UF Institute on Aging opens Health Promotion Center


The UF Institute on Aging on Wednesday celebrated the grand opening of its Health Promotion Center, a new resource that features more than 7,000 square feet of unique space for research trials. Inside the facility, study participants can walk on a 200-foot cushioned indoor track, balance on ballet-style bars set in a mirror-paneled wall, receive health education or whip up easy meals in a demonstration kitchen. The center is near an outdoor walking track within the lush and shady Wilmot Gardens, which also will be used in research studies.

The Health Promotion Center creates an opportunity for cross-disciplinary, cross-departmental collaborations to investigate the role of various lifestyle interventions in disease prevention and management. It already is in use for a number of studies, including the NIH-funded LIFE study, aimed at determining whether physical activity or health education can prevent movement disability in older adults.

Marco Pahor, M.D., director of the UF Institute on Aging and chairman of the department of aging and geriatric research; Winfred M. Phillips, D.Sc., UF vice president for research; David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., UF senior vice president for health affairs and president, UF&Shands Health System; and Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine and the Folke H. Peterson dean’s distinguished professor, heralded the new center as a key tool in helping UF and the Institute on Aging lead the way in research that can ultimately help older adults maintain their health and independence.

The Institute on Aging Health Promotion Center features a 200-foot cushioned indoor walking track, as well as a health education suite and a demonstration kitchen. Photo by Maria Belen Farias.

The Institute on Aging Health Promotion Center uses an outdoor walking track in the lush Wilmot Gardens. Photo by Maria Belen Farias.

The outdoor walking track at Wilmot Gardens. Photo by Maria Belen Farias