Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the Center for Community Health Development at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health a three-year, $1.3 million grant to serve as the national evaluator of processes and impacts of state-driven falls prevention programs for older adults.

Regents Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., will serve as lead evaluator of the project that will include state health department injury prevention programs in Colorado, New York and Oregon.

“Falls are a major public health problem across the nation, but fortunately, many falls are preventable with programs that address multiple falls-risk factors,” Dr. Ory said.

Working collaboratively with the CDC and the three state health department injury programs, the evaluation team will assess community-based falls prevention programs, clinical interventions to encourage falls risk screening and referral, and policy initiatives to raise awareness and activities through statewide falls free coalitions.

Two primary aims will be to determine the impact of multi-component falls prevention interventions on health and injury outcomes and to build states’ capacity for ensuring program successes by providing technical assistance on strategies for enhancing and monitoring the reach, fidelity, sustainability and scalability of evidence-based fall prevention programming. Information learned in this evaluation will be available for dissemination to other statewide injury prevention centers and collaborating partners in health and aging services sectors.

This grant is being coordinated with the CDC-funded Healthy Aging Research Network, which will provide clinical, policy and programmatic expertise. In addition to Dr. Ory, the TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health evaluation team will consist of Luohua Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor in biostatistics, and Matthew Smith, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor.

The Center for Community Health Development is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program, funded by cooperative agreement number 1U48DP001924 from the CDC.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell