UAMS Study on Helping Older Adults Avoid Falling Gets $1M Grant

UAMS Study on Helping Older Adults Avoid Falling Gets $1M Grant

A UAMS researcher has received a $1 million federal grant for a study aimed at helping older adults avoid falling.

Physical therapist Jennifer L. Vincenzo received the funds as a recipient of the national Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging. Her work focuses on implementing a falls prevention strategy as a standard of care for all older adults attending outpatient physical therapy clinics.

UAMS said Vincenzo is only the third physical therapist to receive the award, which typically goes to medical doctors.

Vincenzo's fall prevention plan was developed over the past three years with a toolkit developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The toolkit, established in 2012 for physicians to integrate fall prevention into daily practice, has not been widely adopted, UAMS said in a news release. But Vincenzo wants to change that. 

“I am honored to be a Beeson Scholar and represent UAMS,” Vincenzo, an associate professor in the College of Health Professions Department of Physical Therapy, said in the release. “This award will allow me to address the public health issues of falls among older adults, which are a leading cause of morbidity, mortality and decreased quality of life.”

The Beeson award stems from an initiative by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Federation for Aging Research, and the John A. Hartford Foundation.