Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Stepping On Falls Prevention Program

Stepping On Q&A in Colorado

The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging is showcasing Stepping On License Holders from across the nation.  In this email, Shannon Myers shares a Q&A with Centura Health in Colorado.   Robert Hayes, RN Trauma Injury Prevention Specialist, is leading this effort, and his team has worked across the rural Eastern Plains, Metro/Urban, and Mountain Communities throughout in the state of Colorado.  Robert oversees the administrative aspects of the program—collecting data, monitoring fidelity and providing support, as well as annual reporting to WIHA.  He is also a Master Trainer.

Centura Health has been growing its Stepping On team and bringing a much-needed service to Colorado residents for the past seven years, trying to reduce and eliminate falls, the top unintentional injury in Colorado.  With 42 active Leaders, four active Master Trainers and approximately 38 Stepping On workshops organized and co-led in 2018, this team is making great strides in falls prevention!

Why did you initially choose Stepping On for your communities?
The State of Colorado applied for and received a grant to start Stepping On at major health systems in Colorado.  The grant supported setting up and providing Leader Trainings and license fees—everything we needed to get started.  We initially chose and continue to offer Stepping On for our communities, because it is an evidence-based program that helps prevent falls.  Stepping On is a comprehensive program that addresses numerous aspects of falls prevention—balance and strength, medications, vision, and home hazards.  Stepping On has been proven to reduce falls and build confidence.  I personally like that the workshops are portable and can be taken to communities; participants don’t have to travel to unfamiliar locations.  Another reason we continue to offer Stepping On is the feedback we receive from participants.  They LOVE Stepping On and find it so beneficial.  Participants enjoy the guest expert speakers and the structure of the workshops with adult learning principles.  We are not lecturing to them.

Who are the key people (and their roles) on your team who help make your Stepping On program successful?
Vicky Cassabaum,
 former Injury Prevention Coordinator for St. Anthony Hospital, was a key leader and instrumental in implementing Stepping On in Colorado.  Vicky offered numerous leader trainings and support, so Stepping On could be offered in our communities.  She held a high standard of fidelity to ensure participants received the program as intended.  Mike Archuleta, Trauma Outreach Manager, is another key leader.  Mike is a huge advocate for small rural communities.  As a result of his efforts, Stepping On is offered in small communities throughout Colorado where the need is high.  Often resources and services are limited.  Centura Health is also excited to have Angela Kedroutek, Injury and Youth Violence Specialist, and Troy Mesmer,Stepping On Program Coordinator, join our program as master trainers.  Angela and Troy will be offering leader trainings in the near future.  In addition, they are a great resource to Stepping On Leaders.

What special projects have you paired with Stepping On to help you achieve your goals?
Our health system recently received a state-funded grant to support leader trainings.  We will be offering three leader trainings this Spring in Colorado.  Throughout the year, we receive requests from various groups (faith communities, civic organizations, and recreation centers) to come speak about falls and injury prevention.  As part of our presentation we describe Stepping On and how we can bring that to their group(s).   We have also paired Stepping On with a program called, "CarFit," as we have looked into research on falls being linked to car crashes in older adults. All of our Stepping On participants are invited to take part in this. Those that we CarFit outside of Stepping Onare also given the information about Stepping On. In the exam rooms, we have implemented into our daily routines talking with trauma fall patients and sharing information about Stepping On. We have found those who have experienced a fall are likely to be interested in attending the workshop to prevent another fall.

What have been some other successes or gains since you started implementing Stepping On?
Centura Health has been successful, because of our strong collaborative efforts within our communities.  As a mission-driven, faith-based organization, we are called to nurture the health of the people in our communities.  Our vision is, “Every community, every neighbor, every life—whole and healthy.”   Our mission and vision calls us to be in the communities we serve—rural and urban.  Other successes include strong collaborative relationships with Pre-Hospital Services and Care, local and state government agencies, and numerous non-profit organizations.

Knowing what you know today, what tips might you have for a new license holder?
Network and collaboration is key!  Share with others what you are trying to accomplish and get their support. Get to know your community and best ways to provide the workshops, specifically when and where to offer workshops. Measure your successes and report them to your community and  your organization.

Any participant stories you are willing to share?  One participant completed the workshops and found them to be not only informative, but life changing.  She expressed how much the program improved her balance and strength.  She made modifications in her home as well as her daily activities to decrease her risk of falling.  She expressed a desire to become a Peer Leader and give back to her community.  Her contributions to the workshops made them very successful and meaningful to our participants.  After some time, we asked if she would like to become a Leader. For the past several years, she has been co-leading numerous classes in various communities in the Denver Metro area.  Her dedication, wisdom, and leadership has contributed to the success of our program in many ways.”

Another story relates to a participant who started the class extremely hesitant. She would not speak out loud in the group, but would share with me separately after class. She was terrified of her steep driveway and of walking up and down staircases. When she started the class, she faithfully did all of her exercises and walked every day. By the end of the seven weeks, she was able to walk up and down her driveway all by herself, as well as go up and down staircases without being frightened. Her TUG test results were amazing. She shared her excitement with the whole class on week seven, which is something she had not done prior to that. She was so grateful for the class and everything that was taught. She wanted to take another round of classes after that!”

What have been some of your obstacles since you started implementing Stepping On?
While we have experienced obstacles since starting Stepping On, we have been able to overcome most of them.  For example, we had several workshops that struggled to maintain enough participants to maintain fidelity, while other locations were full.  Early in our program, we learned the importance of community engagement.  We also worked closely with Centura's Marketing and Communications staff to promote our workshops.  Another obstacle we overcame related to leader turnover.  We found early on that you must offer leader trainings in order to fill those vacancies and continue workshops. 

WIHA would like to thank Robert Hayes and his team for sharing their experience with Stepping On in Colorado and for their continued work in helping prevent falls and spreading Stepping On in Colorado.  If you would like to be profiled in a future issue, please contact Margie Hackbarth, 715.571.5250 or margie.hackbarth@wihealthyaging.org.
Learn More About Stepping On

Join the conversation about Stepping On!

Shannon Myers, Stepping On Faculty Trainer, is hosting nationwide conference calls, and the next calls will be offered in  July.  This is your opportunity to hear news and information about Stepping On and falls prevention, to network and share with colleagues in other parts of the country.  The challenges you are facing may have already been addressed in creative ways, and the successes you recently achieved may inspire other teams.  Together, we can help reduce the prevalence of falls.  If you are a Trained Leader, Master Trainer or License Holder and have not already received an  Outlook calendar invitation with call-in instructions, please notify Shannon (shannon.myers@wihealthyaging.org).  The next calls in 2019 are set for:

Monday, July 22, 11 a.m. Central (Noon Eastern/ 9 a.m. Pacific) for current Master Trainers
Tuesday, July 23, 11 a.m. Central (Noon Eastern/ 9 a.m. Pacific) for current License Holders
Thursday, July 25, 11 a.m. Central (Noon Eastern/ 9 a.m. Pacific) for current Trained Leaders.

New to Stepping On?  If you're interested in becoming a Stepping On program leader, bringing a Stepping On workshop to your community, or just asking questions about the program, please contact Shannon (shannon.myers@wihealthyaging.org).  We are happy to coordinate a special conference call for you and your team.