This is the second installment of my Building Bridges series. In part I, “Creating a Foundation for AMP in Your Community,” I discussed where best to host your program, and how to strategically spread awareness and build partnerships with those in your community. If you haven’t already, give that post a read now.

Planning for the launch of a new program is much like planning for a new bridge—only on a smaller scale. Deciding on the best venues for delivering theAging Mastery Program® (AMP) depends on a wide variety of factors, especially if you want to expand the program geographically in your area.

After successfully completing two AMP sessions in a senior center in downtown Tucson, and one in the southern part of our geographically large county, the Pima Council on Aging decided to take AMP to the vast northwest area. Since there were no senior centers in this section of the county, we decided to approach a large faith community that was conveniently located near a well-known intersection in the area.

For many reasons, partnering with a faith-based organization has been a win-win:

  1. Faith communities are familiar with our agency and the services that we provide because we have partnered with several in the county to offer health promotion programs in the past.
  2. This particular faith community has a similar mission statement as ours with a strong presence in the targeted community area and a large population of baby boomers and older adults.
  3. The community also has a strong and growing commitment to the development of an older adult ministry, one that encompasses the emotional, mental, physical, and social aspects of aging.
  4. Practically speaking, the community has ample and accessible parking plus meeting space with audio-visual capabilities.

Choosing to collaborate with a faith community has had numerous advantages for our AAA. Most importantly, this partnership has provided us the opportunity to expand our reach beyond our more natural partners such as senior centers.

In the third and final blog post of this series, I will share some lessons learned and some tips for creating strong partnerships and for handling the logistics of offering AMP in different locations.

Have you partnered with likewise organizations for your Aging Mastery Program®? Share your experience in the comments below.