In April 2006, the Napa Valley Fall Prevention Coalition was established through funding from the Archstone Foundation under their Fall Prevention Initiative. This coalition, led by the Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa and Solano Counties and comprised of community partners representing various disciplines, has been exemplary in its sustainability activities. The coalition began its local advocacy work early on, conducting a press and radio campaign to establish the coalition’s identity in the community, presenting their compelling needs assessment findings to the Napa County Board of Supervisors and other influential community stakeholders (e.g. hospital boards) and conducting a participatory strategic planning workshop attended by community leaders. The Napa Board of Supervisors even declared the month of May Fall Prevention Awareness Month through a proclamation effort spearheaded by the coalition. The advocacy activities spread awareness about falls among policymakers and the larger community, and was helpful in securing additional funding. The Napa Board of Supervisors awarded $65,000 of Master Tobacco Settlement Funding to the AAA towards the implementation of a coordinated fall prevention program, which will provide evidence-based fall prevention services to older adults through coalition member organizations. In late 2007, a $100,000 grant to sustain the coalition was also awarded by the Queen of the Valley Medical Center’s Benefit Committee. The Napa Valley Fall Prevention Coalition has been a model for building multi-factorial fall prevention strategies into the community while focusing on sustainability. Its outreach and sustainability activities will allow the coalition to have a lasting impact on the community and the people who are served.
Key efforts leading to success were:
- Use of a resolution or proclamation as an advocacy and educational tool
- Collaboration with community partners and groups who serve as advisory bodies to the board of supervisors
- Raising awareness and garnering support, wider outreach to the community and homebound individuals through media as the Board of Supervisor’s meetings are televised on a local access cable TV station and normally covered by the press.
- Fund development opportunities: higher visibility resulted in funding to establish Napa County’s first Fall Prevention Program