ARC XVI Fort Washington Inc. (ARC) serves 3,500 Latino seniors in New York City’s upper Manhattan neighborhoods, and more than half of these seniors have or are at risk for metabolic syndrome. Thirteen percent (n = 25,389) of northern Manhattan residents are over the age of 65 and are served by more than 35 senior centers and other elder programs organized under the Washington Heights-Inwood Council on Aging, which ARC co-chairs. Despite the existence of evidence-based programs for the reduction of metabolic syndrome, there has been a lack of dissemination of these programs to community-based senior service providers. This lack of transfer of research to practice occurs at a time when the New York City Department for the Aging mandates that senior service providers implement a minimum of two evidence-based programs per year. Adding to the complexity of addressing metabolic syndrome among our clients is the overrepresentation of Mexican Americans in the scientific literature, findings that may not relate or apply to the predominantly urban Caribbean-Latino seniors that we serve. ARC has a 20-year history of conducting research—in collaboration with local universities and community partners—that addresses a wide variety of senior-related health issues. Building on this successful history, we seek to address the metabolic syndrome epidemic and its adverse consequences through the following project aims:
- Conduct a needs assessment.
- Form an advocacy group to understand the challenges with knowledge transfer, organizational capacity, and patient barriers.
- Jointly develop comparative effectiveness research questions in order to submit a patient-centered outcomes research proposal.