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IVP & Safe States News: Presidential Blog

Presidential Blog

Thursday, September 10, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carol Thornton
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September 10, 2015

 Farewell and Looking Ahead

 

Where has the time gone?  Two years ago, I started this blog as I became the President of the Safe States Alliance.  My kids are two years older.  My dad is now living near me in a personal care community (admittedly after suffering a fall, despite my many educational efforts).  And I am embarking on a new career path that has been strongly influenced by my Safe States volunteer experiences.

 

I hope you have enjoyed my blog and that it has kept you informed about how I have carried out my role.  For those who are more visual as well as to summarize my blogs briefly:

  

If you’d like to go back and read posts in depth, the blogs are posted on the Safe States web site, or you can just enjoy the word cloud.

 

Looking Ahead

 

Welcome to Binne Lehew as the next President - Safe States will be in great hands! 

 

As I transition to the Past-President role, I am excited about the future of Safe States.  Binnie Lehew and the 2016 Executive Committee will be meeting this month in Washington, DC, to strategize implementation of our new Strategic Map as well as meet with key leaders in the Department of Justice, Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  As well, many of the Executive Committee members will be making Hill visits to highlight the efforts of our Safe States Alliance and its members.  I will treasure this meeting to be surrounded by friends as I wrap up my Presidency. 

 

In addition to my Past-President role, I will be leading the Annual Meeting Planning Committee.  I hope to see many of you at the Annual Meeting in 2016!  Details to come soon! 

 

A big THANK YOU to Amber and her staff for supporting me as President!  I have learned so much about what it takes to have an effective board.  To everyone who has held a position on the Executive Committee over the last two years, thank you for stepping up and sharing your knowledge and skills Thank you to each member for making the last two years memorable and rewarding!

 

For anyone who has considered taking on a volunteer role with Safe States, DO IT!  It is a great opportunity to develop personal connections with other members, learn new skills and gain knowledge, and contribute your knowledge and skills to strengthen the field of injury and violence prevention.

 

  

Best,

 

Carol Thornton

 


July 1, 2015

Mapping our Future

 

The Executive Committee is your voice – as members you have elected the Executive Committee to represent you and your interests in Safe States activities, including in setting the strategic direction for the Safe States Alliance.  Since April, the Safe States Executive Committee has been working hard to ”draw” a strategic map for the Safe States Alliance as we come to the end of the current Strategic Plan for 2011-2015


Unlike a traditional strategic plan, a strategic map is an innovative one-page graphic that depicts the key elements of the Safe States’ three-year strategy.  It is focused on a central challenge –the key thing we must work toward over the next three years and use to guide our priorities and objectives.  Having been a part of many strategic planning sessions, the mapping process for me was a more efficient and effective way to develop consensus on where we need to head as an organization.  The next steps for the Executive Committee are to develop implementation plans and communicate the map with all members.


In the next couple weeks, the map will be unveiled with all members both electronically and during the full member webinar on July 16th.  Whether you read the map, or participate on the full member webinar, please take the time to let it soak in for you as a member and share your thoughts with the Executive Committee.  To help, here are some questions to ask yourself (adapted from “The Art of Focused Conversation: 100 Ways to Access Group Wisdom in the Workplace”):

  1. What words or phrases catch your attention?  What is clear to you?  What is not clear?
  2. What surprises you? What seems logical to you?  What excites you?  What makes you feel skeptical or frustrated?  Where do you see connections to the existing strategic plan? 
  3. What appears to you to be the key issue(s) or problem area(s)?  Where do we need the help of our membership?  What resources do we need?  What are the implications for how we do our work?  What questions do you have? What issues or concerns do you have about the strategic direction?
  4. What suggestions would you like to make in developing implementation plans?  How will you use the map and implementation plans?  What suggestions do you have to ensure successful implementation?

I encourage all of you to share your answers during open discussion on the full member webinar and to speak directly with any Executive Committee members.  As we move forward to develop implementation plans, the Executive Committee needs to hear from the members about how the Strategic Map and priorities relate to the work of the Safe States Alliance membership.  

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

 


June 8, 2015

Stay hopeful!!

 

In my last blog post, we were headed into our Annual Meeting.  I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with many of you and to learn about new developments in what we are collectively doing to prevent injuries and violence.  If you could not make it this year, be sure to check out the presentations posted here.


At the Annual Meeting, we heard thoughts from many speakers about our theme, “Creating a Culture of Safety.”  Martha Davis from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation touched on the Adverse Childhood Experiences study.  Dr. Rod McClure, Director of the Division of Applied Research and Practice Integration at the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and Dr. Alex Kelter, retired Chief of the Epidemiology & Prevention for the Injury Control Branch at the California Department of Health, led a QuickChat discussion about what it will take to create a “Culture of Safety” and the policy challenges before us.  Some of us also took advantage of the opportunity to view an episode of Raising of America – a documentary series from California Newsreel to reframe the way we look at early child health and development.  All of these sessions and others weighed on my mind and got me thinking about what each of us can do to build the protective factors for our children.


Then, as I was sitting in a drive-in with my kids watching the Disney movie “Tomorrowland,” the following quote struck a chord with me:


“There are two wolves who are always fighting.  One is darkness and despair.  The other is light and hope. The question is: which wolf wins?  The one you feed.”


So as we carry on in our work at the local, state, and national levels, stay hopeful!  Feed the light and hope to overcome the darkness and despair that we often see in our work.  Each of us has a role and together we can lay the groundwork for a “Culture of Safety”.  Let’s create a safe tomorrow for the children.

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

 


April 13, 2015

I'm so excited!

 

In just two weeks, 227 of us will come together at our 2015 Annual Meeting Creating a Culture of Safety: It Takes All of Us” (April 29 – May 1, 2015 in Atlanta, GA). As I continue to focus my blogs around a “Culture of Safety”, this month I want to highlight how the upcoming meeting is a culmination of Safe States Alliance members driving us all towards a culture of safety.

 

The Annual Meeting Planning Committee has done a knockout job in putting together our meeting! They lined up plenary speakers and organized the concurrent sessions to really explore the “Culture of Safety” theme. This year’s meeting will incorporate more interactive sessions than ever before: discussion sessions with our keynote speakers, learning workshops, documentary viewings & discussions, and networking time. The content and format of these sessions is intended to bring all attendees new information and skills they can use to move us towards a culture of safety. The committee itself is comprised of members who volunteer their time to serve the Safe States Alliance for the benefit of us all – how’s that for a great culture?

 

Kudos also to the Membership Engagement Committee!  So many fun activities planned, from the Welcome Reception to the Networking Lunch to the Braves game, as well as added bonuses of a chance to win an iPad mini and a Networking Scavenger Hunt (here’s a hint: be ready to smile!).  All of us that have been to an Annual Meeting know how cohesive our membership is; some even refer to our meeting as a family reunion.  I encourage existing and new members to take advantage of the all of the opportunities at this year’s meeting to get to know each other and continue growing our family. As a group, we lead the way for establishing a true culture of safety. 

 

Our Annual Meeting is also our time to formally recognize our outstanding members and to elect candidates to our Executive Committee.  Our Leadership Development Committee has led the effort to seek nominations for awards and Executive Committee, and they deserve applause!

 

As a collective of passionate volunteers through all of these committees, the Safe States Alliance is able to offer our Annual Meeting to all injury and violence prevention professionals to create a “Culture of Safety”. Let’s use this opportunity to strengthen our resolve, renew our enthusiasm, and continue in this joint pursuit. 

 

If you are not able to join us this year, be sure to follow the meeting on Twitter:  #safestates15

 

I am so excited for our Annual Meeting!

 

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

 


March 2, 2015

Firearm-Arm Related Harm: How Do We Change Our Culture?

 

In anticipation of our 2015 Annual Meeting Creating a Culture of Safety; It Takes All of Us (coming up April 29 – May 1, 2015 in Atlanta, GA), my blogs will continue to focus on what a “Culture of Safety” means and how all of us contribute. This month, I want to challenge our members that “us” is not limited to our membership, and that each of us has a role in bringing more individuals into the collective effort. 

 

Last week, an editorial was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, regarding “Reducing Firearm-Related Harms: Time for Us to Study and Speak Out”.[1] As a medical journal, the authors Drs. Taichman and Laine, on behalf of the Annals editors, shared what we in public health already know about the limitations on federal research about firearm-related deaths and injuries and recent accomplishments to turn the tide in the wake of tragedy.  This editorial is a worthwhile read, so please take a moment to read it.

 

Here are my thoughts: We are seeing small shifts in our culture of safety related to firearms, but we still have a long way to go. Tragedies continue to occur and bring sadness to families and communities. This article is a call to action for us to better engage healthcare providers (family physicians, pediatricians, emergency physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists, internal medicine physicians, surgeons, and psychiatrists) in our efforts. Collectively, their representative organizations have called for increased research and sensible measures that do not conflict with the Second Amendment. The authors challenged the 500,000 member physicians to contact their federal and state government legislators. This is the time to connect with our local and state physician organizations to share what we do know about firearm injuries. This is our opportunity to shift the culture. Use our data. Share our challenges. Identify the opportunities. Healthcare providers are a trusted and credible source of information for policy and decision-makers and they need to be engaged in our efforts.

 

If you do not know who the people are at your physician organizations, find out! And if you know them, send them the article and/or this QuickNews. Take action while the iron is hot! And just maybe we can see more shifts regarding firearm injury research in the favor of a “Culture of Safety”.

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

 

[1] Taichman DB, Laine C, on behalf of the Annals editors. Reducing Firearm-Related Harms: Time for Us to Study and Speak Out. Ann Intern Med. [Epub ahead of print 24 February 2015] doi:10.7326/M15-0428



 

February 2, 2015

Falls Prevention

Last month, I blogged about the word “culture” and our 2015 Conference theme “Creating a Culture of Safety; It Takes All of Us” (April 29 – May 1, 2015 in Atlanta, GA). I posed the following questions:

  • What does a Culture of Safety mean to you in 2015?
  • What is a sign that we are building a Culture of Safety? 

As a daughter that lives two hours away from her dad who lives in a three story house keeping to himself, I silently cringe at the thought of him falling and no one finding him. A sign for me that we are building a culture of safety for older adults is complex. There is a balance to be achieved between aging in place and providing care to those older persons who have medical needs. 

For those who are aging in place, I would like to see a culture of safety where we provide the necessary resources for these older adults – whether social or not, to have access to well-kept safe streets, public transportation, and low-cost evidence-based physical activity programs. Also, that there would be affordable senior housing in communities in which they already live – rural, urban, suburban. Our older adults are a vital part of our community and we need a Culture of Safety to maintain their independence and benefit from their experiences. This will take all of us, and even more from other fields to achieve.

  • What is does a Culture of Safety for older adults mean to you?

I welcome you to share your thoughts on these questions by tweeting me @Carol_Injury and @SafeStates using the hashtag #safestates15.  You can also email me your thoughts at carol.thornton.415@verizon.net. I will compile and share these responses at our upcoming Annual Meeting to showcase our collective vision of a true Culture of Safety.

Best,

Carol Thornton

President


January 5, 2015

Culture  

In December, Merriam-Webster named “Culture” the 2014 Word of the Year. In public health, we know how culture influences health and safety. Understanding culture is part of the core competencies of a public health professional, as well as informs the 10 Essential Public Health Services. As injury and violence prevention professionals, we have long debated how to shift cultural norms for the safety of all. In 2014, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also kicked off its efforts to build a “Culture of Health.”  

 

In being a leader in understanding and preventing injuries and violence, the Safe States Alliance and the Annual Meeting Planning Committee recognized the power of the word “culture”. In 2015, the Safe States Alliance is holding its annual meeting and the theme is “Creating a Culture of Safety; It Takes All of Us”, April 29 – May 1, 2015 in Atlanta, GA. During this meeting, we will build on the tremendous efforts of the injury and violence prevention community, while looking towards the future to collaboratively set the stage for creating an even safer future and strengthening the culture of safety.  

 

In celebration of the New Year, I ask each of you - what does a Culture of Safety mean to you in 2015? What is a sign that we are building a Culture of Safety?   

 

Share your thoughts on these questions by tweeting me @Carol_Injury and @SafeStates using the hashtag #safestates15.  You can also email me your thoughts at carol.thornton.415@verizon.net. I will compile and share these responses at our upcoming Annual Meeting to showcase our collective vision of a true Culture of Safety.  

 

Happy New Year! Looking forward to working with all of you on building the Culture of Safety!  

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

President


December 8, 2014

December 2014 President's Blog   One of 12,000 Point of View: 2014 APHA Annual Meeting

I was fortunate this year to have an abstract accepted for the 2014 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, which meant that my travel request was almost 95% guaranteed to be approved.  

 

If you have ever attended an APHA Annual Meeting, you know how big it is; this year there were over 12,000 attendees over four days of sessions. For those who have not attended, what sets the APHA Annual Meeting apart from others is that each attendee has a unique experience due to the vast number of sessions and events, as well as the volume of people that one meets along the way. This month, I want to share my highlights from the Annual Meeting.   

  • A big thank you to the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section of the APHA!  The Safe States Alliance was proud to receive the 2014 Institutional Public Service Award.
  • You can view the online program of the ICEHS Section at: https://apha.confex.com/apha/142am/webprogram/ICEHS.html.
  • There were too many great abstracts to name in this blog. But of course, check out the Safe States posters:
  • At every APHA meeting, I go to the ICEHS session on injury and emergency health data issues. This was my 5th APHA Annual Meeting and 5th data session, but this was the last year for Lee Annest to present at the data session for the CDC. Best wishes on your retirement; you will be greatly missed by practitioners and researchers!
  • Check out this video on falls prevention among older adults in New York State: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxDr4V06KaU&feature=youtu.be. It was one of multiple videos played in the Convention Center on loop, as well as on the shuttles buses and available on televisions in select hotels.  Way to go NYSDOH!
  • The2x2project aims to inform the health conversation through timely and effective communication of emerging public health science. Epidemiology, the science of public health, cannot and should not be limited to the scientists and practitioners with access to the scientific literature. The goal of the2x2project is to engage a broader audience—including thought leaders and policy makers from outside the discipline—to help translate scientific findings into practice.  The2x2project is sponsored by the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
  • The Monday General Session brought together five former surgeons general and current acting Surgeon General for a discussion on the future of health in America and how they used the U.S. surgeons’ general platform to make our world healthier. When you feel the need to be motivated, watch the videos on YouTube at the corresponding links! 

 

Current Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Boris D. Lushniak, MD, MPH: http://youtu.be/eLbrtkoVCYI?list=PLDjqc55aK3kwn1MF7UQxJZlyN430QSrAn  

 

Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA: http://youtu.be/syGXkyMGyi4?list=PLDjqc55aK3kwn1MF7UQxJZlyN430QSrAn  

 

Joycelyn Elders, MD, MS: http://youtu.be/bzORS85svqE?list=PLDjqc55aK3kwn1MF7UQxJZlyN430QSrAn  

 

David Satcher, MD, PhD, FAAFP, FACPM, FACP: http://youtu.be/uSibHgeB_fo?list=PLDjqc55aK3kwn1MF7UQxJZlyN430QSrAn  

 

This blog is only a small glimpse into my annual meeting experience, but I hope that all of you can share in my appreciation for being in the field of public health to prevent injuries and violence. I would love to hear about your experiences at the meeting!  

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

President

 


November 10, 2014

Get the Most out of Your Membership  

Every October, the Executive Committee reviews the priorities of the Safe States Alliance and looks at the role of committees, workgroups, and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to carry out the work that needs to be done. This work is ultimately intended to benefit our members.  

 

Our strength is in our membership. Your participation is critical to the Safe States mission of strengthening the practice of injury and violence prevention.   

 

Participation should be mutually beneficial. What are you interested in, and what skills do you have to offer? Do you want to:

  • Recruit new members? Plan and facilitate all social functions for the 2015 Annual Meeting in conjunction with the Annual Meeting Planning Committee? Join the MEMBERSHIP ENGAGEMENT Committee!
  • Help plan and expand QuickChats? Join the LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Committee!
  • Provide oversight of Safe States Alliance’s finances and audit? Join the FINANCE/AUDIT Committee!
  • Recommend and prepare statements relating to public health policy on injuries? Join the POLICY Committee!
  • Get more involved in a SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP (SIG) on a particular IVP subject? We have SIGs in the following areas:

    - Disaster Epidemiology

    - National Violent Death Reporting System

    - Partner & Sexual Violence

    - Local Injury Prevention

    - Hospital Injury Prevention

And if we don't offer a SIG that meets your needs, you can form a new SIG - get more information here!

 

We all know that financial resources are limited in public health, but we have our knowledge, skills, and abilities to offer. As President, I look forward to hearing about all of the great work of our volunteers, including you!  

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

President


 

October 13, 2014

Always Room for Growth

 

The Safe States Alliance has grown in many ways since it was established in 1993 as the State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association (STIPDA). From an initial group of injury prevention directors located at state health departments, to 511 members representing a variety of organizational categories: local health departments, hospitals, private organizations/non-profits, and schools/universities, to mention a few.


A key turning point was when our association changed its name in 2010. By a majority full membership vote, STIPDA changed its name to the Safe States Alliance and adopted a new mission statement that better represented the membership organizations beyond state health departments.  

But as with any person or organization, there is always more opportunity to grow. Currently, 56 of the 511 members are from local health departments. Across the nation, there are approximately 2,700 local health departments. Despite the enormous toll of injury and violence, only 39% of respondents to the 2010 National Profile of Local Health Departments reported injury prevention activities and only 24% reported violence prevention activities.

As a member, you can help to continue our membership growth among local health departments (LHDs) in addressing injury and violence prevention (IVP) by:

 

1) Sharing with LHD contacts what Safe States has to offer:

  • A great example is the “Standards and Indicators for Local Health Department Injury & Violence Prevention Programs.” This tool is meant help the LHD IVP program review its current efforts and identify potential areas for strengthening the program and future growth.
  • The Local Injury Prevention Special Interest Group develops reports on best practices, current research, and standards/guidelines for identified program areas of interest to local and county health departments and others interested in LHD IVP activities and issues. The discussions occur monthly in an organized forum in which LHD partners share professional activities and studies. The scope of interest includes programs available for LHDs and partners to be utilized in communities.
  • If you are a member through an organizational or institutional membership and have an open spot, your organization can offer the open spot to a local health department professional. This is an opportunity for that person to give Safe States a test drive for all the benefits of membership.

2) Encouraging members and non-members from LHDs to submit abstracts for our Annual meeting. It is a great opportunity to raise the visibility of best and promising practices that would be of interest to professionals such as you.


Let’s work together to continue to strengthen the practice of injury and violence prevention at the community, state, and national levels!

 

Best,

Carol Thornton

President

 


September 2, 2014

Get to Know Dr. Roderick McClure

 

I had a tremendous opportunity to spend a day at CDC last week and to sit down for a conversation with Roderick McClure, MBBS, PhD, FAFPHM, FAICD.

 

Dr. Rod McClure was appointed Director of the Division of Analysis, Research and Practice Integration (DARPI) within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at CDC in March 2014. Under his leadership are the funded programs for Core Violence and Injury Prevention and Injury Control Research Centers, as well as efforts related to surveillance, data and economic analysis, information technology, policy research, and evaluation. 

 

Knowing that I would blog about my meeting with him for QuickNews, he was very gracious to provide thoughtful responses to the following questions. Note: Dr. McClure's responses have been paraphrased for the blog format and do not adequately capture his accent.

 

Carol: Coming from abroad, what have you found surprising regarding injury prevention in the U.S.? 

 

Dr. McClure: The size of the U.S.  It makes it difficult for meaningful two-way communication. As the DARPI Director, I want to listen to the needs and wants of the injury and violence prevention (IVP) field by talking directly to the people, but logistically it is a challenge. I hope to get out in the field as much as I can to shape DARPI’s approach.

 

 

Carol: What is something about yourself we would not find out about you from a Google search?

 

Dr. McClure: You will find out what I have done but not my motivation - not why. As an undergraduate medical student, I realized I wanted to make a bigger difference by addressing population health rather than treating individuals one at a time.

 

 

Carol: Since you are the Director for DARPI, and you have an impressive background in research, how do you envision improving the integration and bridging the gaps between research and practice? 

 

Dr. McClure: I have lived in South Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe before coming to the U.S. I bring my experiences in comparing change in those settings and asking why about the outcomes. The challenge of epidemiology is comparing systems. The U.S. has 50 systems (states) to learn from in order to create knowledge from practice and to put research into practice. IVP is a systemic activity, and there is a need for the two-way relationship between research and practice. As the Director for DARPI, I want our division to be responsive to the needs from both the research and practice fields in order to achieve our goal to make things happen on the ground in the states.

 

 

Carol: Like most IVP professionals, do you have a personal experience that has inspired your dedication to injury prevention?

 

Dr. McClure: During my medical training, I had two experiences that shaped my career path. 

 

In my second year of post graduate training, I encountered a patient from a car crash who was perfectly healthy one minute, and then spent 12 months in an intensive care unit. I asked myself if something could have prevented this.

 

Shortly thereafter, I assisted in providing treatment to persons involved in a two-bus collision on a highway, and again I thought there has to be a better way – a need for broad population change rather than treating the individuals after the crash. The fields of public health (both practice and research) and medicine have different pieces of the puzzle to make mass change to prevent and control injuries.

 

 

Carol: What can the members of the Safe States Alliance do collectively to advance the IVP field?

 

Dr. McClure: I have heard many perspectives – it is all too hard, we need to focus on specific injury mechanisms to show impact. We need to believe we can do it. There are already evidence-based practices to implement our work in some areas. Everyone in IVP plays a role. For DARPI, we can support states by communicating information from research that compels action in practice and vice versa.

 

Injuries are preventable, and science is there to help us. Collectively, we need to be accountable to change the risk factors for injuries and violence.

 

Thank you, Dr. McClure, for an engaging conversation!

 

Best,

Get to Know Dr. Roderick McClure

 

I had a tremendous opportunity to spend a day at CDC last week and to sit down for a conversation with Roderick McClure, MBBS, PhD, FAFPHM, FAICD.

 

Dr. Rod McClure was appointed Director of the Division of Analysis, Research and Practice Integration (DARPI) within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) at CDC in March 2014. Under his leadership are the funded programs for Core Violence and Injury Prevention and Injury Control Research Centers, as well as efforts related to surveillance, data and economic analysis, information technology, policy research, and evaluation. 

 

Knowing that I would blog about my meeting with him for QuickNews, he was very gracious to provide thoughtful responses to the following questions. Note: Dr. McClure's responses have been paraphrased for the blog format and do not adequately capture his accent.

 

Carol: Coming from abroad, what have you found surprising regarding injury prevention in the U.S.? 

 

Dr. McClure: The size of the U.S.  It makes it difficult for meaningful two-way communication. As the DARPI Director, I want to listen to the needs and wants of the injury and violence prevention (IVP) field by talking directly to the people, but logistically it is a challenge. I hope to get out in the field as much as I can to shape DARPI’s approach.

 

 

Carol: What is something about yourself we would not find out about you from a Google search?

 

Dr. McClure: You will find out what I have done but not my motivation - not why. As an undergraduate medical student, I realized I wanted to make a bigger difference by addressing population health rather than treating individuals one at a time.

 

 

Carol: Since you are the Director for DARPI, and you have an impressive background in research, how do you envision improving the integration and bridging the gaps between research and practice? 

 

Dr. McClure: I have lived in South Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe before coming to the U.S. I bring my experiences in comparing change in those settings and asking why about the outcomes. The challenge of epidemiology is comparing systems. The U.S. has 50 systems (states) to learn from in order to create knowledge from practice and to put research into practice. IVP is a systemic activity, and there is a need for the two-way relationship between research and practice. As the Director for DARPI, I want our division to be responsive to the needs from both the research and practice fields in order to achieve our goal to make things happen on the ground in the states.

 

 

Carol: Like most IVP professionals, do you have a personal experience that has inspired your dedication to injury prevention?

 

Dr. McClure: During my medical training, I had two experiences that shaped my career path. 

 

In my second year of post graduate training, I encountered a patient from a car crash who was perfectly healthy one minute, and then spent 12 months in an intensive care unit. I asked myself if something could have prevented this.

 

Shortly thereafter, I assisted in providing treatment to persons involved in a two-bus collision on a highway, and again I thought there has to be a better way – a need for broad population change rather than treating the individuals after the crash. The fields of public health (both practice and research) and medicine have different pieces of the puzzle to make mass change to prevent and control injuries.

 

 

Carol: What can the members of the Safe States Alliance do collectively to advance the IVP field?

 

Dr. McClure: I have heard many perspectives – it is all too hard, we need to focus on specific injury mechanisms to show impact. We need to believe we can do it. There are already evidence-based practices to implement our work in some areas. Everyone in IVP plays a role. For DARPI, we can support states by communicating information from research that compels action in practice and vice versa.

 

Injuries are preventable, and science is there to help us. Collectively, we need to be accountable to change the risk factors for injuries and violence.

 

Thank you, Dr. McClure, for an engaging conversation!

 

Best,

 

August 4, 2014

Exercise Your Voices

 

This is the time of the year that our congressional members return to our states for the August recess. It is one of the best opportunities to raise the issues of injury and violence prevention without going to DC.

 

Each state has its own priorities and concerns and it is important that they are made known. I don’t know how many of you feel, but I get frustrated that media is filled with the opinions of a minority and that the majority tends to stay silent. We need to maintain a constant level of awareness of and “buzz” for our issues, whether things are going in our favor or not. With congressional members and their staff, we don’t need a complaint in hand, we can just say "thank you" for how he or she supports injury and violence prevention.

 

And many of you may say that you cannot express your thoughts and opinions as an employee of your organization. But, are you exercising your rights as a private citizen to speak freely about things that you care about?  

 

This month, I encourage each of you to access the valuable resources available to you as a Safe States member.

  • Check out the 2014 Congressional Outreach Guide. It has a variety of strategies and key messages. The Guide includes how to maximize your partnerships to relay your injury and violence prevention messages to policymakers.
  • Participate in the upcoming webinar on August 11th, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM EDT, focused on how to reach out to your congressional members during the August recess (August 4th through September 5th). REGISTER TODAY
  • Read your Advocacy Alerts from Safe States and share with your partners. The alerts have the pertinent information on federal activities that impact your state and the field of injury and violence prevention.

Tell Safe States Alliance about your activities and any planned next steps by contacting Stephanie Maltz.

 

And what will I be doing? I will be sending the most recent FY15 federal budget information to my local partners with explanations of what that could mean to the Commonwealth of PA. Also, I will check daily on what local events are happening with the two Senate members and send reminders to my local partners to try to attend and voice our messages. 

 

The injury and violence prevention field can be powerful, full of knowledge and passion. Let’s use our collective voice this August so we can continue to expand our efforts throughout the US.

 

Best,


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July 7, 2014

Freedom and Injury and Violence Prevention Hope all of you had a fun and safe 4th of July weekend! The 4th of July is a celebration of our freedom. The intent of our Founding Fathers in writing the Declaration of Independence has been interpreted in many different ways. The major challenge faced by the injury prevention field is that personal rights to some individuals are the personal choices to wear a motorcycle helmet or a seat belt, or to bear arms. We must continue to demonstrate that the freedom of all can include the safety of all. Recently, my state program hosted a storytelling webinar series to increase the capacity of our stakeholders to tell the story of injury and violence prevention well. A takeaway from this training was to dig deep for the message to overcome the issue of personal rights. While I have attended multiple storytelling trainings over the last few years, this one gave me a new perspective on telling a story that I want to share with all of you. I often use the phrase “living with lifelong disability” in hopes of eliciting an emotional response to take action on an injury issue. During the second webinar, participants discussed how to tell an effective story about seat belt use when talking to a decision maker who has a strong opinion in favor of personal rights. Instead of just saying “living with lifelong disability,” I will start painting the picture by describing the impact of not wearing a seat belt. I will be more specific about what the disability has meant for the family and community. Does the injured person need to be fed and/or bathed? Was the person the breadwinner for the family? Where did the person work? Was the person a leader in a local church or community? I will show the costs not only to the person, but to the significant other, the family, and the community, and then draw the line to what that means for the decision maker. Basically, seat belt usage is not just about personal rights; there are greater consequences to the community and society. As a field, we need to continue to tell the stories to capture the attention of decision makers. Once we have their attention, we can strategically share the research and statistics that support why we are so passionate about telling the stories.  I wish all of you an enjoyable summer and hope that you make great stories to share about your friends, families, and communities! Best,





Carol Thornton, President


​​June 9, 2014


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