Safe communities are healthy communities. When people cannot engage in daily activities such as walking or biking because of potential injuries, community health is at risk. Injuries, both intentional and unintentional, are a leading cause of death for all people. Unintentional injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian and bicycle injuries, burns, falls, poisoning, drowning, and suffocation, are the leading cause of death for people ages 1-44 in the United States. Medical spending to treat injuries is on par with, if not more than, the costs associated with smoking or obesity.
Racial and ethnic minorities, including African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, suffer disproportionately high rates of unintentional injuries. The increased death and suffering caused by unintentional injuries in these communities reflects in part inequities in socioeconomic status, type of employment, and hazardous exposures.
Prevention Institute’s approach to unintentional injury prevention builds capacity and leadership to advance comprehensive, community-wide initiatives emphasizing policy and organizational changes aimed at eliminating the root causes of injuries. Prevention Institute aims to end disparities in unintentional injuries and prevent as many injuries as possible by building a cadre of injury prevention practitioners equipped to lead, collaborate, and advocate. To inspire and motivate, Prevention Institute explores the multi-disciplinary nature of injury prevention and the elements of effective leadership, and shares keys to overcoming hurdles in injury prevention. Highlighting lessons learned from improvements in automobiles, reductions in lead exposure, the development of flame retardant materials, and car seat safety and helmet laws, we provide a foundation for leaders to take on the field’s persistent and emerging challenges.