Welcome to the USF Health in The Villages Health Study

Welcome Message

Many of us are alive today because of a little town in Massachusetts named Framingham. Beginning in 1948, the residents of Framingham hosted a group of doctors and scientists interested in what happens to the heart as we age. Three generations later, it turned out the nation learned a great deal from Framingham. You've heard of much of it, even if you don't know it came from that study: Learn about the Framingham Study

We learned at Framingham that when we control blood pressure, we save lives. We learned that exercise keeps us young. And even the famous surgeon general's warnings about cigarette smoking came directly from the Framingham Study.

Right here at The Villages, we started thinking about what we could learn about active aging - not just about our hearts, but about everything that makes us successful as we add years to our lives. If we could take a look at this incredibly unique community, we would learn things the nation can use to make our health better.

The result of this desire to learn more has been the partnership between The Villages and the University of South Florida. We did lots of planning and learning this past year. Our planning began by asking questions in the format of focus groups. A focus group is simply people sitting around a table reacting to thoughts from a moderator. Those ideas help shape the picture of what's happening in this community. The questions that arose from the focus groups shaped a bigger survey.

That survey was sent to all Villagers this past February. We collected over 34,000 survey responses making it one of the largest comprehensive health studies of older adults in the nation right in The Villages. We expect to use and share the data to help achieve our common goal…to make The Villages “America’s Healthiest Hometown!”

All research is really a dialogue between the researchers and community. You tell us what you think; we explore it. At the same time, we'll find the basic health indicators for the community. After a while, this dialogue builds a story of how you're succeeding in active retirement.

And like the town of Framingham, that story of how you accomplish successful and active retirement will tell the nation how it's done.

As this dialogue goes forward, continue checking on this website for updates. Working with The Daily Sun, we'll keep you informed about what we're doing, what we find, and how you can help. This is just the beginning our relationship with The Villages and Villagers. Get connected with us through this website, in person at the USF Health office, or at events we host throughout the community. We want to know what you think.