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Funding and Sustainability Strategies for Rural Unintentional Injury Prevention Programs

There are several different strategies for sustaining rural unintentional injury prevention programs. The Rural Community Health Toolkit also provides information in its Planning for Funding and Sustainability section.

Developing and Expanding Partnerships

Partnerships can be critical to the success of a rural unintentional injury prevention program. Partners can continue to champion the program after the end of grant funding, provide in-kind resources to sustain the program, and continue to provide services or participate in program activities. For example, the Ponca Tribe Injury Prevention Program emphasizes the importance of partnerships in their sustainability model. The tribe works with other local agencies to attain certain home modifications, such as ramps, for elder tribal members with identified fall hazards.

Building Staff Capacity

Rural programs can also seek to build local capacity to sustain certain program components. For example, the Arizona Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program (Core SVIPP) partnered with the Indian Health Service at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to train new child passenger safety technicians. Core SVIPP staff used a train-the-trainer approach to teach new car seat technicians to provide car seat inspections and deliver child passenger safety education. The newly trained technicians have inspected over 200 car seats for their tribal communities.

Licensing and Copyright

Some programs develop materials that they can license and copyright which can allow other programs to adopt and use these materials while acknowledging that the original program has ownership and rights over the content. For example, Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center's materials, such as their website and textbook, are copyrighted. In addition, the North Dakota State University is the license holder for the Stepping On program in North Dakota.

Implementing Policy Change

Programs seeking to effect behavioral change to prevent injuries may also choose to focus on policy, systems, and environmental changes. For example, programs work with state policymakers to support laws that enforce injury prevention strategies, such as helmet or seat belt laws.

Exploring Sustainable Funding Models

Some services provided in unintentional injury prevention programs may be reimbursable through insurance coverage. In particular, programs focused on fall prevention among older adults offer multiple opportunities for reimbursement. Many Medicaid programs provide coverage for fall prevention services, such as home modifications to mitigate tripping hazards. Some quality measures for Medicare, such as measures included in the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), incentivize providers to deliver fall prevention services to older adults. These measures include the number of falls in the past year, the completion of a fall risk assessment, and the documentation of a fall care plan, among others.

Making the Business Case for Unintentional Injury Prevention

Another strategy for sustaining programs is analyzing the return on investment or economic impact of injury prevention. There are many resources that can help rural programs understand the financial benefits to both organizations and individuals when focusing on specific types of injury prevention. The cost of unintentional injuries such as falls, motor vehicle crashes, and other workplace accidents to communities and employers is very high. The Occupational Safety and Health Administrations Safety Pays program provides tools to help employers and communities calculate how specific workplace injuries and illnesses can impact the organization financially.

Resources to Learn More

Preventing Falls in Hospitals: How Do You Sustain an Effective Fall Prevention Program?
Provides considerations for sustaining a fall prevention program. Discusses the importance of a sustainability team, monitoring rates and processes, mechanisms providing feedback, and ongoing organizational support.
Organization(s): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality