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Bingocize® expands to North Carolina with $1.1 million grant awarded to WCU

turner goins

Turner Goins

Faculty at Western Carolina University have been awarded $1,165,955 from the Civil Money Penalty Grant for Medicare and Medicaid Services that will allow them to oversee Bingocize® and use the program in North Carolina.

Bingocize®, an evidence-based senior wellness program, continues to grow in popularity. Over the next three years, this program will be available in 45 North Carolina certified nursing homes and is expected to reach more than 2,000 residents.  

The project will be led by Turner Goins, WCU’s Ambassador Jeanette Hyde Distinguished Professor of Gerontological Social Work, in partnership with additional WCU faculty also in the College of Health and Human Sciences, including Gail Elliott, associate professor of practice in the School of Nursing; Leigh Odom, speech-language pathology associate professor in communication sciences and disorders; Jeanne Dulworth, assistant professor in social work; and Debbie Logan, assistant professor in recreational therapy. The project will also be collaborating with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

"We are excited to extend the reach of Bingocize® across North Carolina,” Goins said. “We are looking forward to partnering with the Western Kentucky University Center for Applied Science in Health & Aging to provide a nationally recognized health promotion program to nursing homes. These nursing homes have already expressed a strong desire to offer Bingocize® to their residents and we’re currently identifying additional facilities who are interested in offering Bingocize® as part of our project. We’re also excited to have students participating in this project because it will be a great opportunity for those going into health professions to learn about aging.”

 “Combined with previous CMS funding for Bingocize® projects in other states, CMS has awarded more than $5.6 million in funding to implement Bingocize® in certified nursing homes,” said Jason Crandall, Bingocize® creator and associate professor in the WKU CHHS School of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport. “We are excited to work with our colleagues at Western Carolina University to continue expanding the reach of this program with the goal of improving the quality of life for thousands of nursing home residents.”

 Bingocize® is a socially engaging group-based program that combines exercise, health education and the widely popular game of bingo. Successfully tested by a research team, Bingocize® found more than 90% of older adults were retained over the course of a 10-week program and they significantly improved physical, social and mental health. 

The program consists of two 45 to 60-minute sessions each week. A session begins with a group of Certified Nursing Facility residents sitting at tables with individual bingo cards. Trained CNF staff members, with help from trained university students, serve as program leaders. The residents complete a series of gentle physical exercises followed by the program leader calling a bingo letter/number combination. Exercises focus on improving components of functional mobility such as strength, range of motion and balance.

For more information about Bingocize®, visit

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