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Iowa Falls Prevention Coalition

History of your state’s Fall Prevention Coalition:
The Iowa Fall Prevention Coalition was initiated during an Iowans Fit for Life (CDC Project) older adult work group meeting in 2010. Iowa is one of the few states that has this type of workgroup as part of the CDC-funded obesity prevention project, comprised of public health, business, education, community, and aging network partners.

The goals of this group include:

  • Increase healthy eating and physical activity opportunities by fostering supportive policies and environments.
  • Increase the percentage of Iowans at a healthy weight.
  • Increase the percentage of Iowans who participate in recommended amounts of physical activity.

Several members of the older adult work group were involved in providing the Matter of Balance program. Interventions to prevent falls were related to the three goals of the group. After learning about the national Falls Prevention Awareness Day, the group began working on developing the coalition.

The Iowa Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Bureau became involved and helped with obtaining a Governor’s Proclamation for the September 23, 2010 Falls Prevention Awareness Day and press releases. The planning committee met regularly and transformed into the Iowa Falls Prevention Coalition.

The first activity was to survey stakeholders to identify what was being done related to fall prevention in the state and what their needs were. Based on the responses of the survey a website was developed to provide resources for both the public and professionals. The coalition has begun to pull stakeholders together and has developed goals and objectives.

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

  • Iowa Department on Aging
  • Iowa Department of Public Health
  • Polk County Health Department
  • Mercy Medical Center
  • Iowa Health Care Collaborative
  • Iowa Health System-Des Moines

Goals and objectives of the Fall Prevention Coalition:
Goal 1. Educate medical and community partners on falls data, prevention strategies, and implementation of programs.

  • Objective 1.1 Increase public and healthcare professional awareness of fall facts (trends, hospitalizations, deaths, costs) and evidence-based strategies to prevent falls.
  • Objective 1.2 Educate Iowa employers on importance of preventing falls in 55+yr old workforce.
  • Objective 1.3 Increase availablity of evidence-based fall prevention programs and materials, i.e. Matter of Balance, Tai Chi, STEADI
  • Objective 1.4 Provide a statewide Fall Prevention Forum
  • Objective 1.5 Promote the use of evidence-based fall prevention strategies to organizations associated with older adults (55+).
  • Objective 1.6 Educate Legislators about fall issues
  • Objective 1.7 Provide ongoing opportunities to bring partners together to discuss current fall prevention programs.

Goal 2: Support healthcare systems and community providers in accessing tools to evaluate falls prevention efforts

Goal 3: Implement fall prevention plan and expand partnerships to promote falls prevention.

  • Objective 3.1 Establish structure of Falls Prevention Coalition
  • Objective 3.2 Develop a three-year plan to promote the Falls Prevention Coalition to engage key stakeholders for expanding partnerships.
  • Objective 3.3 Encourage involvement of identified stakeholders
  • Objective 3.4 Secure resources to support the implementation of the coalition plan.

Outcomes being monitored:
The goals, objectives and action steps are being monitored.

All funding sources for the Fall Prevention Coalition (please be specific):
Current activities are being accomplished by in-kind time from coalition member organizations.The Iowa Brain Injury Advisory Committee sponsored the 2012 Fall Prevention Summit.  No funding sources have been acquired.

Organizations that are playing a key role in the Fall Prevention Coalition:

  • Iowa Department on Aging
  • Iowa Department of Public Health- Injury Prevention Program
  • Polk County Health Department
  • Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging
  • Aging Resources of Central Iowa
  • Iowa Health Care Collaborative
  • Iowa Health SystemMercy Medical Center Hospital

Leadership structure and function of the coalition:
Under development

Coalition committees:
Webinar Committee; Publicity Committee

Regional/county/local coalitions or workgroups you support/provide technical assistance:
Under development

2-3 challenges encountered:

  • Lack of funding
  • Building coalition membership
  • Develop momentum to accomplish goals and objectives.

2-3 successes to share:

  • Conducted a Fall Prevention Summit in June 2012
  • Governor’s Proclamation for 2010-2012 Falls Awareness Day in Iowa
  • Developed a falls prevention website with resources for professionals and public.
  • Developed fall prevention distribution list
  • Developed goals and objectives for coalition
  • Growing awareness and interest in preventing falls across the state.

Primary contact(s):


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