Integrative Partnership Targets WWE Participants Via the WISEWOMAN Program

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Submission Date: September 2019

Entry Type: Case Study

State/Territory Submitted on the Behalf of: Iowa

States/Territories Involved: Iowa

Funding Source: CDC, NACDD

CDC Funding:


CDC Funding (Specified):

Other CDC Funding

Domain Addressed:

Community-Clinical Linkages

Public Health Issue:

Arthritis is a major public health problem in the United States.  It affects over 54 million American adults and will increase to 78 million by 2040.  The condition limits 24 million people from performing their daily tasks.
Nearly 30 percent of people aged 45-64 have reported ever having arthritis and women have a higher age-adjusted prevalence of arthritis than men.


Project Objectives:

Funding Community Health Partners (CHP) is helping NACDD to achieve the following project objective: By 9/29/19, three national or regional partner organizations will be recruited to receive HUB mini-grants to deliver Walk With Ease (WWE) self-directed or group program to adults with arthritis.


Program Action:

Studies have found walking to be a safe and effective way to manage arthritis.  In 2018-2019, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors awarded a mini-grant to Community Health Partners (CHP) in Des Moines, Iowa, for the purpose of engaging 3,000 participants in Walk With Ease (WWE), an arthritis appropriate evidence-based intervention.  WWE is offered in either a group or self-directed format.

CHP is a community-based organization that focuses on a continuum of care across the spectrum of prevention; one of CHP’s three pillars is self-management coaching and education.  In an effort to make their enrollment goals, CHP has developed numerous partnerships with organizations at the local and state levels.

Despite listing “keeping up with partners” as a barrier to WWE implementation, CHP has done a remarkable job initiating 51 unique partnerships.  One such new partnership is with WISEWOMAN, a free program for women aged 40-64 that is administered via the Iowa Department of Public Health.  WISEWOMAN is an acronym for Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation.  WISEWOMAN is offered in 48 of Iowa’s counties, making this partnership a true statewide effort.

WISEWOMAN offers no cost screening for heart disease and stroke risk factors and helps women who have increased risk for these conditions make healthy changes.  WISEWOMAN participants are also enrolled in the Care for Yourself Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, which offers exams and mammograms.  Among the WISEWOMAN recommendations for reducing risk for heart disease is “be active 30 minutes a day.”  Given this recommendation, and the co-occurring natures of many chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis in the target population, WISEWOMAN is a natural partner with CHP in their effort to enroll participants into WWE.

The Iowa WISEWOMAN program has developed a screening guide and participant flow (diagram) for their local coordinators/health coaches to follow relative to referral, participation and follow-up for potential WWE participants.  Recognizing the cost to purchase the WWE book may be a barrier for some WISEWOMAN participants, the program purchased 10 books in English and 10 books in Spanish and plans to offer them at no cost via a lending library system.

Data/Other Information Collected:

CHP and WISEWOMAN have a plan in place to collect data relative to referrals, participation and follow-up.


As of August 2019, the WISEWOMAN program’s nascent referral efforts have yet to result in any WWE enrollments, but CHP and WISEWOMAN leadership are optimistic the partnership is worthwhile and will soon result in linking women who could benefit from the WWE program to it.

Challenges/Lessons Learned:

The statewide WISEWOMAN coordinator noted keeping the WWE message top of mind for their local coordinators will be challenging given the breadth of their roles and responsibilities.

Next Steps:

The partnership and referral efforts are both relatively new and efforts will continue through CHP’s no-cost contract extension through August 2020.

Program Areas:

Arthritis, Heart Disease and Stroke

State Contact Information:


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