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Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition

History of the Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition:
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH), Violence and Injury Prevention Program was instrumental in forming the Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership (OIPP) in 2007.  One of the priority areas of the OIPP includes fall prevention, with a focus on older Ohioans.  In 2008 a Fall Prevention Action Group was formed among interested OIPP members.  In 2009 the ODH offered a request for proposals for an organization to facilitate the expansion, maintenance and deliberate actions of the Action Group. 

The Delaware General Health District (DGHD) applied for and was awarded these funds beginning 1/1/10.  DGHD subcontracts with the Ohio Public Health Association (OPHA) to share the responsibility for this role of coordination and management.  At a reorganizational meeting of the Action Group in February 2010, the group decided to formally become the Ohio Older Adult Fall Prevention Coalition.  Thirty-six organizational representatives were invited to attend, and 31 were able to be present for that “first” meeting.

Activities since 2010 have included determination of a work group structure, drafting of goals and objectives, plans for observation of Fall Prevention Awareness Days in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and enhanced promotion of Coalition activities through the ODH and OPHA websites and communications networks. 

Organizations that took the lead in developing the Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition:  
Organizations primarily involved in leading the way for the Ohio Coalition include the Ohio Department of Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Program, their grantee the Delaware General Health District, the Ohio Public Health Association, and the Ohio Department of Aging.

Goals and objectives of the Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition:  
Education/Awareness for Older Adults Fall Prevention
To improve the knowledge and behaviors among seniors and caregivers through community education and awareness efforts.

  1. To increase the knowledge of risk factors, prevalence, consequences, and prevention strategies among community members and seniors.
  2. To increase the knowledge of fall risk factors and prevention strategies among caregivers, and health care providers.
  3. To increase knowledge of risk factors and prevention strategies among policy makers.
  4. To identify systems that have public health association meetings.


  •  To create a sustainable system which identifies needs, existing resources and gaps.
    • To perform or review needs assessments.
    • To perform resources assessment by identifying major risk factors and related state resources.
  • To develop strategies to fill the gaps in order to reduce the number of falls and fall-related injuries.
    • To identify gaps and connect them.
    • To establish means for sustainability of the Coalition.

To provide information to organizational, local and state leaders resulting in legislation, regulations, and policies that address falls prevention interventions. 

    • To develop a falls prevention policy agenda.
    • To compile federal, state and local statutes, etc.
    • To develop strategies for approaching legislators and other stakeholders.
    • To educate public sector, key organizations and stakeholders about falls.
    • To promote statewide advocacy initiatives driven by falls state advocacy group.
    • To propose at least one fall prevention related legislative policy to be considered for adoption.

Interventions/Risk Assessment
To create an easy and accessible tool box for health care providers, older adults and caregivers to utilize in order to reduce the risk of falls.

    • To develop materials for health care providers.
    • To develop materials for clients/caregivers.
    • To develop materials for the general public.

Monitoring Trends for Fall-Related Data

  •  To capture quality falls-related data in order to monitor trends.
    • To partner to assess the quality of existing data sources and opportunities for linkages.
    • To identify gaps in data/information and work to fill them.
    • To establish baselines.
    • To partner to improve the quality of external cause of injury coding (e-coding) in hospital and discharge data.
    • To increase the quality and availability of statewide and community-specific data for planning, surveillance, and evaluation.
    • To review data and report trends every three years.
  • To develop mechanisms to make the data more accessible and user friendly.

Outcomes being monitored:
This area is still under development/refinement.  Those outcomes currently identified include:

  • Identification of champions (Policy 1.a)
  • Key legislation identified (Policy 1.b)
  • Number/names of stakeholders and legislators contacted (Policy 1.c)
  • Number of meetings and delivered messages (Policy 1.d)
  • Number of local communities that adopted some fall prevention initiatives (Policy 1.e)
  • Number of fall prevention related legislation proposed (Policy 1.f)

Funding the Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition
The Coalition is coordinated by the ODH, DGHD and OPHA with funds provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Organizations that are playing a key role in the Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition:
The Delaware General Health District, Ohio Department of Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Program, and Ohio Public Health Association played a key role in organizing  the statewide Coalition.

Other agencies represented in the Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition:

Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio
Amity Home Care
Area Agency on Aging, Regions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10
Arthritis Foundation, Central Ohio Chapter
Athens Village
Atrium Medical Center, Trauma Services
Aultman Hospital, Canton
Avita Health System
Bertec Corporation
Brain Injury Association of Ohio
Central Ohio Diabetes Association
Central Ohio Parkinson Society
City of Upper Arlington Fire Division and Office of EMS and Training
Clermont County Health District
Community Partnerships of Columbus
Council for Older Adults of Delaware County
Cuyahoga County Board of Health
Delaware General Health District
Fall Proof Balance and Mobility
Franklin County Office on Aging
Geauga County Department on Aging
Grant Medical Center, Trauma Program
Hamilton City Health Department
Hamilton County Public Health, Task Force
HandyPro of Northeast Ohio
Injury Prevention/Performance Improvement, Riverside Methodist Hospital
Interim Health Care
John J Gerlach Center, Department of Medical Education, Ohio Health
LifeCare Alliance
Mansfield, Ontario, Richland County Health Department
Med Central, Shelby Hospital
Mental Health America of Licking County
Mercy St.  Vincent’s Medical Center, Toledo
Miami University, Scripps Gerontology Center
Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton
Mt. Carmel Health System, Columbus
National Parkinsons Foundation
Ohio Academy of Family Physicians
Ohio Assisted Living Association
Ohio Association of Long Term Care Ombudsmen

Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice
Ohio Department of Aging
Ohio Department of Health
Ohio Department of Public Safety
OhioHealth Neighborhood Care and Community Partnerships
Ohio Northern University, College of Pharmacy
Ohio Occupational Therapy Association
Ohio Pharmacists Association
Ohio Public Health Association
Ohio State University, College of Medicine
Ohio State University, College of Public Health
Ohio State University Medical Center, Trauma Program
Ohio State University Agriculture Safety/Ohio AgrAbility
Otterbein University
Oxford Senior Organization
Park Vista Retirement Community
Partners in Prime
Perry Township Fire and Rescue
Pike County Health Department
Prevent Blindness Ohio
Riverside Methodist Hospital, Columbus
Sheaklee UniComp
St. Rita’s Medical Center, Lima
Synergy Home Health
The Balance and Mobility Clinic of Columbus
The Rehabilitation and Health Center, Akron
University Hospitals of Cleveland
University Hospitals, Geauga Medical Center
University of Cincinnati, Medical Center
University of Dayton, Dept of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University of Toledo Medical Center
Upper Arlington, Fire Division
VRI Medical Alert Systems
Waugh Consulting
Wood County Committee on Aging
YMCA of Liberty Township and Powell
Youngstown State University

Leadership structure and function of the Ohio Older Adults Fall Prevention Coalition:
Under the Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership umbrella, the Coalition is facilitated by Susan Sutherland of the Delaware General Health District and Lois Hall of the Ohio Public Health Association.

Ad hoc work groups continue to develop and refine the goals, objectives, proposed activities and outcome measures.The function of the Coalition is to 1)  identify priorities statewide which can lead communities to address the particular areas that are of the greatest need for their populations, 2)  determine broad focus areas, goals, objective and activities to guide communities and the state in addressing these issues, and 3) to monitor progress in each of the five priority areas.

Coalition committees:
The Coalition currently includes five ad hoc committees (work groups) with responsibility for the five priority areas of education/awareness, infrastructure, policy, intervention/risk assessment and monitoring progress.

Regional/county/local coalitions or workgroups you support/provide technical assistance:
Through the same funding source that supports the statewide Coalition, the Ohio Department of Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Program provides funding for three local programs and coalitions (Delaware, Hamilton and Clermont Counties).  These three counties are represented on the State Coalition.

The Coalition also aware of additional falls prevention activities at the local level.  For example, the Central Ohio Trauma System has developed a fall prevention resource guide for service providers in central Ohio.  Representatives from this group are part of the State Coalition; however the Coalition does not directly support this group.

2-3 challenges encountered:

  • Sufficient designated funding for fall prevention activities at the local level.
  • Coordinating many busy schedules and having sufficient designated staff time to be intentional about the work of this group.
  • Ability to compete for policy-maker attention in light of other current economic and health-related needs.

2-3 successes to share:

  • Have developed a state plan and have accomplished approximately 65% of the goals and objectives within it since restarting the Coalition.
  • Continuing to promote Fall Prevention Awareness Day with a toolkit including an annual Governor’s Proclamation, developed by the ODH and ODA and distributed across the state by Coalition members.
  • Coordinated the training of 38 new Tai Chi:  Moving for Better Balance instructors statewide.  This is the first such training in Ohio for this CDC-endorsed, evidence-based program.  In exchange for the training, instructors are required to offer a minimum of two courses before July 31, 2013. 
  • The Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition conducted four regional falls prevention Leadership Summits to raise awareness of evidence-based falls prevention strategies and to promote the state falls prevention strategic plan.

For additional information on how to join this exciting effort in Ohio contact:

Brenda Rock
Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coordinator
Union County Health Department
Pam Rudolph
Injury Prevention Program Consultant
Ohio Department of Health
Violence and Injury Prevention Program


Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition website 

Ohio Older Adult Falls Prevention Coalition State Plan:


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