Erica has been with U-ExCEL (Exercise & Conditioning for Easier Living) since 2012 when she began as Fitness Specialist and became Fitness Director in June 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where she studied Exercise Science, concentration in Health Fitness, and was a First-Team All-Conference recognized three-sport, division III athlete. She received her master's degree in Public Health at UNE in December 2018.
U-ExCEL is a comprehensive health promotion program created to serve older adults in myriad living settings. Aside from fitness programming and educational presentations, Erica is always discovering new ways to involve community members in engaging activities, regardless of functional ability level. She has introduced special programming to communities including hiking, paddling, outdoor sunrise Yoga, and inter-community water volleyball competitions. She enjoys learning alternative types of exercise to broaden her skillset and U-ExCEL's class offerings, all while focusing on core, lower extremity strength, coordination, and balance for fall prevention. Currently, Erica is a registered Yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance, a registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide, and a certified Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor.
During her time as Fitness Director, Erica has created and implemented two research studies; one working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association, to measure the effects of an exercise study on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their care partners. Another to measure the effects of an in-home balance enhancement program on residents living in a long-term care community. Erica has co-authored a textbook chapter on physical activity and social isolation with her colleagues in the Division of Geriatrics and a second publication on physical activity for older adults in rural settings is under review.
Erica’s areas of interest and research in the field of geriatrics include falls prevention, exercise for individuals with dementia, and LGBTQ+ health disparities. She continues to collaborate with local organizations and communities to improve the services and opportunities available for older adults to improve health outcomes, quality of life, and to create a more sustainable environment for future generations to age comfortably.
B.S. Exercise Science, Health Fitness
University of Southern Maine
University of New England
Group Exercise Instruction
Geriatrics; mobility and balance problems; physical activity; fall prevention
Health and Wellness Programming
Working with Special Populations