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2017 Annual Meeting

September 12–14, 2017

Aurora, Colorado

The links below contained detailed information for the upcoming 2017 Safe States Alliance Annual Meeting, taking place September 12-14, 2017 in Aurora, Colorado.

Please note:

Leveraging formal community partnerships to effectively prevent injury and violence

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM–4:15 PM MDT
Aurora Ballroom 3
Learning Objectives
  1. Describe a coalition-based model to prevent injuries
  2. Illustrate effective methods utilized by communities to address leading causes of injury
Statement of Purpose

Injuries are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) core budget has decreased by nearly $580 million and approximately 75% of CDC funding supports state and local programs. In order to reverse the upward trend in injury deaths and respond to declining availability of funding, communities must leverage local resources and implement effective measures. A national accreditation program, built from an international coalition-based model has been growing with the goal of developing a network of communities that engage with diverse partners, understand the scope of community injuries and implement evidence-based strategies to effectively address local issues.


An annual survey is distributed to all accredited communities to monitor the diversity of coalition membership, usage of evidenced-based strategies, and funding sources. Descriptive statistics and qualitative data are gathered to determine local injury priorities, types and effectiveness of injury prevention initiatives as well as types of funding to support work.


Eighteen of 19 completed the 2016 survey. Most initiatives (80%) address leading causes of injury and death and the majority of initiatives (80%) use evidence-based strategies. Successful community efforts include: 12% decrease in falls over a three-year span; an emergency department pilot matching trained recovery coaches with overdose patients, with 87% of patients offered services signing up for treatment; and a 50% increase in Question, Persuade, Refer (suicide prevention) courses available to the community in one year. In addition, 35% of initiatives had state, federal, local or corporate funding while 33% of initiatives had no funding. Over half of communities did not receive additional coalition funding.

Conclusions & Significance to the Field

Accredited communities follow principles that encourage implementation of evidence-based strategies to address community needs. Survey results indicate initiatives align with injury data and a majority are evidence-based strategies. The program provides a framework to collaborate, versus, compete for limited funding resources and form partnerships around specific goals, thereby increasing community access to resources, reach residents in need and ultimately reverse the trend of injuries and deaths in our communities. This program has the opportunity to build the number of communities working towards this goal.    


Suja Shunmugavelu, M.P.H., National Safety Council

Suja Shunmugavelu is the program manager for Safe Communities America (SCA), at the National Safety Council, where she works with community coalitions to enhance local safety and injury prevention initiatives. Prior to working on SCA, Suja coordinated the job safety program to engage employers integrating health into their safety programs. In 2008, Suja worked on a research project in Bangalore to develop and pilot test an intervention to prevent intimate partner violence.

She received her B.A. from Michigan State University and her M.P.H. from George Washington University where she led a coalition to prevent HIV and STD transmission and reduce unintended pregnancies in Washington, D.C.

Carrie Nie, M.P.H., National Safety Council

Carrie is the Director of Safe Communities America, an accreditation program of the National Safety Council. She has 20 years of experience in public health and violence and injury prevention. From 2006-2014 she served as the Associate Director of the Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas (IPC) where she was the presiding officer for the Dallas County Child Death Review Team and served on the Dallas County Adult Intimate Partner Violence Fatality Review Team. Prior to that she was the Director of the Violent Injury Reporting System at the Medical College of Wisconsin (1997-2006), where she managed a statewide violence injury surveillance system, created a training guide on violent death reporting for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and served as co-investigator for a CDC funded project on violent-related injuries and fatalities. She is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR) and Safe States Alliance. She holds a Master in Public Health from Tulane University.


Primary Contact

Suja Shunmugavelu, M.P.H., National Safety Council