California StopFalls Network
1. Briefly describe the history of your coalition’s development.
The idea to build the StopFalls Network was an outgrowth of the 2003 California Blueprint on Fall
Prevention Conference, which engaged over 125 participants from all over the state in developing a
plan and creating strategies to build an infrastructure of fall prevention programs in the state and raise
the awareness about fall prevention as a public health priority. Growing constituency to influence
systems change is a key element of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence (FPCE), a five-year
initiative funded by the Archstone Foundation. The California Department of Health Services (CDHS),
State and Local Injury Control (SLIC) Section was the FPCE partner given the lead to build the Network.
We created fact sheets and a brief online application. We distributed these at meetings and
conferences, and e-mailed them to potential members, using attendance rosters from previous
conferences, as well as lists from key partners (e.g., Department of Aging (for AAAs), Emergency
Medical Services Authority, and Andrus Gerontology Center).
We launched the Network in conjunction with a popular annual senior injury conference. This set the
tone for future efforts. We developed a mission statement and established work groups. Each of the
groups developed action plans with short-, medium-, and long-range goals to address issues in common.
The work groups included: 1) continuing education, 2) policy, advocacy, and sustainability, 3) shared
resources, 4) media & communications, and 5) frail/high-risk elders. Each of the work groups now
holds periodic teleconferences to discuss progress on implementing their action plan items.
2. What organizations took the lead in developing this coalition?
CDHS’ State & Local Injury Control Section was the FPCE partner given the lead to build the Network.
Additional support was provided by the Archstone Foundation and the Steering Committee for the 2003
3. What are the goals and objectives of your coalition?
a. Make fall prevention an integral, well-funded part of a coordinated system of programs and
b. Create a statewide structure to interconnect fall prevention programs/coalitions to each other
and to state experts and resources
c. Identify and engage influential champions to help create system change.
d. Develop a policy agenda for the state
e. Assure quality continuing education for health and service providers
f. Share best/promising practices
g. Raise awareness that falls are preventable
4. Please list your key funding sources for this coalition.
The Archstone Foundation but the CDHS contributes many in kind resources (e.g., staff time, the
teleconferencing bridge line).
5. What organizations are now considered key to your coalition?
We now have over 120 organizations and key stakeholders in the Network so it is difficult to single out
individuals. Each work group has three to four members who are excellent “catalysts” who help move
the agenda forward. In addition to the many organizations and stakeholders involved in the Network,
supplemental organizations, such as the Archstone Foundation, funded coalition development grantees
at the county/regional level, university programs, and social, health service, and injury prevention
6. How often does your coalition’s steering committee meet?
There is no steering committee. However, the entire Network meets at least annually, alternating
between the South and North of the State. Communication with the Network member organizations is
often via-list serve and through our Web site (www.stopfalls.org). Most of the work for each objective
focus area is carried out by Committees on such topics as Policy, Advocacy, and Sustainability; Media
and Communications; Shared Resources; Continuing Education; and the High Risk/Frail Older Adults
7. Please list 2-3 challenges your coalition has encountered.
It can be difficult to get our very busy members to volunteer their time to carry out work group “to do”
lists. It is the same small group of tireless colleagues who do most of the work, and of course, it makes
more work for us. In addition, California is a large state, making it difficult to convene the entire
Network of organizations.
8. Please list 2-3 successes of your coalition
a. Growing the Network to over 120 members
b. Creation of a statewide list of continuing education opportunities re: fall prevention for health
care and social service professionals
c. Creation of a consensus-driven policy agenda
d. Communications via the StopFalls website and list-serv
e. Summaries of Network member activities
f. Actions performed by regional/community level coalitions where groups are conducting
community needs assessments, inventories of resources, strategic planning, and community
9. What outcomes do you monitor?
a. All of the work group action plan elements
b. Member satisfaction with process and content
c. Activities of members through a list summarizing what key members are currently doing in fall
d. Activities and outcomes of regional/county coalitions in different areas of the California.
Submitted by: Barb Alberson, Chief, State & Local Injury Control Section and Jon Pynoos, Ph.D., Co-
Director, Fall Prevention Center of Excellence