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Partnership for Healthy Aging

Meet the Matter of Balance Lead Trainers
A Lead Trainer is responsible for teaching the Matter of Balance (MOB)curriculum to Master Trainers and providing them with guidance and support as they implement MOB in their communities.

Patti League, RN
A Matter of Balance Lead Trainer
and Program Manager

Patti has had a varied career over the past 30 years helping others maintain quality of life. Her current passion is helping older adults maintain functioning at their fullest level through evidence-based programs such as A Matter of Balance. She led classes under the original MOB model, and has been a Lead Trainer and Program Manager for the Volunteer Lay Leader Model since 2006. She has also been involved with EnhanceWellness and CDSMP. She lives on the coast of Maine and loves sharing its beauty with visitors. She has 2 children - one in Maine and one in Colorado - and 2 golden retrievers. Patti has trained the following partners to become Lead Trainers as well. We are happy to introduce you to our entire team.



Peter S. Allen

Peter is currently the Fitness Director at Basics Fitness Center in South Portland, Maine, and was formerly Fitness Manager at USM Lifeline Center for Wellness and Health Promotion for 25 years. In addition to being a Lead Trainer for MOB, Peter is also a Master Trainer for EnhanceFitness, an evidence-based group exercise program for older adults which focuses on increasing strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, and balance which helps decrease the risk of falls. Personally, Peter is married and has two children, two cats and a corgie. He enjoys all sports and has trained in the martial arts for 25 years.



Stacey Farrington, MS, RN

Stacey is a geriatric nurse working in the Hospital Elder Life Program at Maine's largest hospital. She has served as a Lead Trainer for A Matter of Balance since 2006. She enjoys singing and performing in community theater, gardening, playing tennis, cooking and eating local foods, and every now and then tries to knit.  Stacey is married and has two children - a freshman in high school and a seventh grader - and loves her bichon frise, Penny.



Linda H. Miller

Linda is the Community Services Coordinator for the Centralina Area Agency on Aging (CAAA) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Hired initially as a regional long-term care ombudsman, Linda has been with CAAA for 12 years. She graduated from Eckerd College in Florida and the University of South Florida. Linda's background includes extensive experience in long-term care and specialized dementia care. With more than 20 years of experience in the aging field, she has worked with two Alzheimer's Associations and has a strong background in education, long-term care and community-based services. She is currently coordinating the evidence-based programs for the region, including Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP), Diabetes Self-Management and A Matter of Balance. She serves as a Master Trainer for all three as well as for the Adult Communications and Training program sponsored by the SPRY Foundation.  Linda has been married to her husband, Bob, for over 20 years. They have one son, Zach, and two cats.



Barbara Nelson

Barb is a Contract Coordinator at Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, where she has been working with community aging service providers in the nine-county region to serve older adults. Barbara received her Bachelor's Degree in Business and Physical Education from Ferris State University. She has worked with the older adult population for the past 20 years with emphasis in skilled home health care.  She was a certified fitness instructor for over 10 years, owning and operating her own fitness business. For the past 5 years she has been able to blend her two passions - seniors and physical activity - by becoming involved in the evidence-based health programs through her work at AAAWM. She is a Lead Trainer for Matter of Balance Program; a Master Trainer for CDSMP, and an Enhance Fitness Instructor. 



Ann O'Sullivan, OTR/L, LSW

Ann has been an occupational therapist for more than 30 years, working in adult rehabilitation, seating and positioning, marketing, education, management, and home health. She has published and presented locally and nationally on topics relating to home health care, family caregivers, older adults, and A Matter of Balance.  She is responsible for the Family Caregiver Support Program at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging; is a Lead Trainer for A Matter of Balance; and is past Chair of the Home and Community Health Special Interest Section for the American Occupational Therapy Association.



Reuben Parrish, MPH, CHES

Reuben is the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area and the Statewide Coordinator for the Texas Falls Prevention Coalition. As Health and Wellness Coordinator at the AAA, he is coordinating the implementation of A Matter of Balance. He also develops, facilitates, and supports working partnerships with other area agencies on aging, state and local agencies, and community-based organizations in the efforts to implement this program statewide. Prior to working with the AAA, Reuben worked in a variety of health education and promotion programs in the areas of immunizations, cardiovascular disease prevention, and children's CHDP (Child Health and Disability Prevention) program.



Elizabeth (Liz) Walker Peterson, PhD,

Liz is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in the Department of Occupational Therapy, and a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Her clinical experience is primarily in the area of gerontology in both hospital and community-based settings. Her teaching responsibilities at UIC include lecture and lab-based classes designed to prepare occupational therapy graduate students for practice in the area of adult physical disabilities. Liz's research interests are focused on falls and fear of falling among community-dwelling older adults and people with multiple sclerosis; epidemiology, measurement of outcomes relevant to fall prevention; and interventions. She was a member of the Boston University team that developed, implemented and evaluated the original Matter of Balance program. Liz became a Lead Trainer for the Matter of Balance Volunteer Lay Leader Model Program in 2008.



Omay Water-Schmeder, MPT

Omay is a physical therapist and member of the Fall Prevention Coalition in Sonoma County, California. Part of her work involves teaching balance classes and single-session fall prevention classes. In 2006, she began researching programs that would address the fear of falling in addition to other fall prevention strategies. She soon discovered the Matter of Balance program and the coalition decided to implement MOB in their community. Omay and four of her colleagues were trained as Master Trainers that same year. They have trained over 50 volunteer coaches, and over 400 people have taken the MOB classes. Omay became a Lead Trainer in 2007 because she wanted to help other communities discover this quality program.



Tracy Zerkle

Tracy has enjoyed working with older adults for the past 7 years, providing a variety of evidence-based courses through the San Antonio OASIS.  She is a Lead Trainer for A Matter of Balance, and a trainer for the Chronic Disease Self Management Program, Active Living Every Day, The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program and The Arthritis Foundation Aquatic Program. She also serves as a facilitator for Healthy Eating Every Day.  Recently, Tracy was blessed with a new husband, Mont and two children - Cody, age 6, and Cassidy, age 14. They reside in a small town in southeastern Arizona. Currently she is what Cody calls a "house mom". Tracy is also writing the Brain Fitness curriculum for the San Antonio OASIS. She is excited to continue the rewarding work of fall prevention as a Lead Trainer for MOB. 


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