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Montana Fall Prevention Coalition

History of the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition:
The Montana Fall Prevention Workgroup held its first meeting on October 22, 2009. The first meeting was an opportunity for the team members to meet and get to know each other, review the proposed goals and objectives for the group, and plan for the next meeting. The group will meet three times a year and will be an advisory to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Service (DPHHS) Injury Prevention / Fall Prevention program.

Organizations that took the lead in developing the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition:  
The Montana DPHHS took the lead in developing the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition.

Goals and objectives of the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition:  
Goal: Reduce the prevalence of falls and the morbidity and mortality associated with falls among Montanans. Objectives: 1. Build a strong network of stakeholders from a broad constituency interested in fall prevention; 2. Identify available resources and opportunities to collaborate on fall prevention efforts; 3. Provide input and recommendations to the DPHHS regarding the development of a fall prevention program for the state of Montana; 4. Assist with evaluation development and analysis for fall prevention efforts; 5. Support educational and training efforts to increase the public’s awareness of fall prevention.

Outcomes being monitored:
Meeting attendance, meeting evaluations, loop closure on issues addressed, Governor’s Proclamation for Falls Prevention Awareness Day 2010.
     
All funding sources for the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition:
The DPHHS secured state funding for developing an Injury Prevention Program that is housed in the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Education Bureau. Fall prevention is a primary focus for injury prevention intervention, and developing a Fall Workgroup to provide guidance to DPHHS regarding the development and implementation of a state fall prevention program has been prioritized. Funding will be allocated from the Injury Prevention budget to reimburse for travel costs, meeting location and meals.

Organizations that are playing a key role in the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition:
DPHHS Senior & Long Term Care, Medicaid Waiver Program, Disability and Aging Services, Area Agencies on Aging, representatives from assisted living centers, senior centers, skilled nursing homes, health care providers, physical & occupational therapists, social workers, local health departments, injury prevention specialists, Indian Health Services

Leadership structure and function of the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition:
The DPHHS has taken the leadership role in organizing the meeting logistics (date, time, location) for the first year. Agenda items are discussed for the next meeting before adjournment at the current meeting, as well as identifying a presenter to discuss in detail a fall prevention program that is taking place at the local level. The function of the MT Fall Prevention Workgroup is to be an advisory to DPHHS on the development and implementation of fall prevention projects. The Workgroup will be working to implement national initiatives for fall prevention and awareness, such as garnering support for a State Fall Day proclamation.

Coalition committees:
At this point, there are no committees/subcommittees of the MT Fall Prevention Workgroup.

Regional/county/local coalitions or workgroups you support/provide technical assistance: Until we have a better feel for the regional/county/local coalitions that currently exist, we will be focusing on developing the State Workgroup.

2-3 challenges encountered:
Because of Montana’s geographical size, it is difficult, particularly in the winter, for members to travel long distances to attend meetings. WebEx (webinar) meetings will be available for all meetings, but is somewhat challenging to manage the Web-based meeting and keep members engaged in the discussion when audio and visual are not optimal. We are working to ensure better audio reception by providing a large computer microphone in the room where the meeting is held. A robotic camera has also been purchased to allow the web-users to see the meeting participants.

2-3 successes to share:
The first meeting had a good turnout of members, high energy and enthusiasm for addressing fall prevention in Montana.

For additional information on the Montana Fall Prevention Coalition and an opportunity to join this exciting work, contact:

Mindy Renfro, PT, PhD, GCS, CPH
Clinical Coordinator, Montana Adaptive Equipment Program
Physical Therapist, Montana Assistive Technology Program
UM Rural Institute
Office: (406) 243-2841
Email: mindy.renfro@mso.umt.edu

Website: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/ems/prevention/fallprevention.shtml

Montana Injury Prevention Program State Plan: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/ems/prevention/documents/StatePreventionPlan.pdf

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