Valley News -

New chronic disease management grant recognizes Geri-Fit exercise program


Last updated 3/28/2018 at 2:19pm

TEMECULA – With diabetes becoming rampant in the U.S. with an estimated 80-plus million people walking around in the prediabetes stage, the nation is recognizing now and more than ever that an “ounce of prevention may well be worth more than a pound of cure.”

The Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, recently announced a new grant funding opportunity for chronic disease management and public education. The grant, entitled “Empowering Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities through Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Programs Financed by the Prevention and Public Health Fund,” is planning to award approximately 10 cooperative agreements to domestic public or private nonprofit entities later this summer.

The grant funding opportunity is “designed to develop capacity for, bring to scale and sustain evidence-based, self-management education programs that empower older adults and adults with disabilities to better manage their chronic conditions.”

Evidence-based chronic disease management education programs can help ward off and better manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease that can put older adults and adults with disabilities at greater risk of premature death or being hospitalized or even placed in nursing homes.

One of the 11 pre-approved chronic disease, self-management support programs that applicants may elect to offer with the proposed funding is Geri-Fit, a strength-training exercise program for older adults. The locally owned Geri-Fit Company from Temecula received notification in January of its inclusion in the grant opportunity that is available to state, county, tribal organizations, institutions of higher learning and other nonprofit entities.

Eligible applicants that are interested in applying for the $6.2 million grant must do so before the deadline, April 30, with a proposed program start date for July 1.

“Our goal is to reach more older adults nationwide so that they can better manage heart disease, diabetes, weight, pain and other chronic diseases so that they can live fuller lives as they continue to age,” Francesca Fisher, developer of the Geri-Fit exercise program and owner of the Geri-Fit Company, said. 

The Geri-Fit exercise program is currently offered in Temecula at Mantra Restaurant Banquet Hall, in Menifee at the Kay Ceniceros Senior Center, in Hemet at the James Simpson Senior Center, in Laguna Niguel at the Sea Country Senior Center, in Tustin at the Columbus Tustin Community Center, in Fountain Valley at the Recreation Center and at the Lake Forest Community Parks and Recreation Center with more locations underway.

The Geri-Fit program is offered free or at low cost through Medicare Advantage plans under major health insurance plans.

For more information on the Geri-Fit evidence-based physical activity program, visit or call (888) 437-4348.


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