Researchers from the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Public Health and the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health were awarded the Aetna Susan B. Anthony Award for Excellence in Research on Older Women and Public Health at the 141st American Public Health Association Meeting and Expo in Boston, Mass. 

Award Winners

Pictured at the awards ceremony are L-R, Drs. Matthew Smith, Marcia Ory, Jinmyoung Cho, and SangNam Ahn

The award was presented by the Aging and Public Health Section in recognition of their exemplary work on their research titled, “Health Indicators Associated with Falls among Middle-Aged and Older Women Enrolled in an Evidence-Based Program.” 

Utilizing participants from A Matter of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader Model (AMOB/VLL) workshops, the study examined females’ socio-demographics and health indicators associated with self-reported falls at baseline and post-intervention. Findings revealed a reduction in self-reported falls over the course of the intervention, and improvements in fall-related self-efficacy were significantly associated with reduced falls at post-intervention. 

“This study has vast implications for identifying at-risk older women upon program enrollment and supporting efforts to expand the reach of AMOB/VLL nationwide,” said Matthew Lee Smith, Ph.D., M.P.H., CHES, the paper’s lead author. Dr. Smith is an assistant professor at the UGA College of Public Health and adjunct assistant professor at the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health. 

Additional authors include from the Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H., Regents and Distinguished Professor, Luohua Jiang, Ph.D., assistant professor, and Jinmyoung Cho, Ph.D., post-doctoral fellow. SangNam Ahn, Ph.D., M.P.S.A., assistant professor at the University of Memphis School of Public Health and adjunct assistant professor at Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health was also an author. 

Students authors were Lindsay Penny Prizer, MSW, LCSW, from the UGA College of Public Health; Shuai Chen, M.S., from the Texas A&M University Department of Statistics; and Kathleen Graham, MOT, from the UGA College of Public

— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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