East Hawaii News

Life Care Center of Hilo’s Ridley Honored

December 17, 2015, 8:25 AM HST
* Updated December 17, 10:37 AM
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The Life Care Center of Hilo’s Chris Ridley was among several state-wide honorees Wednesday who were recognized for exhibiting dedication to the reduction in number and severity of injuries as a result of senior falls.

According to the Fall Prevention Consortium, nearly every hour of the day, a senior is transported to an emergency room due to an injury sustained from a fall, leading to a combined 8,050 falls on a yearly basis.

Ridley’s Life Care Center of Hilo Fall Prevention Program is among the top ranking in the country. Nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, geriatricians, pharmacists, ophthalmologists, social workers, nurses, and family physicians are invited to the center’s prevention classes to work with interested seniors.

As a means of combating falls and promoting fall prevention efforts, the Fall Prevention Consortium honors four individuals on an annual basis.

“Fall injuries are tragic events for families throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season,” said Alvin C. Bronstein MD, FACEP, Chief of the Hawai’i Department of Health’s Emergency Medical Services and Injury Prevention System Branch. “Fall injuries are serious and it’s appropriate to honor those that help to reduce these injuries.”

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Ridley, who is the Director of Social Services at Life Care Center of Hilo, along with David Nakamaejo, President of Comforting Hands Senior Care, Billie Jean (BJ) Tang, Physical Therapist at Straub Clinic & Hospital, and Valerie Yontz, PhD, Specialist and Practice Coordinator at the Office of Public Health Studies at the University of Hawai’i-Manoa, were honored Thursday. The ceremony took place at The Plaza Club at Moanalua.

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“I have seen fall prevention programs all over the United States, and can confirm that Chris’s program is truly one of the finest in our nation,” said Stan Michaels, Fall Prevention Coordinator with the DOH, and recent delegate to the White House Conference on Aging, Fall Prevention Summit 2015. “She is tireless, and is a true champion of our kupuna.”

Outside of the role played at the Life Care Center of Hilo, Ridley can be found throughout the community providing assistance to the Alzheimer’s Association; and has also spent many years with youth soccer players benefiting the community county-wide.

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