Center for Excellence in Aging and Health wins national recognition for partnership with Westbrook Housing

Tom at Westbrook Housing
CEAH’s Tom Meuser chats with an attendee at Westbrook Housing’s Healthful Aging Festival in July

UNE’s Center for Excellence in Aging and Health (CEAH) was recently recognized for its partnership with Westbrook Housing (WH) by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO).

CEAH and WH were presented a 2022 Agency of Merit Award in the Resident and Client Services category at NAHRO’s annual conference in San Diego, California.

NAHRO is a membership organization of more than 19,500 housing and community development providers and professionals throughout the United States.

CEAH and WH have established a three-year, renewable, multi-phase student placement and research partnership serving seniors aging in place in affordable housing.

The partnership has flourished this year to include free dental hygiene services to residents, a half-time Master of Social Work internship, men’s and women’s support groups, life story writing, and monthly health gatherings organized by UNE’s Physical Therapy program and other partners.

This partnership also yielded UNE a three-year, $900,000 grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living to provide nutrition education to WH residents under the leadership of Michele Polascek, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of public health and director of UNE’s Center for Excellence in Public Health. Eight-week courses run through early 2023.

“I was thrilled to hear of this recognition from NAHRO,” exclaimed Tom Meuser, Ph.D., director of CEAH. “It is especially meaningful to our WH colleagues whose commitment to resident wellness made this partnership possible. What we are doing together is so innovative and needed. I can’t think of a better service-learning experience for our students.”

The partnership with WH is a collective effort of UNE students, faculty, and staff.