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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.

One Small Step Together: One Giant Leap for Our Nation’s Health

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety, Injury Response, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, Violence Prevention

Progress Through PartnershipsLast week, National Public Health Week (NPHW) focused on injury and violence prevention – keeping people safe and realizing the goal of ensuring that people live injury-free.  It was a week where a great deal of attention was focused on injury and violence and the health and societal effects of both.  The joint Safe States Alliance, Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury (SAVIR) & CDC’s Injury Center Conference in Coralville, Iowa brought together over 350 injury and violence prevention practitioners and researchers, creating a forum for research informing practice and practice informing research, and an opportunity to explore evidence-based policy and practice.  It was a great week, and the first time that NPHW focused on injury and violence prevention.

So, now what do we do?  Do we wait for the next event that highlights injury and violence prevention?  Or, do we create the events that bring injury and violence prevention to light, and highlight their importance in our daily lives?  We have a choice – we, as a field, can design our future, by working to tell the story of injury and violence, by letting people know that injuries and violence are leading causes of death for young people, by raising awareness of the fact that injuries and violence can be prevented.  Furthermore, we can implement interventions that are demonstrated to be effective by disseminating those effective interventions and by continuing and expounding upon the dialogue that was started last week.  An alternative is that we can sit back and wait for someone else to design our future – to interpret our data; to decide whether injury and violence are important enough to discuss; to hypothesize about what works or doesn’t work.

For me there is only one option, one next step – and I hope that you will make the same choice.  I think every week needs to be injury and violence prevention week – and that until our parents and grandparents can explain to their friends what kind of work we do, and how it impacts them, we won’t have successfully raised awareness about injury and violence prevention and its importance in protecting and preserving health. 

What steps will we take today to put injury and violence prevention on the map as the premier public health achievement of the next decade?

Progress Through Partnerships Meeting 2011 Panel, Iowa City, IA. Pictured Left to Right: John Lundell, MA - Deputy Director, IPRC; Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN – Director, CDC’s NCIPC; Georges C. Benjanin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E) – Executive Director, APHA; Capt. Neal Walker, PhD, MSEd – Branch Chief, SAMHSA DPTSSP;

Progress Through Partnerships Meeting 2011 Panel, Iowa City, IA. Pictured Left to Right: John Lundell, MA - Deputy Director, IPRC; Linda C. Degutis, DrPH, MSN – Director, CDC’s NCIPC; Georges C. Benjanin, MD, FACP, FACEP (E) – Executive Director, APHA; Capt. Neal Walker, PhD, MSEd – Branch Chief, SAMHSA DPTSSP; Susan B. Carbon, JD – Director, U.S. Dept of Justice OVW; Christine M. Branche, PhD, FACE – Acting Director, NIOSH Office of Construction Safety and Health; Corinne Peek-Asa, PhD, MPH – Director, IPRC

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. April 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm ET  -   Julia Costich

    Sounds like a great meeting–wish I could have been there! One little step is to identify injury control ambassadors, and I would be honored to be one. People who understand and emphasize injury issues in the whole range of public health and health care forums can raise the awareness of opinion leaders. For me, it’s a matter of relentlessly, maybe a bit obnoxiously, raising the injury prevention flag whenever possible in relevant discussions and forums. Keep up this wonderful work!

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  2. April 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm ET  -   Jayne Andreen

    I really want to thank APHA for designating this year’s NPHW’s topic to be injury and violence prevention. Here in Alaska we were able to use statewide media for a week-long public awareness campaign. As Dr. Degutis says, however, we must continue to create a broad-based understanding of injury and violence prevention, using our best understanding to implement comprehensive programs.

    We are working in Alaska to incorporate the principles of primary prevention and health promotion functions into our injury and violence prevention efforts. This is a challenge, however, with segmented and limited funding and practices that make it difficult to develop that broader, comprehensive practices that we need to move individuals, communities and our society to safer and more respectful living. We must continue to be creative, committed and diligent in our efforts, building collaborations across our partnerships.

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