ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH: FALL SAFETY AND INJURY PREVENTION | 55651
Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs
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Environmental health as it relates to fall safety and injury prevention has become a major public health concern. According
to the National Safety Council, 8.9 million emergency room visits are due to falls each year. Falls in homes account for
approximately 25,000 accidental deaths annually. Falling alone is the second leading cause of death-related accidents. As our
population ages, there remains a great need to educate the public on environmental health and fall safety to promote the safety
of older Americans and increase their quality of life. The establishment of evidenced-based fall prevention programs can serve
as a bridge to connect human health and environmental health in order to promote healthy communities, public health, and
safety. Environmental health initiatives can occur on both a local and national level. Community fall prevention programs
can identify and treat high fall-risk patients through screenings, assessments, and Tai Chi exercises and provide public health
education on fall prevention and safety, home and workplace safety hazards, ladder safety training, and weather-related
hazards to prevent injurious falls. On a broader scale, nation-wide organizational initiatives such as The National Complete
Streets Coalition help determine whether transportation investments promote healthier lifestyles by increasing accessibility
to physical activity, providing active modes of safe transportation, and decreasing fatal injury rates. In addition, the impact on
the natural environment is minimized to reduce exposure to environmental pollutants and improve health-related outcomes.
Cassandra Warner Frieson is a doctorate-prepared nurse practitioner with over 20 years of expertise in geriatrics. Frieson is board-certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (NP-C) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (FNP-BC) and received her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville College of Nursing in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. She serves as Editor-In-Chief and Editor for prestigious journals to include the Gerontology & Geriatrics: Research, Journal of Perioperative & Critical Intensive Care Nursing and is a Research Topic Co-Editor for Frontiers in Public Health. Frieson is founder and president of Fall Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation Services LLC and is Clinical Manager at its community-based fall prevention clinic.