Portfolio Naples August/September 2017 - Page 70

SUNSHINE ACE HARDWARE & STEP SMART COLLIER “PARTNERING FOR PREVENTION” By: Michael Wynn, President Sunshine Ace Hardware Keith Dameron, CEO Step Smart Collier, Inc. In March of this year, Naples took the top spot in the Gallup-Healthways Ranking of the healthiest and happiest city in the United States. is is the second year in a row that Naples has achieved this ranking. Only Boulder, Col- orado and Provo-Orem, Utah have achieved the top ranking more than once. Next year, Naples could earn the dis- tinction of being the only city in America to have held the top spot three times. It’s certainly something to be proud of and is reflective of our community’s effort to take a proactive approach to promoting healthy behavior and reducing preventable health related issues. ere are several examples of this. Among them is the community wide wellness initiative, the Blue Zone project. Over 16,000 individuals have taken the Blue Zone healthy living pledge in SW FL and over 400 organizations have com- mitted to help make healthy choices the easy option for our community. However, an important partner for Blue Zones and one critical to our success in retaining our top ranking as healthiest and happiest place to live, is Step Smart Collier. at same spirit of commitment and community partnership is represented with this effort. e Step Smart Collier organization is a non-profit group organized to directly address the leading cause of injury, disability and death for Collier County seniors – falls! e statistics surrounding fall related injuries are breathtaking. Consider the following: • • • • • Did you know that every 3 days someone in Southwest Florida dies from fall related injuries? Did you know that 50% of senior citizens injured in a fall die within a year of the fall? Did you know that 60% of seniors falling happen in the home and are largely preventable? Did you know Collier County has the 2nd highest # of fall related injuries in the country, second only to San Francisco? Average fall death rate in Collier County is 55% higher than the state of Florida! Recent EMS data from Collier County verifies the severity of the prob- lem we face. Over the last 12 months, Collier County EMS responded to 2,687 calls for falls or fall related injuries. During that same period, the Greater Naples Fire District (Golden Gate and East Naples) received over 1,000 dispatches on falls alone. While there may be minor duplication in reporting, that total is equal to the combined number of cardiac, stroke and seizure dispatches the fire district received over the same period. It is sobering statistics like these that brought community leaders as well as numerous organizations together to partner with Step Smart DeDe Dupelle, Sunshine Ace Hardware Collier with the goal of significantly reducing fall related injuries. Like the Blue Zones project, Step Smart is focused on educating the public on simple, preventable steps that can be taken that can have powerful results. Sunshine Ace Hardware is proud to be an early partner and supporter of Step Smart. Too often we are helping customers who have either been directly impacted by a fall or are helping a family or loved one recover. e questions our associates are asked are essentially aimed at one primary purpose - “How do I create a safer environment in the home and minimize falls?” Unfortunately, virtually all of these conversations take place after a fall has occurred. My involvement with Step Smart Collier has been driven in large part to help our customers and our community before these accidents occur. 68 PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE