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Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition

History of the Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition: The Georgia Injury Prevention Program has monitored older adult falls and fall injuries since 1998, when it formed the Georgia Injury Prevention Advisory Council (GIPAC) with high-level representation from diverse government and non-governmental agencies and organizations. As a recipient of the CDC’s Public Health Injury Surveillance Program (PHISP) funding since 1999, the IPP has developed infrastructure and built core capacity to prevent injuries, including falls among older adults. Fall injuries were included in the GIPAC’s 2001 State Injury Prevention Plan, and a revised strategic plan for 2004-09 included objectives to integrate information on falls into all state programs targeting older adults. In 2001, the IPP collaborated with the Georgia Department of Aging Services (DAS) within the Department of Human Services (DHS) to pilot test CDC’s “Remembering When” fire/fall prevention program.

The Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition was developed as a result of an initiative by the Department of Human Resources (DHR) Division of Aging Services and DHR Division of Public Health in the September 2007 to reduce falls and fall related injuries in the population served by the Medicaid waiver Community Care Services Program (CCSP). The focus was to educate CCSP care coordinators to assess risk and develop appropriate interventions, to develop an incident reporting system that identified trends, and to assess the inventory of programs and/or services being delivered to older adults to improve balance and prevent falls.
However, the DHS, and Lead agencies would like to further develop capacity to comprehensively address fall prevention among older adult and other high risk populations. The IPP, DAS and other partners formally convened the Georgia Falls Prevention Coalition (GFPC) in late 2008. The coalition, which has met regularly since February 2009, includes diverse state- and local-level partners, and has focused efforts thus far on risk factors such as medication-related risk, medical conditions, environmental hazards and balance.

Organizations that took the lead in developing the Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition:  

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Aging Services and the Department of Community Health (DCH) (now Department of Public Health – DPH) Injury Prevention Program took the lead in convening the Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition in the Fall of 2009. The purpose was to create a multi-agency coalition that served populations at risk for falls and fall-related injuries.

Goals and objectives of the Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition:   The Mission Statement of the Coalition is to promote strategies to prevent falls and fall-related injuries.


  1. Increase awareness of risk factors contributing to falls
  2. Increase awareness of promising prevention strategies
  3. Increase the capacity of providers to conduct Fall Prevention activities
  4. Increase resources devoted to Fall Prevention at the community and state levels
  5. Disseminate information from National Falls Coalition and other nationally recognized organizations

Outcomes being monitored:

  1. Develop resources to support data collection, analysis, and dissemination of primary data sources and linkage and recognition of fall-related outcomes
  2. Fall-related mortality by age group/facility
  3. Fall-related hospitalization by age group/residential environment
  4. Fall-related ED visits by age group
  5. Longitudinal outcomes of fall-related injuries
  6. Number and type of fall prevention programs/activities conducted throughout the state (initially may limit monitoring to AAA activity and/or other structured networks)
  7. Number of people participating in Fall Prevention activities

Funding of the Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition: The Georgia Falls Coalition is funded through The Injury Prevention budget. Both the Division of Aging Services and the IPP staff the coalition and provide in-kind resources.

Organizations that play a key role in the Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition:  In addition to the main agencies, partners in the coalition include representatives from Kaiser Permanente, DeKalb Medical Center, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Aging and Disabilities Resource Connection (ADRC), the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust, and the Georgia Commission for Women.

Leadership structure and function of the Georgia Fall Prevention Coalition: The coalition is co-chaired by the Division of Aging Services (DHS) and the Injury Prevention Program (DCH). Coalition development and planning are actively supported by the IPP Program Director Lisa Dawson (DCH), and Special Projects Manager Allan Goldman (DAS).  We expect the leadership to grow as the Coalition expands its focus and engages new members. Bonya Matthews staffs coalition meetings, manages Coalition documentation and coordinates administrative functions.

Coalition committees: Past and current committee work includes grant applications and preparations for Fall Prevention Awareness Day.

Regional/county/local coalitions or workgroups you support/provide technical assistance: Currently, the Division of Aging Services supports regional Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). These offices work with coordinated care service providers. Kaiser Permanente of Georgia actively participates in coalition activities by adopting the Stepping On Program and have been supportive of the applications and work. Local health departments such as the DeKalb County Board of Health are also seeking input and support.

2-3 challenges encountered:

  1. Identifying appropriate, timely and available data elements to measure incidence and severity of falls in Georgia.
  2. Linking falls to possible other adverse health outcomes
  3. Time constraints and competing funding initiatives
  4. Lack of coordination and communication among Fall Prevention stakeholders
  5. Limited resources devoted to Fall Prevention
  6. Budget cuts in wellness activities like physical fitness exercise program
  7. Public unaware of the importance/impact of falls

2-3 successes to share:

  1. Partnering with DCH’s Public Health Division of Chronic Disease and other agencies to  recognize National Fall Prevention Awareness Day and expand the scope of Fall Prevention to high-risk populations in addition to Older Adults
  2. Formalizing Coalition complete with a mission statement, goals, and vision.  

Primary contacts: For more information on the Georgia Falls Prevention Coalition contact:

Elizabeth Head
Program Coordinator
Injury Prevention Program
Georgia Department of Public Health
2 Peachtree street, NW 10-403
Phone: 404-657-2894

Gwenyth Johnson MS. RDN. LD.
Section Manager,Livable Communities
Division of Aging Services
2 Peachtree St, NE  Ste 33-461
Phone  (desk) 404-657-5322
Fax     404-657-5285


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