Susan L. Hughes, PhD
Susan L. Hughes, PhD, is Professor in the Division of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, and Co-Directs the Center for Research on Health and Aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been Principal Investigator of several nationally significant studies. She developed and tested Fit & Strong!-an evidence-based, exercise/behavior change program for older adults with lower extremity osteoarthritis. Fit & Strong! has decreased participants' lower extremity pain and stiffness and increased their self efficacy for exercise and their participation in exercise over 12 months and received the 2008 American Society on Aging Pfizer Award. Dr. Hughes is currently testing different ways of bolstering maintenance of exercise after Fit & Strong! ends and is also testing the impact of two health promotion interventions with older adults in the workplace. She recently received funding from CDC to diffuse Fit & Strong! in Illinois and in North Carolina and is working with the National Arthritis Foundation to diffuse Fit & Strong! in four additional states. Dr. Hughes is also Principal Investigator of UIC's Midwest Roybal Center for Health Promotion and Behavior Change that is funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Gail Huber, PT, PhD, MHPE
Gail Huber, PT, PhD, MHPE has been on the faculty at Northwestern University since 1988. She is an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy in the Department of Physical Therapy and Human Sciences. She has been involved with Fit & Strong! since its inception and has contributed to development of the exercise program and training materials. Dr. Huber received her Masters of Health Professions Education and her doctoral degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to training physical therapists, her research interests include physical activity for older adults, particularly those with arthritis and how physical activity affects function and reduces disability.
Cheryl Der Ananian, PhD
Cheryl Der Ananian is a former postdoctoral fellow from the Center for Research on Health Aging at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is currently an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University. She played a key role developing and testing the Hispanic version of Fit & Strong!, ¡Fuerte y en Forma! in Chicago and Arizona. Research participants significantly improved from baseline to 8-weeks in lower extremity (LE) strength, physical function and pain. These gains were maintained at 6-months.