On Friday, Jan. 8, A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) Still Standing Falls Prevention Outreach–the largest university-based fall-prevention initiative in the country–will kick off marking the program’s eighth year in providing falls prevention resources to older adults throughout the Valley. Nearly 50 student teams, comprised of two to four students per team, will fan the Greater Phoenix area to equip older adults with the tools necessary to prevent falls and manage the often-paralyzing fear of falling that comes with growing older. A nationally-recognized curriculum called A Matter of Balance – developed by Boston University – is used by student trainers. Students from ATSU programs including athletic training, audiology, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and osteopathic medicine, will offer the curriculum, at no cost, to participants at 45 community sites for eight weeks. Collaborations with assisted-living communities, Banner Health and Dignity Health systems, the Gila River Indian Community, the Mexican Consulate, and local municipalities including Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tolleson, Buckeye and Avondale, make the program possible. In addition to English, the program is offered in Spanish, Mandarin and American Sign Language. Since its inception in 2008, more than 2,000 Arizonans have completed the program, which is significant according to Elton Bordenave, director of the Aging Studies Project at ATSU. “Falls among older adults are a global health concern and numerous reports have highlighted the extent of this problem. Additionally, falls lead to substantial economic and human costs, largely due to unplanned medical emergencies and hospitalization costs,” said Bordenave. Arizona seniors who have participated in the program report positive changes in their level of mobility and attitude toward life. Dorothy Hannisian, a 90-year-old participant, enrolled in the program after a devastating fall in her kitchen had left her fearful. “I don’t want to exist. I want to live,” she told her trainer.