They have macho names like Dads in Gear, Power Play and Hat Trick.

They are the programs that Joan Bottorff runs as part of her Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention research for UBC Okanagan's School of Nursing.

"I may be a women, but I know in order for health promotion programs for men to work, they have to have a strong masculine look and feel and be delivered by men in settings they are comfortable in," said the institute director.

As such, Bottorff may be the researcher behind the programs, but they are largely facilitated by men for men for success.

And they are held in places like trucking firm and coal terminal workplaces and at Prospera Place arena, home of the Western Hockey League's Kelowna Rockets.

Bottorff jokes that because of her line of work, she makes sure her husband goes to the gym.

"He's in pretty good shape, but there's always more that can be done," she said with a laugh.

One of the institute's current research programs aimed at mens' health promotion and cancer prevention is Dads in Gear.

It helps expectant fathers and new dads quit smoking.

"This program is the first of its kind in the world," said Bottorff.

"Most efforts are put into helping pregnant women and new mothers to quit smoking. But we saw an opportunity to help men at a time when they are motivated to stop smoking, namely about to become a father or with a new baby in the home. A non-smoking father is healthy for the whole family."

Dads in Gear has been offered in five communities – Westbank First Nation, Merritt, Nelson, Abbotsford and Mission in the Lower Mainland.

Male counsellors, usually a dad or ex-smoker or both, work one-on-one with the men who want to quit smoking, with some healthy eating, exercise and parenting tips thrown in.

Power Play is a men's healthy eating and living project offered in Northern B.C. at workplaces, including two trucking firms, a coal terminal, city crew and chemical plant.

"Workplace promotions usually have better uptake with women," said Bottorff.

"Power Play is specifically for men and offered in male-dominated workplaces."

Hat Trick is a 12-week program to help overweight men catch onto exercise and healthy eating.

"Adding the sports element engages men," said Bottorff.

"The program is delivered at Prospera Place and includes walking up and down the steps in the rink, working out in the Kelowna Rockets' gym and getting help from one of the Rockets' trainers."

For now, it doesn't include any time on the ice, using skating or hockey as exercise because not all the participants have skates or know how to skate.

The goal of all the research projects is to make them wider spread programs so more men can be healthy and avoid chronic disease.

Twenty-five years ago, after working as a nurse in both hospitals and the community, Bottorff joined UBC Vancouver's school of nursing as an instructor and researcher.

In 2005 when UBC's campus opened in Kelowna she made the move to the Okanagan to continue teaching and research.

Most of her volunteering is done through the school's institute.

Over the past year, the institute has offered 40 events, seminars, workshops and webinars to 1,600 people.

The fourth annual Embrace Aging program offered in conjunction with Interior Health and Interior Savings Credit Union put on 20 events during March.

Topics included better sleep, using exercise to put the brakes on aging, Sing for Your Life and fraud prevention.

But, the best-attended event was the screening of the film, The Age of Love: It's Never Too Late to Date, which attracted 300 mature viewers in Kelowna, 150 in West Kelowna and 80 in Vernon.

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