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Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium

History of the Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium:
The Hawaii Fall Prevention Consortium was founded in 2003 with support and leadership from the Injury Prevention and Control Program (IPCP) of the Hawaii Department of Health.  From the outset, the focus was to involve as many agencies, professional associations, non-profits, HMO’s hospitals, care-facilities and senior organizations as possible.  Hawaii is not unique in that inter-agency networking is vital to growth and success.

Provider education and infrastructure building are key elements of the consortium’s initiative. Therefore, a subcommittee of the Falls Consortium was created -- the Conference Planning Committee—and given the responsibility of planning and coordinating 3 statewide conferences on fall prevention, subsequently held in 2003, 2005, and 2007.  National keynotes have always been integral; in 2007 308 professionals attended presentations by Katherine Berg, PhD, Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Professor from the University of Toronto and creator of the Berg Scale; as well as Debra Rose, PhD, Professor of Kinesiology at Cal State Fullerton, and Co- Director of the Center for Successful Aging and author of FALLPROOF.  

Organizations that took the lead in developing the the Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium:
Three key organizations have developed this collaborative initiative including the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) Injury Prevention and Control Program (IPCP), the Neurotrauma Support Services, and the Honolulu County Office on Aging and Elderly Affairs

Goals and objectives of the Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium:
The goals of the consortium are to provide organizations, professionals, caregivers, advocates and interested individuals the opportunity to network, share information and collaborate on interventions and projects. The supporting objectives include the design and implementation of educational events and evidence-based interventions that reduce the incidence and severity of fall injuries among older adults in Hawaii. 
           
Funding for the Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium:  
Hawaii is using in-kind support and small grants to fund its efforts including primary staff support from the DOH Injury Prevention and Control Program as well as the Neurotrauma Supports. Grants for the educational conferences have come from Neurotrauma Supports and block grant initiatives.

Organizations that are playing a key role in the Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium:  
In addition to the DOH Injury Prevention and Control Program, some professional associations and health care agencies are playing key roles, including:  the Hawaii Physical Therapy Association; the Hawaii Pharmacist Association; and Queen’s Medical Center.

Structure and function of the steering committee:
There is no steering committee.  The Consortium meets quarterly while the Conference Planning Committee meets more often as needed to plan to the educational activities. 

2-3 challenges encountered: 
First and foremost, the lack of dedicated funding sources has limited the growth of the fall prevention effort.  In spite of continued discussions, fact sheets, fiscal impact studies, lobbying and successful conferences, we have been unable to obtain a funded state level position, committee or task force to address this issue which makes it hard to convince others of the importance of dedicating resources towards the problem.
Unfortunately, like many states, the next fiscal year appears even worse as the latest predictions from State revenue office indicate a shortfall due to loss of airlines and increased gas prices which have drastically affected tourism as the number one source of state income.

2-3 successes to share:

  • Three successful statewide educational conferences have been conducted enhancing provider education and awareness;
  • A statewide Awareness Campaign has been launched
  • Bringing awareness and educational resources to the provider population has expanded the vibrant member base.

Outcomes being monitored:

  • State senior population’s awareness of fall risk with aging with some early results showing an increased awareness of both risk and some solutions
  • Increase capacity in home care and hospital based fall prevention programs
  • Reduction in home care and hospital admissions for falls after interventions
  • Conference participant feedback on the breadth and quality of presentations – early results show 89% of conference participants were very satisfied with presenters and topics.

For more information about the Hawaii State Fall Prevention Consortium and to join this exciting work in Hawaii, contact:

Stan Michaels
Injury Prevention and Control Program                         
Hawaii Department of Health
Leahi Hospital/Trotter Lower Level
Honolulu, HI  96816
(808) 733-9202
stanley.j.michaels@doh.hawaii.gov

Website: http://hawaii.gov/health/healthy-lifestyles/injury-prevention/prevprojects/fallprev. The Injury Prevention and Control Program on the Department of Health website features a factsheet, Preventing Falls – Tips for Seniors, and resource guide, Fall Prevention Resource Guide.

Hawaii Fall Prevention State Plan: http://www.hawaiiadrc.org/Portals/_AgencySite/2013Falls.pdf

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