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Fall Prevention for Older Adults Workgroup: New York

History of the Fall Prevention for Older Adults Workgroup:
Staff from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the University at Albany, State University of New York, School of Public Health (SUNYA SPH) met several times in the spring of 2007 to discuss injury prevention in New York.  These meetings led to the first fall prevention workgroup meeting in May, 2007; follow-up meetings were delayed for a year due to funding issues. The statewide workgroup has been growing with each meeting; there are now 50 partners from across the state representing both governmental and private organizations.  In July four subcommittees were developed and began their work.  These subcommittees are public awareness and education, data and research, community-based programs, and programs in healthcare settings.  Evidence-based strategies and promising prevention strategies are guiding the efforts of these subcommittees.

Organizations that took the lead in developing the Fall Prevention for Older Adults Workgroup:
The initial organizing partners included the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the University at Albany, State University of New York, School of Public Health (SUNYA SPH)

Goals and objectives of the Fall Prevention for Older Adults Workgroup:
Three objectives have been agreed upon by the growing membership, including:

  • Keep New York State older adults free from falls and fall injuries.
  • Create an integrated infrastructure in New York State around the issue of fall prevention in older adults. 
  • Promote independent and collaborative work across the four subcommittees to develop a report that will be used to educate policy makers and the public about the issues surrounding falls in older adults.

Funding sources for the Fall Prevention for Older Adults Workgroup:
Primary funding is provided by the CDC’s Integrated CORE Injury Prevention and Control Program with staffing support and in-kind resources provided by New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the University at Albany, State University of New York, School of Public Health (SUNYA SPH).

Organizations that are playing a key role in the Fall Prevention for Older Adults Workgroup:
Although the workgroup is growing, the lead organizations include New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Injury Prevention & Office of Long Term Care; the  UAlbany, School of Public Health; and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Structure and function of the steering committee:
The lead organizations meet on a monthly basis.

2-3 challenges encountered:
Challenges in this early stage of development include broadening the representation to across the state, and facilitating consensus and collaboration among a diverse group of members to appreciate all the problems surrounding this multi-faceted issue. Of course, the lack of dedicated funding remains a central challenge.        

2-3 successes to share:

  • Creating a diverse and passionate workgroup around the issue of fall prevention for older adults.
  • The development of the four subcommittees including public awareness and education, data and research, community-based programs, and programs in healthcare settings. 
  • The creation of two radio Public Service Announcements that will air in the coming months.

Outcomes being monitored:

  • Ongoing data surveillance including deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits.
  • Formative – ongoing assessment of needs.
  • Process – workgroup functioning; committee goals, objectives, and activities.
  • Impact – to be determined.

The New York Department of Health hosts information on older adult falls at http://www.health.state.ny.us/prevention/injury_prevention/falls_in_older_adults_nys.htm

For additional information on the Fall Prevention Older Adult Workgroup and an opportunity to join this exciting work in New York, contact:


Michael J. Bauer
Research Scientist, Bureau of Injury Prev
NYS DOH, Riverview Center
150 Broadway, 3rd Floor
West Albany, NY 12204-0677
Phone: (518) 473-1143
mjb13@health.state.ny.us
Mary P. Gallant, PhD, MPH
Assoc Prof and Chair, Social Behavior
& Community Health, Dept. of Health
Policy, Management & Behavior
School of Public Health, Univ at Albany One University Place
Rensselaer, NY 12144-3455
Phone: (518) 402-0333    
mgallant@albany.edu 

 

New York Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Strategic Plan:
http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/chronic/plans_reports/2010-2013_strategic_plan.htm

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