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CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog

The purpose of this blog is to foster public discussion about injury and violence prevention and response and gain perspectives of those we serve.

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Me? A Blogger?

Categories: CDC Injury Center

People are motivated to blog for different and varying reasons. The most compelling of these for me is the ability to quickly and pretty directly get the perspectives of those we aim to serve and those who can help us serve well. In keeping with our strong tradition of partnership, I am launching this blog. Every two weeks or so, I will prepare entries or invite guest writers to discuss timely issues relating to Injury Center priorities, science, and partnerships. I invite you–our partners, colleagues and customers–to exchange ideas and thoughts with us through the creation of this discussion forum.

The Injury Center is committed to contributing to the CDC mission by optimizing quality of life and helping each person to realize his or her full potential. We do that primarily by committing to preventing injuries and violence and reducing their consequences. In order to do this, we are cognizant of the fact that we need an optimal workforce. This includes attracting and retaining the world class people we need. We depend on our people and their superior work- that’s what makes us successful.

In addition to making sure that we have a world class workforce, we commit to making sure that science directs the investments we make both in terms of getting information out to the public and then developing tools that we know will be effective in the prevention of those injuries. We also recognize that we need to foster partnerships with both traditional and non-traditional sectors.

At the Injury Center we are focused on what we need to accomplish and what it is that we have to do to sustain focus. We have dedicated ourselves over the next three to five years to three very important areas:

  • Promoting safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children, parents and other care-givers as a way of making sure that they are safe from injuries and maltreatment in the home.
  • Ensuring that every home in America has functioning smoke alarms to reduce residential fires and related injuries and fatalities.
  • Preventing falls among older adults to ensure independence and improve quality of life.

I am happy to say that we have been able to partner with a variety of agencies and organizations to provide you with information and tools. We hope to enable you to optimize the safety of yourselves and your families not only at home but in your communities and in all the places that you spend time in across your life span. You can find a wealth of injury and violence information resources on the Injury Center website at www.cdc.gov/injury.

I look forward to communicating with you through this blog and encourage you to actively participate. I welcome your thoughts on how to make this blog more effective by sending your comments, questions or ideas.

Public Comments

Comments listed below are posted by individuals not associated with CDC, unless otherwise stated. These comments do not represent the official views of CDC, and CDC does not guarantee that any information posted by individuals on this blog is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. Read more about our comment policy ».

  1. May 21, 2008 at 3:12 pm ET  -   George Lithco

    I am pleased to see that the Injury Center will be initiating a blog to solicit ideas on how it can do its work better. I hope part of the conversation that ensues will be focus on three issues that do not seem to preoccupy prevention thinking:

    1. Telling Ain’t Teaching: the heading was taken from a workshop for educators, but points to two basic problems in prevention education.

    Individuals trained in medicine generally lack training in effective communication and education skills. The prevailing medical perspective focuses largely on expertise in diagnosis and treatment of the consequences of “bad” behaviors – what might be considered prevention failures, not expertise in educating individuals in ways that change behaviors.

    The typical everyday prevention campaign does not focus on changing behavior: the goal is usually just to get information to people. While that is obviously a necessary first step, there is ample evidence to show that it is not sufficient.

    The prevention community needs to demand campaigns that work, and that means educating the community about the fundamental skill sets and techniques that make marketing and education effective. I hope you will bring folks like the architects of the VERB campaign, but folks from the world of marketing.

    Once the prevention community understands the tools and techniques that have been so enormously successful at selling, say, cigarettes, why not adapt and use them to prevent smoking?

    2. Teachable moments. In a time of economic constraints, effective prevention programs must identify and exploit teachable moments to change behavior. There is evidence that birth and other significant life changes are optimal times to educate.

    Birth is an especially opportune time not just because new parents are searching for information and support, but because the behaviors of parents and child in the first five years of life will either create sound preventive foundations for a lifetime or create patterns of dysfunctional behavior that will have significant social and economic repercussions for that same lifetime. The opportunities seem enormous, yet the social investment in fundamental education and support activities for new parents and child is insignificant.

    3. Creating and Marketing Sustainable Prevention Initiatives. One part of that challenge is to build public-private partnerships that will create the public policy foundation and economic rationale for investment in early childhood education and parenting skills, then communicate those opportunities to parents and their community support networks.

    Another is creating sustainable programs. That means leveraging the the desire of parents to keep their child safe, the desire of communities to maximize opportunities for parents and children to acquire and use skills that will make the work of social and economic institutions – including the schools, police and health care organizations – easier and more efficient, and the desire of business to meet the needs of parents and children. If prevention is ever to work, it is essential to make the move from grant funding to investment based on social profits. We can’t afford not to pay for prevention, because we’re already paying the cost of not preventing a host of preventable ills.

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  2. June 2, 2008 at 9:04 am ET  -   Patty Puline

    This is wonderful, and as the Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Coordinators for Erie, PA , please let me say thank you for your new blog. I look forward to sharing comments with colleagues across the US in the area of Injury Prevention, and learning about their valuable projects/insights.

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  3. March 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm ET  -   tge

    amazing writing you sir a capturing author I have subscribed to this article

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