This past summer a call to action was published in the American Journal of Public Health which highlighted a national survey of leaders in accredited public health schools and programs in the U.S. What the survey found: 32% of schools and 60% of programs did not offer to students a credit-bearing course in injury or violence. This is despite injuries and violence being the leading causes of death in the country and around the world – from motor vehicle crashes, suicide, overdoses, falls, intimate partner violence, and more.
These injuries and violence are preventable. This message was elevated throughout the country on November 18, 2022, during the third annual National Injury Prevention Day. Advocates organized to “shine a green light” on injury and violence prevention (IVP) through outreach activities, social media campaigns, and state/city proclamations (including a proclamation signed by Iowa’s Governor). Trauma hospitals, buildings, and bridges around the nation lighted up green, including a barn in rural Mason City, Iowa (Thanks to our friends there!)
As a new year begins, we are especially thankful to our dedicated colleagues and partners throughout Iowa and around the world who are making our communities safer and saving lives – by conducting research, doing outreach work, or training the next generation of injury and violence prevention professionals.
Here, we look back at some of our center’s highlights in 2022.
- We released, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa’s first injury and violence prevention state strategic plan.
- We launched our new Experiential Learning Program with three PhD students using national violence surveillance data to study occupational suicides among workers in industries such as healthcare, maintenance/automotive/repair, and arts/sports/media.
- We partnered with the UI College of Public Health for a video on student research and learning opportunities at our center.
- UI IPRC Director Carri Casteel participated in a national panel on injury and violence prevention to mark the 35th anniversary of the CDC Injury Control Research Program (which we have been part of since 1991!)
- We held our strategic planning retreat with our Executive Committee to inform next year’s action plans.
- We partnered with the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital to promote safer storage of guns to prevent child injuries and deaths through a blog post and podcast.
- We co-sponsored the Preventing Child Injury Conference in Iowa to educate child injury advocates around the state on our latest research on safe sleep and rear seat injuries in motor vehicle crashes.
- We launched a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense to reduce violence and multiple forms of harmful behaviors in the military.
- We created three policy briefs highlighting PhD student Hannah Rochford’s research on child maltreatment prevention policies: eligibility for child care subsidies, accessibility of victims services, and school-based recognition and response training policies.
- We disseminated blog posts from our injury blog on topics such as farm safety, trauma care in rural areas, mobile crisis outreach to prevent suicide, and intimate partner violence.
- We submitted our competitive application to renew our center funding as an CDC Injury Control Research Center!
UI IPRC in the news (examples):
UI IPRC publications (examples):
What’s next in 2023? Some examples:
- We will collaborate with other Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs) on a healthy equity project led by Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, which will look at health equity gaps in injury and violence data collection.
- We will highlight (in our injury blog) our research on frostbite, ATV safety, and teen risky online experiences.
- We will host/co-sponsor the Occupational and Environmental Health Student Research Conference.
We wish everyone a safe and healthy new year!
Published January 11, 2023