into Project SEARCH and create and test a clear set of guidelines for integration. The aim is to provide a general model for introducing health and fitness education into high school transition, a critical life stage for establishing patterns and habits for healthy and successful adult life.The proposed project leverages a partnership between Project SEARCH and UnitedHealthcare Community & State(UHC). Through this partnership, UHC purchased Health Matters Curriculum for distribution to all 430 Project SEARCH program sites.

Project SEARCH at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will be the lead organization, and will partner with the following organizations to carry out this project:

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Human Development Institute: H+W – HealthMatters

Source: H+W – HealthMatters

The Health & Wellness Initiative at the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky has partnered with the authors of HealthMatters curriculum from the University of Illinois at Chicago to provide a statewide roll out of online based training for staff around the state to become instructors within their community supports for the HealthMatters program. This evidence-based curriculum includes everything community based organizations need to run successful health promotion program for individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Participants have reported feeling healthier, feeling better about themselves, and have started incorporating what they’ve learned from the health promotion programming into their daily lives.  Within the HealthMatters pages and links, you will find valuable resources for your HealthMatters programming. Please use these resources to make your programming as fun and effective as possible!

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HealthMatters for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Building Communities of Practice for Health

HealthMatters for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Building Communities of Practice for Health

A Research to Policy Brief from AUCD and UIC’s RRTCDD (November 14, 2016)


The emergence of accessible health promotion initiatives for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) over the past 20 years demonstrates great promise for improving their health status. However, people with IDD continue to experience numerous age-related health issues and often lack control over environments and practices that impact their health. Just as in the general U.S. population, a great challenge remains to lower obesity levels, increase physical activity, and improve diets among people with IDD.  While research evidence for successful population specific health promotion programs and training, such as the 12-Week HealthMatters Program has been documented, an urgent need exists for widespread translation of evidence-based programs into practice and policy implementation. The next step is to develop and test models to support changes in state and community based organizations’ (CBOs) policies and fiscal budgets that embed and sustain evidence-based health promotion programs in the communities where people with IDD live, work, and play. Determining successful scale-up processes of “what works” is critical in being able to achieve the goal of improved lives for the greatest number of people.

Jasmina Sisirak and Beth Marks University of Illinois at Chicago
Lindsey Mullis and Kathy Sheppard-Jones University of Kentucky
LynnAnn Tew University of Alaska Anchorage
Kristin Krok and Dina Donohue-Chase NorthPointe Resources
George S. Gotto and Christy Miller University of Missouri Kansas City
Amanda George eitas – Developmental Disability Services of Jackson County
Jessica Minor and Christine Grosso Association of University Centers on Disabilities