Western NC Falls Prevention Coalition

Counties: Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain and Transylvania.

2022 Quarterly Coalition Meeting Schedule

  • Quarterly Coalition → January 14, April 8, July 8, October 14 9-10:30am
  • Join the meeting(s) here:  https://unc.zoom.us/j/95055829623
  • Click HERE to download our meeting schedule flyer! 

Advisory Council Meeting Schedule

Are you interested in being a member of the Advisory Council for the WNC Fall Prevention Coalition? Our Advisory Council meeting dates and times are below.  Send us an email with your interest and county(s) you would want to represent!

Advisory Council → March 11th, June 10, September 9, December 9 2-3:30pm (Zoom link: https://unc.zoom.us/j/99919679548)

Interested in learning more or being a member of the WNC Fall Prevention Coalition?

Join our Facebook Group! 


Check out our Website!

Upcoming Events

Save the Date: WNC Annual Falls Prevention Conference at MAHEC, Asheville, NC Sept. 9, 2022

Fall Prevention Awareness Week, Sept. 19-23, 2022

Join a Committee! 

See below for committee description/goals/committee chair contact information:

Email fallpreventioncoalitionwnc@gmail.com

Include your name, organization and which committee you are interested in supporting. 


  • History, Vision, Mission and Bylaw Creations
  • Communications and Membership
  • Research and Data
  • Education
  • Strategic Planning (To begin in 2022)


WNCFPC Mission 

The WNC Fall Prevention Coalition is committed to reducing the number of falls and fall-related injuries in Western North Carolina. 

WNCFPC Vision 

The WNC Fall Prevention Coalition continues to assist the population of Western North Carolina in reducing the number of falls and fall-related injuries through focused, coordinated effort with health care, governmental and community partnerships through evidence-based programming, infrastructure development and maintenance, community awareness and education, risk assessment, multifactorial interventions, data collection and evaluation, and advocacy for supportive local/state/federal governmental actions.

WNCFPC History

March 24, 2009 The Western NC Falls Prevention Coalition began as the WNC Falls Prevention Taskforce representing the Land of the Sky Area Agency on Aging counties of: Buncombe, Henderson, Madison, and Transylvania. The taskforce met quarterly and consisted of five members: Rebecca Chaplin, Area Agency on Aging; Jade Frank, UNCA WASA Project Coordinator; Mark Johnson, RN, EMS, Trauma Injury Prevention, Mission Hospital; Rowan Lischerelli, Mission Hospital, Intern Dept. of Integrative Medicine; Amy Lunsford, Mission Hospitals YMCA Reuter Center Wellness Clinic. AAA/Land of Sky counties participated in the taskforce.

2010 – Rebecca Chaplin from the Area Agency on Aging served the WNC Falls Prevention Taskforce as the first chair until 2014. At the first meeting, the following committees were established: Community Awareness & Education; Provider Education; Community Screening & Referral; and Advocacy for Supportive Policies & Environments

2012-2013 – Dr. Kate Queen, from Haywood Community Hospital in partnership with MAHEC and several groups received a grant as a part of the WNC Health Network Triple Aim Project to create individual specific county falls prevention coalitions in WNC. Counties that established their own county coalition included in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, and McDowell counties. This included their hospitals, health departments, home health agencies, EMS, senior center, and other older adult community focused groups. 

2014 – Stephanie Stewart, from Land of the Sky Area Agency on Aging, became the WNC Fall Prevention Taskforce chair. The taskforce conducted monthly lunch meetings at Mission Hospital in Asheville with the following subcommittees: 

1. Community Awareness and Education: to develop marketing materials to engage and inform the public about fall risks and proven strategies to reduce falls, 

2. Care Transitions: to educate and advocate for Supportive Policies and Environments for Fall Prevention in Long Term Care and Care Transitions, 

3. Provider Education: to identify, develop and implement training programs for both clinical and community providers raising awareness about falls prevention, and 

4. Community Screening and Referral: Western Carolina University Physical Therapy Program created Building Better Balance, a falls prevention program with trained laypersons offering community-based falls prevention screens. 

During this year, the WNC Falls Prevention Taskforce grew to eighty-two individuals listed as members.


2014-2015 – Individual county specific coalition members who were part of the WNC Health Network Triple Aim Project began attending the WNC Falls Prevention Taskforce being held at Mission Hospital after the grant funding sources were depleted.

2015 – MAHEC began hosting the WNC Falls Prevention Taskforce’s monthly lunch meetings.  WNC Falls Prevention Taskforce was renamed The Western NC Falls Prevention Coalition. Monthly meetings were continuing with an educational presentation each meeting followed by committee break out session. 

2016– Heather Bauer, with Home Instead Senior Care and Ayden Jones, NCHWC, became the Co-Chairs of Western NC Falls Prevention Coalition until the end of 2017 with monthly meetings at MAHEC. 

2017- Fall of 2017 Cynthia Moses became Chair.  At the end of 2017, MAHEC was no longer able to host the meetings due to limited space. 

2018- In 2018 WNCFPC partnered with Mission Hospital to host the coalition quarterly meeting in person and  with their WebEx service allowing members to attend virtually( pre- COVID ).  Cynthia Moses, PT and an advisory transition committee began meeting with consultation from Ali Climo, PhD from Healthy Aging Buncombe County.   The coalition did not meet from March 2018 until November 2018 during this transitional period in an effort to strengthen the coalition.

2019 – In Spring of 2019, WNCFPC held the first Annual Falls Prevention Conference in partnership with MAHEC.  Quarterly coalition meetings continued at Mission both in person and virtually with educational programs. In 2019, Cynthia Moses, PT, WNCFPC chair began sending out quarterly email updates with meeting invitations. 

2020 – In March of 2020 WNCFPC held the 2nd annual Fall Prevention Spring Conference with continued partnership with MAHEC which was held both live with limited seating and virtually due to the COVID 19 Virus Pandemic.  WNCFPC Quarterly meetings transitioned from in-person to a virtual platform due to the COVID 19 Virus pandemic. In October 2020-Stephanie Stewart from Land of the Sky Area Agency on Aging became the Western NC Falls Prevention Coalition Chair until November 2020, Martha Zimmerman, PT became the chair.  

2021 – In January, Jennie Rhyne, PT joined Martha Zimmerman, PT became Co-Chairs of the WNCFPC. During the spring of 2021, Morgan Wilson, MPH from the NCHWC at UNCA became WNCFPC Secretary and began hosting the quarterly meetings via Zoom. The WNCFPC had their first 2 student interns obtained from the COVID Service Corp during the summer of 2021, Michael Bidstrup, a recent UNC-CH Statistics graduate and Divya Venkataganesan, 2nd Year MPH at UNC-CH.   New Advisory Council members were recruited to provide representation the nine coalition counties of: Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, and Transylvania and at the end of 2021 the 5 additional counties were added Cherokee, Macon, Swain, Clay and Graham counties. 


2022 Divya Venkatganesan, MPH joined us as secretary as Morgan Wilson finished up her term in Dec. 2021.   Divya is managing our Facebook page and is chairing the Communication and Membership Committee; the Communications and Membership Committee created the first WNCFPC Quarterly Newsletter: The Balanced Broadcast. The coalition also developed our first WNCFPC 2022 Manual to share with interested parties that includes our new mission, vision and history, thanks to Weyland Prebor, McDowell Senior Center Director and committee chair. Brea Kuykendal, MHS from Land of the Sky, joined the executive committee as the Liaison to the NC Falls Prevention Coalition.  Sara Knapp, the chair of the research and data committee developed a PowerPoint presentation with regional and specific research data and presented to the Quebec Senior Center in Transylvania County with plans to create a coalition speaker’s bureau. September 9, 2022 is the date scheduled for the 4th annual Falls Prevention Conference with MAHEC thanks to Rosalyn Wasserman, PT. 




Communications and Membership

Committee Description: This committee will work on building a WNCFPC specific Facebook page, communicating any website updates to the NCFPC, build a sustainable communication plan for membership in partnership with the Executive Committee (which may include but not limited to: listserv identification, email reminders/check-ins etc.) and research ways to increase and maintain coalition membership.

Goal this committee would be supporting: 

4. Increase and sustain membership in WNCFPC and participation within 14 coalition counties.

6. Broaden communication through quarterly newsletter with recent peer-reviewed falls prevention research, facebook promotion.

7. Identify and confirm WNC fall prevention partnership commitments and promote advocacy opportunities.

Committee Chair:

Divya Venkataganesan, Planner/Evaluator, NC DHHS Division of Aging and Adult Services, Planning Section  & NC Falls Prevention Project Specialist, NC Center of Health and Wellness

Divya.venkataganesan@dhhs.nc.gov or dvenkata@unca.edu 



Committee Description: The committee will continue the tradition of an Annual Fall Prevention Conference with MAHEC (Mountain Area Health Education Center) as a partner; engage other strategic education partners as needed, organize, and provide educational programs at each quarterly Coalition meeting to engage, educate, and represent a diverse group of stakeholders

Goal this committee would be supporting:  

5.  Expand upon falls prevention educational programs, webinars, and multiprofessional CEU opportunities beyond quarterly WNCFPC meetings and Fall Prevention Conferences/Courses for WNC communities.

7. Identify and confirm WNC fall prevention partnership commitments and promote advocacy opportunities.

Committee Chair:
Brea Kuykendall, MHS, Aging Program Specialist, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention 


History, Vision,  Mission & By-Laws Committee

Committee Description: This committee will establish a brief history of the WNCFPC to be posted on our webpage. They will work to develop and propose a Mission and Vision for the coalition for approval by the Executive committee, Advisory Councils and Coalition membership. This committee will develop and propose bylaws reflecting the approved mission and vision for the WNCFPC for approval by the Executive Committee, Advisory Committee and WNCFPC as membership.

Goal this committee would be supporting

1. Finalize WNCFPC’s organizational structure, History/Mission/Vision statements and Bylaws.

3. Develop and implement WNCFPC’s 2021-2024 Strategic Plan.

Committee Chair:

Weyland Prebor, Director of McDowell Senior Center



Research and Data

Committee Description: This committee will identify county specific demographics, examining the social determinants of health, and current evidence-based data around fall prevention to assist in developing the coalition’s strategic plan. This committee will develop County Specific Resource lists to be shared on our webpage and other key webpages such as regional Area Agencies on Aging. This committee will collaborate with other committees as needed to ensure accurate data is collected and appropriate research is being presented. The committee will develop County Specific Resource lists to be shared on our webpage and other key webpages such as regional Area Agencies on Aging.

Goal this committee would be supporting: 

2. Complete analysis of WNC county data and identify county-specific needs based on demographics and social determinants of health to reduce falls and consequent mortality.  

2a. Develop an educational tool for accessing WNC county-specific health resource data from the existing state-wide platforms, NC2111 and NC360.

7. Identify and confirm WNC fall prevention partnership commitments and promote advocacy opportunities.

Committee Chair:
Sara Knapp, Retired – Volunteer/AARP



  • March 3rd, 2021, 8:30am-10am (virtual)
    • Click HERE for Minutes and Meeting Materials
  • June 2nd, 2021, 8:30am-10am (virtual)
    • Click HERE to watch the Meeting Recording
    • Click HERE to download Meeting Minutes
  • September 1st, 2021, 8:30am-10am (virtual)
    • Click HERE to download Meeting Minutes
    • Click HERE to download PACE Presentation
  • December 1st, 2021, 8:30am-10am (virtual)

Interested in learning more, becoming involved or joining a committee? Contact Us!


Martha Zimmerman, PT, M.ED, Co-Chair; Jennie Rhyne, PT, Co-Chair; Divya Venkataganesan, MPH, Secretary; Brea Kuykendall, MHS, WNCFPC Liaison