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Sustainability ensures that you can continue to offer your valuable programming.  Like evaluation, sustainability should be a part of each step of your process.  The prospects for sustainability are improved through careful attention to all of the other elements of offering evidence-based programs: planning, implementation, outreach and recruitment, and evaluation.

The Center for Healthy Aging offers online learning modules covering two important aspects of sustainability- business planning and quality assurance. 

Creating a Business Plan for Evidence-Based Health Promotion Programs

This module will teach you how to write a business plan for an evidence-based health promotion program.  Content areas include ways to use a business plan, key questions to consider, typical components to include, common pitfalls to avoid, how to package your plan, and helpful online resources. Take the training now.

Assuring Program Quality

This module will introduce you to planning a quality assurance system for your evidence-based programs and to using the RE-AIM framework to help guide your thinking. Take the training now.

Additional Resources

Please explore the issue briefs and reports, tools and guides, and webinars listed below or the comprehensive selection of tools and resources in our searchable library.

 Issue Briefs & Reports

  • Key Factors and Strategies Contributing to Program Sustainability
    NCOA's Center for Healthy Aging developed this issue brief to provide a framework for program sustainability. While many of the examples are based on the experiences of state units on aging and public health departments, the overarching themes are certainly applicable to community-based organizations
  • Financial Sustainability for Evidence-Based Programs
    This document highlights some of the findings from a recent survey of people who are currently implementing, or have had experience working with, evidence-based healthy aging programs. In it, you will find some key ideas and tips for states and their partners to consider, many of which may help increase the likelihood of financial sustainability for evidence-based programs.
  • The Value of Stanford University CDSMP
    This document was created to 1) assist health care providers better understand how the Chronic Disease Self–Management Program benefits patients and improves psychological and physical health status, self–efficacy, and selected health behaviors; 2) provide clinicians with a tool that patients can use to have better health outcomes; and 3) offer strategies to embed self-management supports within clinical practice.
  • Lessons Learned on Sustainability of Older Adult Community Behavioral Health Services
    This guide that includes tips, resources, and more to help you keep your program going strong. The report is focused on older adult behavioral health programs, but the ideas included can be applied to any health program for older adults that’s in need of continued funding. 
  • Key Findings: Paying for Self-Management Supports as Part of Integrated Community Health Care Systems
    As follow up to the May 2012 Expert Panel on Evidence-Based Health Promotion/Self-Management Supports: Moving to Integrated Community Health Care Systems, the Administration for Community Living/ Administration on Aging and the National Council on Aging conducted interviews with selected health care organizations to gain a more detailed understanding of the implementation and funding opportunities for self management supports. This report shares the trends, barriers. opportunities, and recommendations that came out of those interviews.
  • Scaling up sustainable intervention delivery–lessons learned from the CDC arthritis program
    This report described the CDC Arthritis Program’s strategic approach to fostering widespread availability and sustainability of community-based self-management education and physical activity interventions, and reviews common errors observed in efforts to disseminate and implement these interventions.
  • Scaling and Sustaining Self-Management Programs: Sustainable Financing for the Future
    This brief shares learnings from a one-day meeting  hosted by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of public- and private-sector stakeholders on the topic of scaling and sustaining self-management programs. The purpose was to start a dialogue on the issues that need to be addressed to finance, scale, and sustain self-management programs.

 Tools & Guides

  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Cost Calculator Overview and Instructions
    This Calculator can help organizations better understand and manage the costs of administering their Chronic Disease Self Management Programs (CDSMP). By entering your organization’s costs and CDSMP program data, you can use the Calculator to produce estimated “per participant” and “per workshop” costs.
  • Quality Assurance Planning Template
    This template integrates quality assurance elements into a single planning document. Using the RE-AIM framework as a guide, it provides specific indicators and suggested action steps for developing a structured and robust quality assurance plan.
  • Missouri's Sustainability Toolkit
    The primary purpose of this toolkit  is to guide providers of self-management education (SME) chronic condition programs in efforts to assure high-quality services are available over the long-term. This guide is a synthesis of practical experience and evidence-based strategies to help SME providers achieve sustainability.




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Online Training


Introduction to Health Promotion Programs for Older Adults
Take our interactive training modules on evidence-based health promotion for older adults.