The first official Falls Prevention SIG meeting was held at the 2017 NCPTA Fall Conference. Officers were elected and program planning began. In 2018 FPSIG held the first Falls Prevention Challenge.
All the North Carolina PT and PTA schools were invited to participate. Four PT Schools entered, including Methodist University,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Western Carolina University, and
Winston Salem State University. Western Carolina University was awarded the first winner of the
2018 Falls Prevention Challenge.
In 2019, the APTA NC Falls Prevention SIG offered two free webinars. “Community-Based Falls Prevention Programs: Moving from screening to intervening”on May 29, 2019 with 55 PTs and PTAs in attendance. Topics covered evidence-based community falls prevention programs that are available across NC including Otago Exercise Program, A Matter of Balance, Tai Chi for Falls Prevention, and chronic disease management classes.
The second falls prevention webinar titled “The Oncology Patient: Increasing Awareness of Falls Prevention and Advocacy Opportunities” by Brett MacLennan, PT, DPT from Wingate University was held on September 10, 2019 with 27 PTs and PTA’s attending.
In 2019, the Fall Prevention SIG secured CEU approval for the A Matter of Balance Coach Training for PTs and PTAs. Any PT or PTA who is interested in coaching the A Matter of Balance as a volunteer, can receive the coach training free of charge and receive CEUs.
During the APTA NCPTA Fall Conference 2019, there were 5 PT Schools who entered the 2nd Falls Prevention Challenge including East Carolina University, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Western Carolina University, Wingate University, and Winston Salem State University. Winston Salem State University was the 2019 PT School winner with 28 Physical Therapist Students serving over 100 community residents using the CDC STEADI Falls Prevention Assessment tools. In 2019, two PTA Programs entered the challenge including: Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute and Fayetteville Technical Community College and because the judges’ scores resulted in a tie, both schools received the 2019 PTA Program Falls Prevention Challenge Award.
APTA NC FPSIG By-Laws Summary
The purpose of APTA NC FPSIG is to provide a means for physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistants (PTA), having a common interest in falls prevention in all settings to meet, confer, and promote the interests of its membership, the NCPTA, and the APTA.
- To promote the role of therapists in Falls Prevention in the Physical Therapy profession.
- To identify and respond to areas of concern related to Physical Therapy practice related to Falls Prevention in the APTA NC.
- To promote the interaction of therapists from different clinical practices regarding falls prevention.
- To promote the opportunity for therapists, PT or PTA, to be mentored by established Falls Prevention leaders within the APTA NC and APTA.
- To assist the APTA NC in the promotion of FPSIG objectives and functions.
- To increase membership and active participation of therapists in the APTA NC and APTA.
Upcoming Programs and Plans:
In 2020 the APTA NC Falls Prevention SIG plans to offer two webinars and the 3rd Annual APTA NC Falls Prevention Challenge. The next webinar is “Nutrition and Its Impact on Falls Risk.” Stay tuned for more details. Other future topics include Poly Pharmacy Issues as related to falls risks.
The current Executive Committee: Co Chairs: Terry Keinle, PT and Martha Zimmerman, PT; Secretary: Brett MacLennan, PT; Treasurer: Deborah Constantine, PT; and Director at Large: Lisa Grant, PT.
APTA NC Falls Prevention SIG has representation at the North Carolina Falls Prevention Coalition quarterly meeting and at most of the Regional Falls Prevention Coalitions. See the NC Falls Prevention Coalition web page for more details on the state and regional falls coalitions. https://ncfallsprevention.org/about-us/
Currently APTA has 3 Academy or Sections that have Balance and Falls Prevention Special Interest Groups including:
Geriatric at: https://geriatricspt.org/special-interest-groups/balance-falls/
Oncology at https://oncologypt.org/sigs/balance-and-falls/
- Membership into these SIGs is free if you are an APTA member and a section/ academy member.
- Membership into the APTA NC Falls Prevention SIG is free to any chapter member.
- Please complete the FPSIG Application form and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org