The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently awarded $800,000 to Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health and the University of North Carolina for a 2-year Policies, Programs, and Partners for Fall Prevention (PPPFP) project. APTA member Tiffany E. Shubert, PT, PhD, is a principal investigator for the initiative.
The project addresses the urgent need to identify more effective public health strategies for reducing falls, fall-related injuries, and fall-related rates of emergency room visits among the growing population of seniors. It also will develop strategies and train community health workers in Texas and North Carolina to help raise awareness about falls prevention and refer older adults to evidence-based programs. This includes the evaluation of a training program for physical therapists to understand and implement evidence-based fall prevention and to integrate these efforts with state and national fall prevention policies
An important partner in this effort is the National Council on Aging's Falls Free© Initiative, led by APTA member (Bonita) Lynn Beattie, PT, MPT. The national initiative—composed of 42 state coalitions—works collaboratively to increase awareness, bring education and training to providers, and increase investment in effective community interventions.
The timing of the award is noteworthy; September 22 is National Falls Prevention Awareness Day. (See related News Now article posted Monday.)
Shubert is a member of APTA's clinical practice guidelines (CPG) group that is developing CPGs for falls.