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Vitoux Programs

Golden Connections and Healthy Lifestyle Counseling are the two primary Vitoux programs.

Program Overview Heading link

We are a student volunteer-driven longitudinal phone call-based program. We connect students and older adults registered with a community service agency to help reduce social isolation and promote wellbeing.

Volunteers undergo training to communicate with older adults, identify and report elder abuse and provide them resources to address some of the social determinants of health including food, utility support, and health and wellness services. Volunteers refer any identified social needs to the local community service agency we partner with. In turn, the connection between volunteers and older adults allows them to experience joys and sorrows together while fostering a relationship.


Our partners include:

Golden Connections Goals Heading link

Goal for student volunteers include:
  • Learning experiences

    Experiential learning that promotes well-being and reduces social isolation for older adults.

  • Interprofessional teams

    Learning collaboration through multidisciplinary teamwork

  • Transformational change

    Develop communication skills and empathy for socially isolated older adults

  • Collaborative practice

    Working with community service agency to connect older adults to community resources

Testimonials Heading link

Hear what people are saying about Golden Connections.

In the fall, one of my clients mentioned it was almost her birthday, and that she had not celebrated her birthday in years. I was able to notify the program coordinators, and asked if we could surprise her with something like a cake or balloons. Lifescape was able to put together a balloon bouquet all tied to a necklace as a birthday gift, dropped off right at her condo door. She was so excited to receive her birthday surprise package from Lifescape, and frequently mentioned how much she appreciated the gifts and knew we were truly looking out for her.

I have learned so much through becoming a volunteer in this program. I found that listening and showing interest in the lives of older adults I was paired with resulted in them showing just as much interest in my life. This reinforced the reciprocal nature of volunteering and highlighted that each person really does have the ability to make an impact.

Some volunteers have been able to gain the trust of the older adults they speak to and identify key problems they are facing like: food insecurity, medical concerns, safety, and have alerted Lifescape to make a change in their lives

The state of Illinois rolled out the Senior Tablet Program that would provide tablets and free internet access for qualifying adults. We were able to utilize our student volunteers to get more eligible adults enrolled in this program. We know that this program is making a difference because many of these adults would not have known about this otherwise.

Questions about Golden Connections?

Contact us via email.

Healthy Lifestyle Counseling Program Heading link

Programs for patients and communities

The Vitoux Program has joined forces with Golden Connections, which is a collaboration between the UIC College of Pharmacy (Rockford), the UIC College of Medicine (Rockford), and the UIC College of Medicine (Chicago) that trains pre-health, pharmacy, and medical students to mitigate social isolation in older adults.

This easy-to-implement program provides another layer of support to identify and refer issues that impact social determinants of health among older adults. Volunteers have been able to gain the trust of the older adults they speak to and identify key problems they are facing like food insecurity, medical concerns, safety, and have alerted the necessary departments to make changes in their lives. It helps reduce social isolation and promote the well-being of older adults in Illinois. This program also reinforces the reciprocal nature of volunteering and highlights that each person does have the ability to make an impact.

The Vitoux Behavioral Health Counseling Program (VITAL)

This program provides counseling support for patients with depression, obesity and/or who are at risk for developing diabetes. The program is delivered by experienced Health Coaches certified in two evidence-based programs: the Group Lifestyle Balance Program (GLB) and the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS).


The GLB program is a CDC recognized lifestyle change program designed to help individuals make lifestyle changes to both prevent diabetes and prevent or treat the metabolic syndrome by promoting healthy eating and increasing physical activity.


The PEARLS program aims to reduce symptoms of depression and improve quality of life by teaching problem-solving skills and empowering clients through behavioral techniques, social and physical activation, and pleasant activity scheduling. Sessions with the Health Coach take place at the University of Illinois South Loop Physicians Group location. Sessions vary in length and may be covered by Medicare or private insurance plans.

Coach training

Coach Training for the Group Lifestyle Balance Program (GLB) can be provided by our experienced Master Coach, Corina Ronneberg.


For questions about Healthy Lifestyle Counseling, contact us via email.