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Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition

History of the Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition:
The Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition is in its developmental stages.  Through a CDC CORE Injury Grant funding Connecticut, we established an Injury Community Planning Group (ICPG).  After reviewing data, the ICPG identified falls as one of its injury priorities.  An unintentional l injury workgroup was established; members include the CT Collaboration for Fall Prevention (CCFP)/Yale School of Medicine, CT Dept of Social Services (DSS, the state aging services agency), Brain Injury Association of CT, Western CT Area Agency on Aging, CT Poison Control Center, CT Department of Consumer Protection, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, Safe Kids Connecticut, and the Dept of Public Health (DPH). The workgroup (one of several ICPG workgroups) provided input to the fall section of the state injury plan and continues to meet to work on implementation.

Efforts at the state are focused on working to transition to a state-wide fall coalition, engage other key partners, and identify how we can support and disseminate the CT Collaboration for Fall Prevention’s extensive work.   

Organizations that took the lead in developing the Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition: 
The Coalition is still in development but the key organizing organizations include:
CT Department of Public Health (DPH), Injury Prevention Program; the CT Department of Social Services (DSS), Aging Services Division; and the CT Injury Community Planning Group (ICPG)
 
Goals and objectives of the Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition: 
Goals and objectives have not yet been developed for the coalition. However ,objectives developed for the CT State Injury Prevention and Control Plan are:

  • Improve fall injury surveillance.
  • Increase public awareness that falls are preventable.
  • Increase public awareness of proven prevention strategies.
  • Build the statewide capacity of health care providers, aging service providers to conduct fall risk assessment, management, referral and prevention through professional development and training. 
  • Increase statewide availability accessibility of fall prevention services for older adults.
  • Increase the availability of data to seek fall prevention funding.

Funding the Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition:

  • CT Injury Community Planning Group (ICPG) and DPH injury surveillance is funded through the CDC CORE Injury Grant.    
  • The DSS, DPH and CCFP are collaborating on an AoA Evidence-based Grant to implement the CCFP model in two regions of the state.
  • The DPH provides federal Preventive Health & Health Services (PHHS) Block Grant funding to local health departments for fall prevention activities

Organizations playing a key role in the Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition:
As noted in the history, the CT Collaboration for Fall Prevention (CCFP)/Yale School of Medicine, the CT Dept of Social Services (DSS, the state aging services agency), Brain Injury Association of CT, Area Agency on Aging, the CT Poison Control Center, Consumer Protection, and the Dept of Public Health (DPH) are all playing a key role in the development of the state coalition. The members CT Injury Community Planning Group are also instrumental in the development of the coalition. As the coalition is developing, other organizations key to the success of the coalition will be recruited. 

Structure and function of the steering committee: 
There is no steering committee at this time.  The Injury Community Planning Group (ICPG) meets quarterly, with part of the agenda devoted to workgroups meetings, one of which is fall prevention.  The fall prevention partners remain in communication between ICPG meetings. 

Coalition Committees: - None at this time
Regional/local coalitions – None at this time 

2-3 challenges encountered:
As with most coalition building efforts, securing sufficient resources has been a challenge.  Recent state budget shortfalls have made it difficult for many state agencies to move forward with new initiatives even when federal funding is involved.  Securing commitment on the part of agency administrations amid competing state priorities is challenging. Finally, it has been a struggle to bring awareness of falls as a major issue in the midst of other better known injuries and diseases.      

2-3 successes to share:

  • Collaboration between DSS, DPH and Yale CCFP on successful application for US Administration on Aging evidence-based program grant provided reinforcement and funding for this valuable collaborative activity   
  • Designation of falls as a priority in the Injury Community Planning Group’s comprehensive state injury plan 

Outcomes being monitored:
Under the CDC CORE Injury Grant, the DPH Injury surveillance system is monitoring fall related deaths, hospitalizations and ED visits. Addition of EMS run data is planned.   

For additional information about the Connecticut Falls Prevention Coalition and how you can be involved in this exciting work, contact:

Renee Coleman-Mitchell
Section Chief
Community Health and Prevention
CT Dept. of Public Health
Renee.coleman-mitchell@ct.gov

Website: http://www.fallprevention.org/
The information and materials presented on the site were developed by researchers at Yale University, collaborating with clinicians in the greater Hartford, Connecticut area to develop methods for incorporating fall risk assessment and treatment into the care of older adults.

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