Older adult falls continue to be a public health priority across the United States-Massachusetts (MA) being no exception. The MA Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF) program within the MA Department of Public Health aims to reduce the physical and economic burdens of chronic health conditions by linking evidence-based clinical care with community intervention programs. The PWTF partnerships that focused on older adult falls prevention integrated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Stopping Elderly Accidents, Death and Injuries toolkit into clinical settings. Partnerships also offer referrals for home safety assessments, Tai Chi, and Matter of Balance programs. This paper describes the PWTF program implementation process involving 49 MA organizations, while highlighting the successes achieved and lessons learned. With the unprecedented expansion of the U.S. Medicare beneficiary population, and the escalating incidence of falls, widespread adoption of effective prevention strategies will become increasingly important for both public health and for controlling healthcare costs. The lessons learned from this PWTF initiative offer insights and recommendations for future falls prevention program development and implementation.
Coe, L. J., St.John, J. A., Hariprasad, S., Shankar, K. N., MacCulloch, P. A., Bettano, A. L., & Zotter, J. (2017). An integrated approach to falls prevention: A model for linking clinical and community interventions through the massachusetts prevention and wellness trust fund. Frontiers in Public Health, 5(MAR). https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00038