Falls Prevention 


In 2015, falls were responsible for over 45,000 emergency room visits for Georgia’s elderly population and the top reason for trauma activations in the state’s largest children’s hospital system.  Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta experienced over 15,000 emergency room visits and 1,000 trauma activations, with infants under the age of one having the highest number of falls for children.  Grady Memorial Hospital, which supports the largest trauma center in the state of Georgia, reports that falls are the third highest cause of injuries that are treated at Grady’s emergency room.  Additionally, according to the CDC, falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury for both children and adults.


Task force goals will be data driven and aim to dramatically reduce fall injuries in Georgia.  The initial objective is to identify data sources and analyses that provide accurate information on falls injury and death in Georgia, assess the strengths and limitations of the data, and develop an action plan. The priorities and action plan depend upon what data exist and its strengths, limitations, and accessibility.


Sofia Chaudhary, MD  – Assistant Professor, Emory School of Medicine; practicing physician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Emergency Department

Matthew Smith, PhD – Associate Professor, University of Georgia; Adjunct Faculty – Texas A&M Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health 

Leadership and Program Support

Sharon Nieb, PhD – IPRCE Associate Program Director 

Task Force Member Organizations

Brenau University

  • Kay Graham, PhD – Assistant Professor

Centers for Disease Control

  • Julie Gilchrist, MD – Captain, US Public Health Service

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

  • Sofia Chaudhary, MD – see above

Emory Healthcare

  • Kurram Khan, MD – Assistant Professor of Geriatrics

Emory School of Medicine

  • Sharon Nieb, PhD – see above

Georgia Department of Public Health

  • Rana Bayakly, MPH – Chief Epidemiologist
  • Elizabeth Head, MPH –  Coordinator, Department of Injury Prevention

Grady Health System

  • Elisabeth Williams, MPH, CHES – Program Coordinator

Healthy Picks

  • Suzanne Pickering, MS, MPH – Consultant

Mercer University

  • Leslie Taylor, PhD, PT – Associate Dean

Safe Kids Georgia

  • Mahwish Javed, MS, MPH – Program Coordinator

Shepherd Rehabilitation Center

  • Emma Harrington, ME – Director of Injury Prevention

University of Georgia

  • Matthew Smith, PhD – see above 

Meeting Structure

Monthly – 90 minutes