More than 9,950 injuries from falls occur annually among seniors statewide. Each year, the Hawai‘i Fall Prevention Consortium (HFPC) identifies individuals with passionate dedication to reducing the number and severity of injuries from falls among seniors and honors their efforts to promote fall prevention initiatives in the state.
The HFPC presented its Annual Fall Prevention Awards for Outstanding Community Service at the end of 2019 to: Chris Pa, activities director at Leeward YMCA; Peter Reyes, program director at Catholic Charities Hawai‘i (CCH); Percy Ihara, owner/publisher of Generations Magazine (GM); and Tito Villanueva, Kauai Operations Manager for American Medical Response (AMR).
Chris Pa’s leadership has enabled many kūpuna to actively attend tai chi classes and events at Leeward YMCA. “Chris is truly a community treasure,” said Ileina Ferrier, master trainer for the Tai Chi for Health Institute.
Peter Reyes became a master trainer for Matter of Balance at CCH. “Peter is a great trainer who truly believes in the importance of reducing the fear of falling and of preventing falls,” said Diane Terada, division administrator at CHC Community & Senior Services.
Percy Ihara is one of the great forces in senior well-being and understanding through GM, said Michael Dowell, chair of the HFPC and owner of Ohana Stairlifts. “Percy is amazing in his continual energy and drive to improve the lives of all of Hawai‘i’s kūpuna.”
Tito Villanueva is the inspiration and driving force behind the growth and success of Kauai’s Home Safety Program for Seniors and has also provided mentoring and support for other programs as the AMR operations manager. “His dedication is astounding,” said Stanley Michaels, senior fall prevention coordinator at the DOH.
In addition, Phoebe Hwang, DrPH, was honored for her outstanding contract work for the HFPC. “Phoebe is truly amazing,” said Michaels.
A complete summary of the fall prevention campaign, special videos for seniors and/or their care-givers, and a recap of accomplishments is online at www.nogethurt.hawaii.gov.