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Utah Falls Prevention Coalition

History of the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition:
The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) convened the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition in December of 2010 with the purpose of developing a strategic, statewide response to Utah’s growing rate of falls among older adults in the state. Until this time, there had been no single, statewide response to address this public health problem in Utah. Many organizations were implementing falls prevention activities but resources and activities were scattered.

Organizations that took the lead in developing the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition:
The members who have participated in the meetings of the Coalition include: Utah Department of Health (Violence and Injury Prevention; Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Obesity; Arthritis programs), Davis County Health Department, Salt Lake Valley Health Department, Utah County Health Department, Five-County Area Agency on Aging, Utah Division of Aging and Adult Services, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake County Aging Services, Summit County Health Department, Tooele Senior Center, University of Utah (College of Nursing; Faint and Falls Clinic; Division of Geriatrics; Department of Physical Therapy; and the Pharmacotherapy Department), Magna Senior Center, and the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.

Goals and objectives of the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition: 
The Coalition has three main purposes:

  • Bring together partners who have an interest in falls prevention among older adults;
  • Develop goals and strategies on falls prevention among older adults to include in the Utah Violence and Injury Prevention Plan; and
  • Ready the state for future funding opportunities on falls prevention.

Outcomes being monitored:
The measures of success for the Coalition are under development. Through the state health department, the Coalition can monitor older adult falls deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits data. Several of the Coalition members have begun implementation of evidence-based falls prevention programs such as the Stepping On and Matter of Balance programs. These programs will be evaluated according to the program guidelines, for both process and outcome measures.

All funding sources for the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition:
The Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) receives basic staff funding from the CDC CORE Injury grant. The VIPP provided funding from the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) to the Utah County Health Department to implement the Stepping On program in their health district; however, PHHSBG funding was eliminated in 2011. All members of Coalition provide in-kind support from their agencies and organizations.

Organizations that are playing a key role in the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition:
All the above participants who helped to develop the Coalition are playing key roles in the Coalition. Additional Coalition members will be solicited to participate as the Coalition expands.

Leadership structure and function of the Utah Falls Prevention Coalition:
The leadership structure of the Coalition is still under development. Currently, staff from the VIPP provide technical assistance and organize/manage the Coalition meetings. A Coalition member has been selected to represent the Coalition on the Injury Community Planning Board to determine four priority areas for injury prevention in the state over the next five years.

Utah Falls Prevention Coalition committees:
The Coalition does not currently have committees.

Regional/county/local coalitions or workgroups you support/provide technical assistance:
The Coalition does not currently support/provide technical assistance other regional/county/local coalitions or workgroups. However, Coalition members serve individual on a variety of aging and injury prevention coalitions and workgroups.

2-3 challenges encountered:
The Coalition has encountered several challenges including:

  • Developing goals and strategies to address and determining which goals/strategies are the priority focus of the Coalition’s efforts.
  • Obtaining funding to implement evidence-based falls prevention programs throughout the state.
  • Maintaining participation of Coalition members.

2-3 successes to share:
The Coalition has had several successes including:

  • Successful implementation of the Stepping On and Matter of Balance programs in areas identified as having a higher falls hospitalization rate than the state rate.
  • A statewide Stepping On program training was held which resulted in seven more classes being implemented in three counties.
  • A statewide Matter of Balance program training was held.
  • A news release to celebrate National Falls Awareness and Prevention Day and promote the Stepping On classes was released on September 22, 2011.

Primary contacts:

Website: http://health.utah.gov/vipp

Trisha Keller, MPH, RN
Program Manager
Violence and Injury Prevention Program
Utah Department of Health
PO Box 142106
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2106
(801) 538-6865

Jenny Johnson, MPH, CHES
Unintentional Injury Coordinator
Violence and Injury Prevention Program
Utah Department of Health
PO Box 142016
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2106
(801) 538-9416


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