Office of Healthy Aging Research, Education, and Services (OHARES)

Service Priorities

Community service priorities for the Office of Healthy Aging Research, Education, and Services (OHARES) at East Carolina University are focused on the following five areas:

  • Developing partnerships with community-based programs that promote healthy aging
  • Designing and implementing community-based programs that promote healthy aging among offenders
  • Engaging students in service-learning projects within gerontology courses
  • Providing community-based programs with assistance to monitor and evaluate services that support healthy aging
  • Removing barriers that inhibit, and advancing policies that promote, healthy aging
  • Disseminating and implementing effective and cost-efficient services that advance health equity and healthy aging, especially in rural parts of eastern North Carolina (a region known for its diversity relative to gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status)

ECU’s faculty, staff, and students have a longstanding commitment to community engagement through service that has been recognized nationally as evidenced by ECU’s Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. Accordingly, OHARES affiliates are committed to working with community-based programs and organizations to identify and advance mutually-beneficial goals and objectives for the promotion of healthy aging (especially in rural parts of North Carolina).  To this end, our students provide thousands of hours of assistance (via internships and service-learning projects) to community-based organizations as a requirement of their courses for certificate- and degree-bearing programs.  Our affiliates are also available to help develop, implement, monitor, and evaluate programs for older individuals.  For more information about our affiliates and their availability for such consultation, please feel free to contact the Director, Dr. John J. Kerbs, via email ( or phone (252-328-5546).