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    You Can Do It

    August 07, 2009

    A Community Guide to Injury Prevention
    Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center


    Injury is the leading cause of death and disability for people ages 1 - 44. Yet the field of injury prevention is still relatively new. There is a substantial amount of research that has been conducted defining the size of ijury problems, causal factors and potential solutions, but programs to address injury at the local level are still more the exception than the rule. This step by step guide has been designed to reduce some of the complexity and uncertainty surrounding how to develop effective injury prevention programs. It provides a reliable process which will assure that serious injury problems and target audiences are properly identified and prioritized, and that scarce community resources are used most effectively.

    The federal Government, specifically the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and national organizations such as SAFE KIDS are raising the nation's awareness of the problem. However, implementation at the local level - in your state. your county, your city or town - is a truly vital piece. Individuals are reached and lives are saved by local programs. Broad national efforts and media campaigns have little effect until such efforts translate into specific messages for each of us in our daily lives.

    Injuries are not the result of "bad luck". They are not "accidents". They are caused by the interaction of many factors that culminate at a particular moment. These factors are so varied that their prevention needs the attention of many disciplines and agencies at the federal, state and local level. The age-old adage is true: "There is something for everyone." The skills of many are needed to find solutions and apply them.

    This guide helps you to draw on the many professionals and organizations in your community to develop and implement injury prevention programs. Ten steps for developing an injury prevention pro-ram are described. A community prevention program that was developed and implemented by the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center (HIPRC)is outlined as an example of how the steps apply in the real world.

    If your resources of staff, time and funds are limited it is advised that you not attempt to develop new strategies and interventions but rather implement a program already developed and evaluated for efficacy. New program development is better left to those equipped with the resources. The energy and expertise of local professionals and agencies is best utilized by implementing and adapting a program which has already been developed and evaluated.

    As you begin to think about injury prevention and are casting about for "what to do and how to do it", this guide will give you a clear and concise pattern to follow. The more defined your program is, the easier and more effective it will be to implement. A pinpointed goal and specific objectives to accomplish it are mandatory for success. A focused goal defines your target population and coalition members, suggests implementation methods and allows a feasible evaluation. Each of these areas are explained in the ten steps discussed in the following text. They are your directions for how to weave the fabric of injury prevention into a successful program that fits your community and effectively prevents death and disability.

    Additional help is available to you through the consulting services of the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center. Staff at this CDC regional center have been developing, implementing and evaluating community projects for the past twelve years. We offer you on-site consultation with telephone follow-up. The knowledue we have gained will help you short-cut the often lengthy process of choosing an injury problem to prevent, implementing a program and evaluating the application of it in your community. If you are interested in taking advantage of this service, please call us at (206) 521-1520

    Frederick P. Rivara, M.D., M.P.H.
    Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center
    George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics
    Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology
    University of Washington

    John Britt, R.N., M.P.H.
    Injury Prevention Coordinator
    Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center


    Injury Prevention Guide

    Read the full article: Ten Steps for Developing an Injury Prevention Program