Participation Dates: September 30, 2001 – September 29, 2014

The University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (UW HPRC) served as the coordinating center for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN). The network was a collaborative effort of the CDC’s Prevention Research Centers (PRC) network.

HAN brought together diverse communities and multi-disciplinary expertise from across the country to identify and address health promotion needs for healthy aging, with particular focus on populations that bear a disproportionate burden of illness and disease.

HAN defined health aging as the development and maintenance of optimal physical, mental, and social well-being and function in older adults. For health aging, people need safe environments and communities that support attitudes and behaviors leading to health and well-being, along with effective use of health services and community programs to prevent or minimize the effects of acute and chronic disease.

The Health Aging Research Network’s core academic centers were funded by the CDC Healthy Aging Program, now called the CDC Alzheimer’s Disease and Healthy Aging Program. Strong partnerships at local, regional and national levels were fundamental to the network’s successes. Through these partnerships, HAN delivered on a mission to:

  • Better understand the determinants of healthy aging in diverse populations and settings;
  • Identify, develop and evaluate programs and policies that promote healthy aging; and
  • Translate and disseminate research into effective and sustainable public health programs and policies throughout the nation

Environmental Policy Change Tools

The following tools and resources were developed by the Healthy Aging Research Network and are available for public use.

Environmental Audit Tools & Protocols

Environmental audit measures are an established means of assessing neighborhood walkability and pedestrian safety, especially in urban settings. This Environmental Audit Tool allows for highlighting key dimensions of safety and walkability, including wayfinding, and isolates areas where environmental change is most needed.

Community Wayfinding

By learning more about wayfinding and transportation connections, you can help your community leaders make good choices for spending local dollars on signs and strategies to help people find their way.

Action Briefs

Learn about strategies and guides for changing policies that impact environments and older adults, making mobility a priority, and housing policies and design that support older adults.

Environment & Policy Change Clearinghouse

Through agreement between AARP Livable Communities and the CDC Health Aging Research Network, Environment and Policy Change Clearinghouse resources have been integrated into the AARP Livable Communities Resource Hub.