Once again, Springfield College Physical Therapy Professor Kim Nowakowski led a group of graduate students in the health sciences at Springfield College on a global health service trip during spring break. For the third consecutive year, Nowakowski’s group, together with the healthcare professionals from Trinidad and Tobago, provided a National Fall Prevention Program in Trinidad and Tobago.
"Once again, we traveled to different community locations in Trinidad and Tobago to provide functional screenings for fall risk and related individualized education for older adults," said Nowakowski. "We also provided vital sign screening and participating in presentations with other geriatric professionals during this interprofessional program. It is a great opportunity for students to experience differences in culture and health as we travel to different locations and work with other clinicians and healthcare professionals to provide this program."
The National Fall Prevention program in Trinidad and Tobago was introduced to the group, and it was developed based on a needs assessment conducted with physiotherapists from Total Rehabilitation Centre Limited and the Physiotherapy Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT). PATT is the sole professional body that represents all physiotherapists in Trinidad and Tobago. Total Rehabilitation Centre Limited was established in May 2007 to provide quality healthcare in a friendly, compassionate environment that is geared towards facilitating healing and ultimately return to the function of living. Carla Rauseo, a 2005 alumna of the Springfield College physical therapy program who is a physical therapist and co-owner of Total Rehabilitation and a member of PATT, initiated the collaborative effort with Springfield College’s physical therapy program. Since the initiation of the program, the Stay Steady Foundation, a non-governmental organization, has been created to promote sustainability of the Stay Steady Fall Prevention Program and the involvement of Springfield College has been instrumental to provide the screenings according to Rauseo.