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Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition

History of the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition:
In 2008, a grant was awarded to the Governor’s Office on Aging from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust to support the development of the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition. The initial funding was to establish and staff the Coalition, develop a coordinated technical assistance website, and produce marketing and technical assistance materials for widespread dissemination. Coalition meetings held throughout 2009 helped coordinate efforts of more than 165 organizations and individuals around physical activities, medication management and home modification. In 2010, the Area Agency on Aging Region One agreed to take the leadership role and helped launch the coalition’s website.

Organizations that played a key role in the formulation of the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition:
In addition to the Governor’s Office on Aging and the Arizona Department of Health Services, original organizations committing staff time and efforts to frame the development of the coalition included the Area Agency on Aging Region One, A.T. Still University, Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging, Mayo Clinic Hospital, Rebuilding Together, and Fire District of Sun City West/Arizona Emergency Medical Systems, Inc.

Original Goals and objectives of the Arizona Fall Prevention Coalition:

  • improving older adult access to falls prevention programming;
  • coordinating evidence-based falls prevention programs and services in Maricopa County;
  • providing technical assistance to falls prevention program providers, including web-based services, mentoring, and a Speaker’s Bureau;
  • creating a continuum of falls prevention opportunities and efforts by identifying and promoting prioritized components of evidence-based falls prevention activities for organizations unable to offer the entire program (to ensure that what is being offered will make a difference); and
  • ensuring a connection between individual falls prevention programs and the broader statewide collaboration between the aging network and the public health community, including the Arizona Department of Health Services, to promote chronic disease self-management, together with reducing the risk of falls among older adults.


  • serve as a coordinating body for falls prevention activities in Maricopa County;
  • promote elements of the Archstone Falls Prevention blueprint and the National Council on Aging’s Falls Free® National Action Plan as a framework for collaboration in Maricopa County;
  • identify and coordinate existing organizations that have Matter of Balance Master Trainers;
  • link together existing Matter of Balance providers and organizations offering evidence-based falls prevention programs;
  • promote evidence-based falls prevention models throughout Maricopa County;
  • provide technical assistance to providers, both current and potential, of evidence-based falls prevention programming;
  • train more Master Trainers in strategic locations throughout Maricopa County;
  • link to a national project on chronic disease self-management currently underway in other parts of Arizona (falls prevention is a significant component of this project); and
  • create a website listing evidence-based falls prevention programs and educational opportunities.

Funding of the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition:
In addition to support from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the coalition has received funding from St. Luke’s Initiative. In-kind support and assistance from the Area Agency on Aging Region One has been instrumental in continuation of the coalition in recent times.

Structure and function of the steering committee:
The steering committee of the Coalition has consistently been the leadership group responsible for the strategic direction of the Arizona Falls Prevention Coalition. The committee continues to have active participation from the majority of the original organizations as well as from staff of Banner Health, ResCare, Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Scan Health, and Scottsdale Healthcare.

2-3 challenges encountered:
Achieving sustainability and expanding to a statewide focus have been two challenges of the Coalition.

2-3 successes to share:
A partnership between the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Area Agency on Aging Region One is helping the Coalition achieve a statewide focus and supporting a relaunch of energies and activities. Other successes include the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust sponsorship which enabled steering committee members to attend the National State Coalitions on Fall Prevention Workgroup meeting and access the technical assistance offered by the Workgroup and its sponsoring agency the National Council on Aging. In addition, A.T. Still University has initiated a program utilizing students trained in A Matter of Balance to help extend the outreach of this evidence-based fall prevention program in the
greater community.

Outcomes being monitored:
As part of the strategic process, the coalition is developing outcomes that will be monitored and reported.

For additional information and an opportunity to join this exciting work in Arizona, contact:
Anna Alonzo

Cathy Shiroda


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