Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Alliance for Aging, Inc.

Learn how this agency created a Chronic Disease Self-Management program for the local Haitian community and successfully provided new knowledge and tools that empowered elder Haitians to better manage their chronic diseases.

We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2020 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on the Alliance for Aging's Breaking Barriers for CDSME program. The agency was a 2020 Aging Achievement Award winner in the Diversity & Cultural Competency category. The 2020 AIA Awards were made possible thanks to the support of Centene.
The Haitian American older adult population in Miami-Dade County is a particularly vulnerable segment of the community that has been hard to reach because of language and cultural barriers. Foundation funding and a partnership with Sant La Haitian Community Center enabled the Alliance for Aging, Inc. to train and certify four bilingual Community Health Workers (CHWs) as leaders and hire a part-time program coordinator at Sant La to schedule and recruit participants for five Chronic Disease Self-Management Education (CDSME) workshops taught in Haitian Creole—the third most common language in the county.
“Most of the participants did have private health insurance and expressed that they were not given this information after their diagnosis, or perhaps it was not taught to them in a way they could easily understand. By providing this basic information in their language they were empowered to act on their knowledge and better manage their health,” said Max B. Rothman, President and CEO of the Alliance for Aging, Inc. in Miami, FL.
The trained and certified CHWs hosted evidence-based CDSME workshops attended by 80 participants. After the workshops, 84 percent of participants were “very satisfied with the program” and 16 percent were “satisfied.” Based on the program's success, the Alliance for Aging was able to establish an ongoing partnership with a Haitian community-based organization, thereby creating a new way to continue delivering educational programs for this community.  
“The success of this program was based on the strong partnership we created with a community-based organization with strong ties to the underserved Haitian community we desired to serve,” said Rothman. “We sponsored the training of people from the community as CDSME leaders empowered the organization to recruit participants and schedule workshops as they deemed appropriate. We also provided translated materials, essential to supporting learning for the target population.”
The CDSME program was adapted to a telephonic and online delivery platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alliance is now working with the trained leaders to offer a telephonic workshop to the Haitian community.
To learn more about Breaking Barriers for CDSME and how you can replicate a similar program in your community, contact Max B. Rothman at
For more information about the 2020 winners, see the press release and read the book of winners! To read about past winners and find other best practices for your agency to consider, visit our Best Practices Clearinghouse page.

Interested in receiving an AIA Award for your agency's program? The 2021 AIA Awards nominations process is now open. Read our nominations process guide and consider submitting some of your programs before the March 26 deadline.



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!