Celebrating 25 Years of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids
Barbara Barlow

Barbara Barlow, MD

Founder and Executive Director
Injury Free Coalition for Kids
Professor Emerita of Surgery in Epidemiology
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

All children have the right to grow up in safe and healthy communities. It is our obligation to work tirelessly to reach this goal.

Wendy J. Pomerantz, MD, MS, FAAP

Co-Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Cincinnati
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Division of Emergency Medicine

My interest in injury prevention came from Denise Dowd. She was an attending physician at Cincinnati Children’s and I was a fellow. She made it seem really cool! I got involved in Injury Free Coalition for Kids when I met Aissatou. We were in the same Injury Prevention Course at Johns Hopkins. She told me how she was born in Cincinnati in a house in O’Bryonville, one of the Cincinnati neighborhoods. She said that she would love to see Cincinnati as part of Injury Free so we joined. When we started, the PIs all of the other sites that were members were people that I looked up to and wanted to emulate.

Injury prevention is extremely important, and the Injury Free methods are proven to work to prevent injuries. It was really cool to put the framework in place and watch the injuries go down. It is the only evidence-based organization that truly does what it set out to do. The national conference is an incredible place for networking and sharing ideas. I love mentoring others in injury prevention. Injury Free is now truly the “place to be” in the IP world. Glad to be a part of it!

Charles Pruitt

Charles W. Pruitt, MD, FAAP

Medical Advisor for Child Advocacy - Primary Children's Hospital
Associate Professor - University of Utah, Department of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Ten years ago I joined Injury Free Coalition for Kids to further the water safety work that I had initiated through a new investigator grant from the Centers for Disease Control, but the coalition expanded my scope so that I was soon able to build a playground for underserved children and develop a comprehensive injury prevention program for children in the intermountain western United States.

Being part of Injury Free Coalition for Kids means that I collaborate with leaders of the injury prevention field from around the globe with access to cutting edge research and evidence based programming that is proven to save children's lives.

Eileen M. McDonald, MS

Associate Scientist & MSPH Program Director
Director, Johns Hopkins Children's Safety Centers
Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids Baltimore
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Anytime there is a chance to shine a light on pediatric injuries and, most especially, on ways to prevent them, count me in. Anytime there’s a chance to work with energetic, committed, smart and passionate people, I want to be among them. Anytime there’s a chance to make a difference in the community where I live while also contributing to a national effort, that’s for me. These are just some of the reasons why I’m involved in Injury Free Coalition for Kids.

Andrea Gielen

Andrea Gielen

Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy
Professor, Johns Hopkins University

I share the passion that Injury Free Coalition for Kids has for protecting children from preventable injuries, and I admire their leadership in our field. Injury Free has always been an exemplar of community-engaged work, and I’ve learned a great deal from their experience. The dedication of Injury Free members is inspiring, and helps to keep us all moving forward to achieve our shared vision of a safer world for children.

Herbert G. Garrison III , MD, MPH, FACEP

Professor, Eastern Carolina University
Director, Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program
Associate Director of Medical Service, North Carolina State Highway Patrol

In my career as an emergency physician and an injury prevention advocate, I’ve seen tremendous strides and successes in the prevention of injuries and related deaths. But this is no time to sit on our laurels – there is still much more to do to keep the people in our communities safe and injury free.

Jeffrey Upperman

Jeffrey S. Upperman, MD, FAAP, FACS

Director of Trauma, Children's Hopsital of Los Angeles
Associate Chief of Pediatric Surgery
Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Southern California

Injury Free Coalition was one of the first coalitions and organizations set-up with a focus solely on injury prevention. They were funded by the Robert Woods Johnson foundation and they had the charge of building a network of organizations across the country that would solely focus on injury prevention activities/programs for kids. But more importantly, they wanted to understand and study how to approach this and gather data so that there were evidence-based interventions, and how to save children and how to protect communities from all types of vulnerabilities that exist.

Linda Quan, MD

Seattle Children's Hospital Emergency Services
Professor, University of Washington, Dept. of Pediatrics

I was excited to join Injury Free Coalition for Kids because there was and continues to be such a need for a collective approach to injury prevention. There has been focus on prevention of various specific injuries but we surely can learn from those that have been well studied those, with established funded prevention programs as well as those who are innovative; so many approaches and tactics work across the injury panoply that need to be shared as well as evaluated in different settings.

What is wonderful about Injury Free Coalition for Kids is the diversity of sites and approaches its members bring, from the hard core researchers to the on the ground work with kids and families. The kind of cross fertilization the Injury Free provides keeps us all enthused, honest, evidence based and practical. Also the group has forged collaboration, support and visibility, all focused on one thing – making each child injury free – raising awareness, safety, and action from the street, playground, home up to the boardroom. We can’t do this alone; “it takes a village.”

Jane Knapp

Jane F. Knapp, MD, FAAP, FACEP

Professor of Pediatrics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine
Co-Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Kansas City

I became involved in Injury Free because it fit perfectly with my interests in Pediatric Emergency Medicine. It was a great opportunity to work with others from all across the country who believed in injury prevention, and best of all it was led by Dr. Barbara Barlow.

Marlene D. Melzer-Lange, MD

Professor of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin
Attending Physician, Emergency Department/Trauma Center
Children's Hospital of Wisconsin
Medical Director of Project Ujima

Injury Free Coalition for Kids is such an important way to network with injury prevention professionals across the United States. The work that we do in Milwaukee, both to prevent unintentional and intentional injury, aligned so well with the mission of IFCK. Personally, as a pediatric emergency physician, I see how injury impacts children and adolescents and their families in my daily work in the emergency department. Injury Free gives all of us the opportunity to prevent those injuries through our collaboration.

Craig Warden

Craig Warden, MD, MPH

Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University

We had a very productive four years of injury prevention in the Portland metropolitan area using funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We have a very diverse coalition to prevent falls injuries that continues to work today.

Jane Harrington, BSc, MSc

Injury Prevention Specialist, Program Coordinator
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of London, Ontario
Trauma Program
London Health Sciences Centre / Children's Hospital

As the First International Injury Free Coalition for Kids site, Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre is positioned to lead injury prevention activities and connect Injury Free Coalition for Kids’ values and goals with Trauma Centres and Injury Prevention leaders in Canada. Injury Free's mentoring and assistance with program development, evaluation, research, finances, and media assistance, allows us to take our injury prevention work to the next level and provides a forum for networking and the sharing of ideas. This relationship has been encouraging and valuable and we look forward to continued collaboration.

Angela Klocke

Angela Klocke, RN, MPH

Washington University School of Medicine

On that quiet afternoon in March when the 11 year old came through our doors, I was angry, frustrated and sad. I remember the name of every doctor and nurse who was in that room working to save his life. I remember whispering in his ear, stroking his face and stroking his head all the while trying to deal with a raw set of emotions about how could this tragedy have been prevented and how many more such tragedies were coming our way.

When I reached out, David Jaffe and Dr. Barbara Barlow were there to advise, teach and encourage. They gave me hope that our community could rally together for the safety and wellness of our children. I was overwhelmed by the response of SLCH and the whole St. Louis community. To have the support from not only the community at large (from Washington University School of Medicine, every Emergency Response organization in St. Louis city, the St. Louis Judicial Court, SLCPS, friends and family) but also from the members of the Injury Free family that embraced St. Louis and offered support and encouragement. I remember Dr. Jim Seidel, who once told me “if you need anything just call me.”

That one statement IS Injury Free.

What Injury Free means to me is that I am a part of something bigger than any trauma/injury can ever be... a group of people whose goal is simple... to keep kids safe.

All of this happened because a little 11 year old entered my life on a “quiet March afternoon.”

Christian J. Streck, MD, FACS, FAAP

Pediatric Trauma Director
Assistant Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics
Medical University of South Carolina
Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Charleston

Research, education, intervention and advocacy. Few organizations have a more important mission than protecting our future and none do it with more energy and enthusiasm than the Injury Free members.

Julie Philbrook

Julie Philbrook, RN, MAN

Program Coordinator
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Minneapolis
Trauma Prevention Specialist
Hennepin County Medical Center

As a former critical care nurse, I welcomed the chance to coordinate our Injury Free Coalition for Kids site. Working with the community to be proactive in preventing injuries is not only fulfilling, but fun. The collaborative relationships I have formed with kids and their families as well as coalition members has changed lives and saved lives.

Nelda Garcia, MD, FACS

Trauma Medical Director, Dell Children's Medical Center
Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Austin

Being a pediatric trauma surgeon is extremely rewarding and is accompanied with an opportunity to change the lives of children and their families before and after an injury event occurs. Medical interventions are necessary to protect and save children’s lives when they are hurt, but preventative measures are equally necessary to keep children from ever having to enter our operating rooms. I love working with a passionate team that has this same understanding.

Injury Free Coalition for Kids has helped Dell Children’s Medical Center develop. Our Injury Prevention Program is able to be part of a national conversation on keeping kids safe and prevention injuries. The resources from Injury Free have allowed our department to grow and provide services to our families in Central Texas.

Joseph J. Tepas, III

Joseph J. Tepas, III, MD, FACS

Chief, Division of Pediatric Surgery
University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville
UF Health Jacksonville

The only effective vaccine against the disease of injury is prevention.

Mary Aitken, MD, MPH

Arkansas Children's Hospital
Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Little Rock

Becoming an Injury Free site was the catalyst for ACH to address injury prevention within the hospital and the adjacent neighborhood. Lessons we learned from our early Injury Free experiences set the standards that we use to implement our outreach, education and research today – evidence-based, measurable changes, and in partnership with others.

Purnima Unni

Purnima Unni, MPH, CHES

Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Department of Pediatric Surgery/Trauma
Program Coordinator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Nashville

I always knew that I wanted to do something in the area of children’s health. My MPH gave me the background I needed to pursue this dream. Injury Prevention has given me a voice to make a difference in the lives of children and families and has fulfilled me in ways beyond what I could have imagined. My MPH internship in 2003 was at OHSU in Portland, Oregon. It was here that I was first introduced to the incredible work that Injury Free Coalition for Kids did. I knew that I wanted to be involved with the exciting world of injury prevention and hopefully be able to do something similar to what the various trauma centers were doing. When we moved to TN in 2007 and I got the Injury Prevention Coordinators job at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. I knew we had to become a site for Injury Free. I started presenting at the conferences and was encouraged by Dr. Barlow to apply. With the backing of some mentors here at the hospital we decided to take the leap and I am so grateful that we did.

Pina Violano, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven
Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital

Learning about Injury Free from Dr. Stan Frencher, attending an annual conference and hearing Dr. Michael Hirsh speak on gun buybacks, I was convinced Injury Free was the right organization to help me make a difference in the lives of children and their families.

Flaura Winston

Flaura Winston, MD, PhD

Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania
Former Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Philadelphia
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

When Injury Free Philadelphia at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was active, we worked to eliminate disparities in injury rates experienced by children and families living in West and Southwest Philadelphia. In addition, through mentorship of and collaboration with new and existing Injury Free sites locally and across the country and wide dissemination of evidence-based practices, Injury Free Philadelphia aimed to extend its vision to children throughout the Delaware Valley and across the country.

Michael Hirsh, MD

Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Worcester
Division Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Trauma
UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center
Former Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Allegheny General Hospital

I had developed a tremendous admiration for Dr. Barbara Barlow when I was a resident at Columbia University. She was a legend. She had taken on a position at Harlem Hospital that most people look at as the equivalent of going to the third world, but every single trauma meeting she would come in with a great smile and best attitude. A terrible tragedy took place. A mutual friend John Wood was shot and killed. Sarah Brady, Dr. Barlow and Keith Reemstma helped to pull me out of a tailspin and convinced me that their way, reducing self-destruction and preventing violence, is the best way out.

Barbara Gaines

Barbara Gaines, MD

Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Pittsburgh
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, UPMC

Injury Free and I started together at the very beginning of the injury prevention program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. We have grown together, supported each other, laughed a lot, cried a little, occasionally cursed a bit – but always have known that the message would always be the same: do whatever it takes to keep kids safe. In my entire career I have never been part of a group so deeply passionate, so hard-working, so driven as Injury Free. I am certain that as a group we have made the world a safer place for kids.

Michael Mello, MD, MPH

Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Providence

We are learning that prevention really does work, that strategies do exist to prevent injury occurrence and it can make a difference in keeping families safe. Injuries are like any illness in that they can be defined, have a spectrum of severity, have a pattern of occurrence and have certain groups at higher risk. I have continued to work in the field to educate families, communities and key stakeholders that injury can be controlled and we have strategies to accomplish that as well as needing to continue to research for more innovative methods.

Anne Brayer

Anne Brayer, MD

Principal Investigator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Rochester
Golisano Children's Hospital

I developed a keen interest in preventing childhood injuries after caring for countless children in the emergency department who had suffered pain and disability from preventable injuries. When I heard about Injury Free, and read about the wonderful work that Dr. Barlow had done, I knew I wanted to be involved. Then I found a colleague who was also interested, and we joined forces. Thanks to supportive hospital administration and the incredible dedication of Karen Knauf, my program manager, we’ve had over 10 successful years working to prevent injury to Rochester children.

Cheri Fidler, MEd

Program Coordinator, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of San Diego
Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center

I’ve diligently worked in Injury Prevention and with Injury Free for a reason: when I first started I had 4 little boys --- need I say more!? As time marched on we had our share of visits to the ED. As teens, one of my sons was involved in an auto crash he survived, but was in a body cast for 7 weeks and required facial surgeries. A few years later I lost a 17 year old son and his friend to an automobile crash. In the first incident, large roadway signs obscured the view of an oncoming vehicle. In the fatal collision, k-rail dividing the opposing lanes of traffic may have saved my son’s life.

Lois Lee

Lois Lee, MD

Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Boston

Joining Injury Free gave us the initial funding as well as the skills, tools, and colleagues to develop and grow our program, both within the hospital and in the community.

Judy Schaechter, MD

Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Miami
Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Department of Pediatrics
University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine
Chief of Service at Holtz Children's Hospital at Jackson Memorial Medical Center

I joined Injury Free for many reasons. I could easily do a “Top Ten List,” which would include the camaraderie, the lessons to learn from others, the dual commitment to both research and community, the early Robert Wood Johnson support, the conferences in Florida (!), the media training, the insistence on local surveillance, the parks, but by far the two most important reasons are these: 1) child injury is eminently and urgently preventable and 2) Barbara Barlow was, is and will always be my hero.

Dawne Gardner

Dawne Gardner-Davis

Injury Prevention Coordinator
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Since I have been a PC for Injury Free I’ve felt like a part of something really important. With the knowledge and resources I’ve gained as an Injury Free PC, I’ve been able to engage community partners, provide potentially lifesaving resources, meet some fantastic people through our programming and make lifetime friends of families I would have never engaged had I not been a part of Injury Free and its mission. Injury Free has been life changing to everyone that’s been a part of the outreach it supports and for me personally, IFCK has not only opened up my network to some of the most passionate, creative, caring, knowledgeable and resourceful program coordinators; it has also awarded me with recognition that is beyond measure. I am proud to be a part of the IFCK family and excited to see what the future holds for the organization and for the countless families that Injury Free touches through its resources.

Alina Nadsady, MPH

Former Program Coordinator
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Los Angeles (Harbor-UCLA)

The people working for, and the projects of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids will always be close to my heart. This was the first job I secured after graduating from college and receiving my Masters in Public Health; through the guidance and expertise of others in the Coalition I quickly grew to love the field of injury prevention. I mostly enjoyed the community-based projects we implemented — the playground builds, my Shoot With Cameras-Not Guns® program, the car seat installations, etc. — from which I was able to directly witness the positive impacts on the health and well-being of the children and families we served. I am also grateful for the life-long friendships with colleagues across the country who continue to motivate and inspire the work I do in the field of Public Health.

Kyran Quinlan

Kyran Quinlan, MD

Former Director, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Chicago
Univesity of Chicago / Comer Children’s Hospital

For about a decade until 2011, there was an Injury Free Coalition for Kids site at the University of Chicago, which I served as Principal Investigator, along with Program Manager Joe Strickland. The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital is a Level I pediatric trauma center on the south side of Chicago, in some of the poorest parts of the city primarily serving an African American patient population.

We will always be grateful for the support of Robert Wood Johnson, all of our other funders including the Illinois Department of Transportation, Allstate Foundation, State Farm and others, as well as the children and families on the south side of Chicago who deserved a safer place to grow up. And most of all, we thank Dr. Barbara Barlow for her amazing vision for how to protect children driven by local trauma data, community involvement and to be able to demonstrate change through evaluation. We also thank the IFCK National Program Office especially Lenita Johnson who has worked tirelessly to help spread Dr. Barlow’s vision and make it a reality across the country over the past 20 years!