Extension Professional Staff
Extension Specialist, Recreation
Department of Recreation, Sports and Tourism
104 Huff Hall
1206 S Fourth St MC-584
Champaign, IL 61820
Expert in: rural community development, parks and recreation development and management, rural health and aging, health promotion education, chronic disease prevention and management, and health care reform/policy
Laura Payne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, an Extension Specialist, and a member of the Office of Recreation and Park Resources (ORPR) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).
As an Extension Specialist, my goal is to improve the health and well-being of rural Illinois residents through education, training and research in health and local park and recreation planning that results in the delivery of quality and sustainable (i.e., financial, operational) recreation, parks and wellness programs/services. As such, I have developed and directed several funded statewide outreach and research programs such as the Illinois Rural Recreation Development Project, Illinois Senior Wellness Initiative, and Take Charge of Your Health: Live Well be Well. Both the Illinois Senior Wellness Initiative (ISWI) and the Illinois Rural Recreation Development Project (IRRDP) won state Extension Awards for Excellence in Programming and IRRDP won a Program Excellence Award from the Governor’s Office. I am also the co-project director for the Cross Campus Extension Initiative called the Illinois Health Care Reform Initiative.
My research and outreach programs have been funded by the State of Illinois Division of Human Services (DHS), Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) the Retirement Research Foundation (RRF), and the Consortium for Older Adult Wellness (COAW).
In terms of research, I examine the effects of leisure behavior on aspects health and well-being (e.g., psychosocial, physiological) among older adults. I also examine the role of recreation, parks and leisure services in community development. More specifically, I examine the relationship between leisure style and health of older adults with chronic conditions; the role of local parks and recreation agencies in the promotion and maintenance of health; and the relationship between nature-based leisure experiences and health
Take Charge of Your Health: Live Well be Well (Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program)
Coming of Age (Retirement Transitions Program)
Illinois Health Care Reform Initiative - Cross Campus Extension Initiative