Safe States Member Since: 2006
State of Residence: Montana
Two of my favorite quotes: “A few minutes is like a few months in dog years.” –Fred Armisen, Portlandia; and “Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.”–L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Most Challenging Aspect of Injury and Violence Prevention Work: The range and diversity of injury topics keeps the job from becoming mundane or boring, yet proves challenging when it comes to feeling knowledgeable on a wide array of important injury prevention issues. With the limited resources available for injury prevention, most injury specialists find themselves training for a triathlon instead of a marathon by becoming knowledgeable on multiple topics with perhaps less intense focus than could otherwise be placed on a single topic. This explains why many injury prevention colleagues dedicate their lives to their work…it takes a career to become “experts” on a variety of priority injury topics and issues.
Describe an Injury-Free Society: An injury-free society is one that embodies public safety over personal rights and instills a cultural value through policy and ideology to protect our children and community members from preventable injury.
Please tell us about any specific success that your involvement with our organization helped you achieve, and how: Through partnerships with local and regional injury prevention specialists, the DPHHS Injury Prevention Program has been able to train 30 Leaders who implement Stepping On in 10 communities in Montana. The Stepping On program has been offered to over 200 older adults since it was first introduced in 2010. Safe States has been instrumental in helping to secure resources on fall prevention, make available pertinent information and provide guidance on program implementation and evaluation for our fall prevention program.
How has your involvement with Safe States benefited you or your business/profession/community in terms of increasing success, satisfaction, or quality of life? In August 2008, Safe States Alliance conducted a STAT visit for the MT Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS). The information and recommendations from the STAT visit helped the DPHHS ultimately secure support and funding from the state legislature to develop a statewide unintentional injury prevention program. Since the program’s inception, the DPHHS Injury Prevention Program has published quarterly injury surveillance reports, developed a Statewide Injury Prevention Strategic Plan, implemented a fall prevention intervention and continued supporting a statewide injury prevention coalition which consists of local and regional injury prevention partners working to address traffic safety, unintentional poisoning and intentional injury priority areas.
What do you find most rewarding about your Safe States membership: The generosity of injury colleagues willing to share their knowledge, skills and tools is truly amazing. Being a member of Safe States gives me feel a sense of camaraderie and friendship that I truly value.
Bobbi is married, has two children, ages 11 and 9 and lives in Helena.
Safe States Alliance Member Since: A long time- back, when I still went to a barber. I believe I joined Safe States (formally STIPDA) in 1996.
State of Residence: Iowa
Favorite Quote: “Experience is not what happens to you; it's what you do with what happens to you.” - Aldous Huxley
Most Challenging Aspect of Injury and Violence Prevention Work: It is often a challenge to convince the public, policy makers, etc. of the magnitude of the public health burden resulting from injuries and the fact they are preventable. Depending on the audience, the injury prevention community has to frame the message in a fashion that resonates with who they are trying to reach. There are many challenges in communicating this message- that injuries are a public health issue; that they are not inevitable and hence preventable; the fact injuries which are prevented are not visible and therefore challenging to describe/quantify; that intentional injuries are also preventable and included in our efforts; that there are multiple prevention approaches including engineering, behavior change, and policy development. While the list goes on, hopefully they only serve as inspiration to injury prevention advocates.
Describe an Injury-Free Society: Retirement for me.
Please tell us about any specific success that your involvement with our organization helped you achieve, and how: I feel that my involvement in Safe States (actually STIPDA at the time) while working in an academic injury research center helped to contribute towards building the strong bridge that now exists between the practice and research communities. When I first joined STIPDA I quickly realized that the practice and research communities had, at best, a strained relationship caused by insufficient resources and some prior inappropriate comments from both groups. In about 2000 the National Association of Injury Control Research Centers (NAICRC) was established and Dr. Craig Zwerling, Director of our Iowa IPRC, became its first President. Craig and I immediately began to strategize how we could help facilitate a much needed collegial relationship between the two organizations. We decided to invite Dr. Carl Spurlock from the Kentucky Injury Center to present a seminar at our Iowa Center. But the real reason we invited Carl was because he was the then current President of STIPDA and hence his visit gave us an opportunity to strategize how to go about building a beneficial relationship between the two organizations. As they say, the rest is history. Not long after that, STIPDA and NAICRC co-located their annual meetings together in Washington, DC and STIPDA went on to award NAICRC their Partner of the Year Award in 2002 (that I accepted on NAICRC’s behalf). Incidentally, similar to how STIPDA became Safe States, NAICRC transitioned into the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR).
How has your involvement with Safe States benefited you or your business/profession/community in terms of increasing success, satisfaction, or quality of life? I have a particular interest in public policy advocacy and my involvement with Safe States has provided me numerous opportunities to take our injury prevention message to both federal and state legislators.
What do you find most rewarding about your Safe States membership: Enjoying the camaraderie that exists among everyone in the injury and violence prevention field. Members and staff of Safe States have grown to become among my best friends in life. The typical Safe States member is incredibly passionate and does great work despite the challenges of insufficient resources.
John is the Deputy Director of the University of Iowa Injury Prevention Research Center where he has worked for nearly nineteen years. He currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of the Iowa Public Health Association and was recently elected Chair-elect of Injury Control Emergency Health Services Section of the American Public Health Association. He is in his tenth year on the Coralville City Council and is also Mayor Pro-tem. John is a retired firefighter and previously served twenty years on the Coralville Public Library Board of Trustees. When he has spare time he can usually be found in his woodworking shop. John and his wife Diana are parents to three children- Laura who is in a Clinical Psychology Program at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL; Joe who is a sophomore at the University of Iowa and will be a fourth generation Hawkeye on John’s side of the family; and Lisa who is deceased.
Safe States Alliance Member Since: 2009
State of Residence: Kansas
Favorite Quote: “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” --Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
Most Challenging Aspect of Injury and Violence Prevention Work: I think putting things in perspective. As a data person you can sometimes over pursue things that you find really interesting or numbers that you didn’t expect. Lori, my director, always has me step back and ask “why is this important and how are we going to use it?” It’s a great guiding principal.
Describe an Injury-Free Society: I’m not sure what it would look like. But I know there would be a lot less accidents and tragedies that have you saying “that should have never happened, it was totally avoidable”.
Please tell us about any specific success that your involvement with our organization helped you achieve, and how: I was in a Safe States breakout with Kyla Shelton, an epidemiologist from Florida, and she was working on this project that automated a lot of data analysis. When she started working on it she had no idea how to get it completed but she knew what she wanted. The code she developed was amazing but her approach is what really inspired me. Rather than having her skills define, her goals she let her goals define her skills. She then learned all these new techniques and created a wonderful product. I apply this approach to almost everything we do today in Kansas.
How has your involvement with Safe States benefited you or your business/profession/community in terms of increasing success, satisfaction, or quality of life? The organization has been proactive at looking at current and future needs and addressing them. When we had trouble contextualizing numbers and organizing reports they provided great talks on framing and storytelling. Being in a small state we don’t always have the best resources/experts physically nearby but having Safe States there to fill these gaps helps us grow.
What do you find most rewarding about your Safe States membership: Injury data analysis is so specific and confusing at times. Safe States gives you many tools and connects people so well it makes the work much easier. There are probably only 30-40 people in the country who do what we do and via Safe States I can easily connect with many of them.
Dan is a data geek who became interested in injury prevention after working on sports injury prevention efforts as a graduate student. His main hobbies are traveling, playing sports, watching NBA games (Lakers, of course).