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New Mexico Adult Falls Prevention Coalition

History of the New Mexico Adult Falls Prevention Coalition:
The driving force behind the New Mexico Adult Falls Prevention Coalition (NMAFPC) was the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) Falls Free® Initiative and subsequent National Action Plan. In 2006 the New Mexico Department of Health/Office of Injury Prevention (NMDOH/OIP) established its Coalition to complement NCOA’s overarching strategies and goals. The Coalition patterned its agenda and activities on the National Action Plan’s guidelines and strategies. For example in 2008, the NMAFPC observed its first Falls Prevention Awareness Day to promote and increase public awareness about how to prevent and reduce falls among older adults. In 2012, MMDOH/OIP directed a strategic plan for its Coalition be developed to accommodate three significant factors: the rapidly rising numbers of older adults, the increasing number of fall injuries, and the rising costs of treating them. The NMAFPC is composed of professionals who volunteer their services and expertise to represent the public and private sectors. This coalition attempts to implement the strategy of the Falls Free® Initiative and National Action Plan. The group has sponsored trainings and speakers on relevant falls prevention topics, and for the past three years, a falls screening booth at the New Mexico State Fair. The group has also supported evidenced based fall prevention programs and provided fall prevention informational tools to various stakeholders.

Organizations that took the lead in developing the New Mexico Adult Fall Prevention Coalition:
Partners from the Department of Health, Office of Injury Prevention, AARP, Aging and Long Term Services Department, Indian Area Agency on Aging, Indian Health Services, the UNM
Geriatric Education Center, and St. Vincent’s Hospital initially formed the New Mexico Adult Falls Prevention Coalition.

Additional partners have included the New Mexico Healthy Aging Collaborative, multiple homecare agencies including Gentiva and Presbyterian Home Healthcare, NMAPTA (NM chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association), NMOTA (NM Occupational Therapy Association), Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Lovelace Hospital, HealthInsight New Mexico, Jewish Family Services, La Vida LLena retirement community, OASIS, Los Alamos Retired & Senor Organization, Webster University, Central New Mexico Community College, Pueblo of San Felipe, Jemez Pueblo, Isleta Pueblo, City of Santa Fe, City of Albuquerque, New Mexico Senior Olympics, Red Cross, and ARCA.

Goals and objectives of New Mexico Adult Fall Prevention Coalition:
Goal 1 - Increase multi-factorial awareness of falls in our communities

  • Objective A. Identify two annual opportunities to provide fall prevention awareness to NM older adults, such as Senior Day at the NM State Fair, State Conference on Aging, New Mexico Senior Olympics (NMSO) or others.
  • Objective B. Identify an annual opportunity to provide fall prevention awareness to professionals, such as through the Healthy Aging Collaborative (HAC) or the NMAFPC.
  • Objective C. Develop annual falls awareness informational tools such as Public Service Announcements, articles, etc.
  • Objective D. Identify a web host site for the NMAFPC website by the end of 2013.
  • Objective E. Distribute coalition materials annually for National Falls Awareness Day to collaborating organizations.

Goal 2 – Increase older adult access to fall prevention information and evidence-based interventions across all environments in New Mexico

  • Objective A. Annually identify and promote evidence based falls prevention programs throughout the state.
  • Objective B. Provide falls prevention Evidence Based Programs (EBP) education on an annual basis for coalition members and stakeholders.
  • Objective C. Educate NM older adults in Falls Prevention EBP at annual events such as Senior Day at the NM State Fair, State Conference on Aging, New Mexico Senior Olympics (NMSO) or others.

Goal 3 - Develop capacity and sustainability through partnerships and collaboration

  • Objective A. Establish a NMAFPC executive committee by the end of 2013.
  • Objective B. Increase NMAFPC professional partnerships by 10% by the end of 2013.
  • Objective C. Establish an NMAFPC annual meetings/events schedule.

  • Objective D. Identify five (5) resources for sponsorship of coalition activities, such as funding, facilities, copying, administrative, webmaster, consumables and fees.        

Funding sources for the New Mexico Adult Fall Prevention Coalition:
At this time support is provided by the member organizations through select resources and in-kind donations.

Organizations that are playing a key role in the New Mexico Adult Fall Prevention Coalition:
Aging and Long Term Services Department, New Mexico Department of Health, and the New Mexico Healthy Aging Collaborative. 
                                                     
Structure and function of the steering committee:
A new Strategic Plan is in place, with an Executive Committee meeting monthly. The full coalition meets quarterly on a set schedule. We have a new contact person at the Department of Health, transitioning from our key contact of many years.

2-3 challenges encountered:
A key challenge is procuring dedicated funding to support the coalition and its statewide efforts. In the absence of funding another challenge is relying on donated member time to coordinate coalition activities while trying to increase the membership/representation to address each of the goal areas. Another related challenge is keeping up the momentum within the coalition.
           
2-3 successes of your coalition:

  • The New Mexico legislature has just passed a Memorial to create a state task force on Older Adult Fall Prevention which was sponsored by the Coalition. This legislation codifies the Task Force and will require a report to the Legislature next year.
  • The group has sponsored trainings and speakers on relevant falls prevention topics, and for the past four years, a falls screening booth at the NM State Fair. The group has also supported evidenced based fall prevention programs and provided fall prevention informational tools to various stakeholders.

For additional information and an opportunity to join this exciting work in New Mexico, check out the coalition's website at www.nmstopfalls.org and contact:

Courtney Cameron at Courtney.Cameron@state.nm.us

Executive Committee (including Courtney Cameron):

NM Injury Prevention Strategic Plan: http://www.health.state.nm.us/pdf/NMInjuryPreventionStrategicPlan20082012.pdf

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Sept. 23 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day!

Help spread the word about how older adults can prevent falls.

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