Maximizing Quality of Life

209 - Maximizing Quality of Life: Improving Mobility to Prevent Older Adult Injury

Tuesday, July 17
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Location: Diplomat Room-Lobby Level

Gwen Bergen, Phd, MPH, MS-Translating Science Into Action to Keep Older Adults Mobile: CDC's Mobility Planning Tool
Cheyenne McCravey, M.Ed.-Building the Pathway to Falls Prevention
Cassie Jeng, PhD, MPH and Steven D. Eberth-Promoting a Falls Prevention Culture Through Hospital-Based Behavior Change and Health Literacy

As people age, increased frailty, chronic conditions, and medication use can increase fall injury risk, driving inability, and motor vehicle crash injury risk among older adults. Many older adults limit or stop walking, driving, or using public transportation, which could result in social isolation and poor health. Retirement-age adults, communities, and stakeholders (i.e., 60 years of age and older), can take actions to prevent or reduce the effects of future mobility changes but most are not aware of what to do. Therefore, the purpose of this scientific panel is to share evidence-based interventions and programs designed to prevent fall injuries in older adults. The City of Satellite Beach in Florida has implemented a community-based program to improve older adults’ quality of life through injury prevention and community health in homes and communities using an ecological approach. After its implementation, the City of Satellite Beach experienced a reduced number of hip fractures and repeated calls to 911. The New Mexico Department of Health has also created the Adult Falls Program; an ecological program focused on preventing fall-related deaths and injuries in older adults. The program encompasses home, community and hospital evidence-based prevention strategies to redefine the standard of patient care. The Adult Falls Prevention Program has successfully reached over 600 older adults in rural and minority aging populations across New Mexico and has provided certification to over 160 instructors in at least 21 counties, including more than 14 Nations, Pueblos, and Tribes. The Western Michigan University (WMU) implemented a hospital-based behavior change program, based on health literacy best practices, at a rural hospital in Michigan. Researchers at WMU worked with an interdisciplinary falls prevention committee to develop a program for all hospital employees. The “Know Your Own Environment and Speak Up,” “Let’s Talk”, “I’ve Got Your Back and Mine”, and “Now What?” program used the Five A’s behavior change model and a train-the-trainer method, to improve content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation toward falls prevention in older adults. At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Translating Science into Action to Keep Older Adults Mobile and Injury Free: The CDC’s Mobility Planning Tool was developed to encourage older adults to think about mobility and motivate them to protect it. The implementation of a modified version of the mobility-planning tool has shown that a science-based planning tool could increase knowledge, confidence, and behaviors for prolonging future mobility and preventing injury.

Learning Objectives:

Gwen Bergen, Phd, MPH, MS

Behavioral Scientist

Since 2009, Gwen Bergen has been a behavioral scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Injury Center on the Older Adult Falls Teams. Gwen’s work is in the areas of falls and older adult mobility. She received her Ph.D. in health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and her M.P.H. in social and behavioral sciences from the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health. She has published and presented on older adult falls and older adult mobility.


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Cheyenne McCravey, M.Ed.

Secondary Falls Prevention Coordinator
New Mexico Department of Health

Cheyenne McCravey holds the current position as the Secondary Falls Prevention Coordinator at the New Mexico State Department of Health Adult Falls Prevention Program, previously working as a Global Health Project Coordinator for Baylor College of Medicine’s International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) at Texas Children’s Hospital. She began her career in health coordination after participating as the first Project Intern in BIPAI’s Summer Internship program sponsored by Chevron. Cheyenne received her Master's degree in Allied Health Education & Administration at the University of Houston, previously graduating from New Mexico State University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Child Advocacy Studies. In the past Cheyenne volunteered her time as a Community Health Educator for an alternative juvenile citation program, while participating in Dona Ana County’s Juvenile Justice Continuum Board as the first youth member. As an undergraduate she served the medical community as a Certified Pharmacy Technician in the hospital and retail setting.


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Cassie Jeng, PhD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Western Michigan University

Cassie Jeng, PhD, MPH, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs at Western Michigan University. Her research focuses on the intersection of public health and aging, specifically through health education and communication. During her graduate studies at Tulane University, she was selected to participate in the Millennial Health Leaders Summit at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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Steven D. Eberth, OTD

Assistant Professor
Western Michigan University

Dr. Steven Eberth is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University. His research focuses on the application of systems and complexity theories to improve patient safety. He has served as an advisory board member for geriatrics and extended care for the Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Center for Patient Safety. He has developed physical restraint reduction and falls prevention workshops that transformed patient care. He has received a Process Improvement Award from the Department of Veterans Affairs for his patient safety leadership.


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Don Hughes, MA

Executive Management & Leadership
Webster University

Presenter Biography

Donald Hughes began his Firefighter / Paramedic career in 1984 and is currently the Fire Chief for the City of Satellite Beach Florida. In 2007 Chief Hughes began to focus on redefining the role of Fire and EMS agencies and their impact on Community Health. Today Satellite Beach Fire Department provides a robust Community Health program that provides a “whole-community” concept that addresses the health and social needs of their community and reduces healthcare cost.

Chief Hughes is a graduate of Barry University with a Bachelors of Arts in Public Administration, and a Master of Arts in Management and Executive Leadership from Webster University, and is professionally accredited through the Center for Public Safety Excellence as a Chief Fire Officer and a Chief Emergency Medical Service Officer.


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Alexander Vigo-Valentín, PhD

Public Health Advisor
Office Of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Dr. Alexander Vigo-Valentín serves as a Public Health Advisor in the Division of Policy and Data at the Office of Minority Health. He leads the Hispanic/Latino Health Policy Portfolio and the National Steering Committee of Promotores de Salud. As well, Dr. Vigo works closely with organizations and communities to advance minority health through the mission and vision of the Office of Minority Health. He previously held an associate faculty position in the College of Health Professions at Towson University. Dr. Vigo’s research agenda has included: (a) health promotion behaviors among adolescents of color as well as school-based health policies affecting childhood obesity. Dr. Vigo-Valentín received his doctoral degree in the field of physical activity and health promotion at The Ohio State University. As a native Puerto Rican, Dr. Vigo-Valentín’s Latino/Hispanic roots have ignited his passion for public health and sociocultural justice for people of color.


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209 - Maximizing Quality of Life: Improving Mobility to Prevent Older Adult Injury

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