North Carolina celebrates first injury and violence prevention state plan

Herb Garrison, MD, medical director for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. Injury and violence is an issue that strikes all communities. Attracting attention to injury and violence prevention in North Carolina, the first statewide injury and violence prevention plan was established to counteract this public health concern that affects thousands statewide. Bill Hall, manager of the Occupant Protection Program at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center (HSRC), served on the advisory council and helped develop and review guidelines for the plan.

In recognition of the newly formed plan, the advisory council celebrated Injury and Violence Prevention Day on April 28. The event was hosted at the NC General Assembly on Jones Street in Raleigh, NC. Drawing attention to an often overlooked topic in public health, Injury and Violence Prevention Day supported the efforts of advocates to gain a better understanding of injury and violence prevention issues, meet other injury and violence prevention advocates and learn how injuries can be prevented. Each attendee of the Injury and Violence Prevention Day also received a copy of the statewide plan.

The day commenced with a welcome address from Dr. Carol Runyan, director of the Injury Prevention Research Center at UNC Chapel Hill. The day continued with a number of speakers including Herb Garrison, MD, medical director for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The presenters helped bring light to the magnitude of injury and violence in North Carolina. According to the N.C. Injury and Violence Prevention Branch, more than 5,400 adults and children die from injuries and violence in North Carolina each year; with motor vehicle crash injuries contributing to one of the five major causes of death. HSRC Research Associate Bevan Kirley attended the event, noting "It was wonderful to see people from many different professional backgrounds come together with the goal of reducing injuries."

For more information regarding the new injury and violence plan, please contact Bill Hall at bill_hall@unc.edu.