In 1993, representatives of Dallas hospital emergency departments assembled to discuss a 38 percent increase in emergency room admissions as a result of traumatic injury. In addressing this issue, the panel recommended development of an Injury Prevention Center that would aim to prevent trauma as a result of violence and unintentional injury. With support from five of the cities leading hospitals, and private foundations, the Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dallas (IPC) was founded in 1994. IPC is a community serving program housed at Parkland Hospital and works to prevent injuries through community collaboration, education, and evaluation.
The IPC has adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) Safe Communities model as an approach for working in communities to engage residents in preventing injury. Utilizing the Safe Communities model, the IPC actively involves the community in program planning, implementation, and evaluation. The success of programs is attributable to the fact that residents determine what was needed in their community and assisted with the solution. In 1995, the IPC received the first WHO Safe Communities provider designation in the nation and was recertified in 2007. When representatives from the WHO in Sweden visited the Center for recertification this year, it was mentioned that the IPC was “the gold standard” of Safe Communities programs worldwide.
Under the umbrella of the Safe Communities Model, the IPC maintains nine coalitions with more than 135 collaborating agencies and individuals working to eliminate child abuse, family violence, domestic violence, as well as death and injury due to motor vehicle crashes, falls, and fires. The center has an excellent reputation for maintaining collaborative efforts particularly as it relates to traffic safety and violence prevention.
The IPC implements community-based preventive interventions in the areas of child passenger safety, pedestrian injury prevention, fire prevention, and senior falls injury prevention. Through these direct services, over 20,000 child passenger safety seats have been distributed to low-income communities, 7,000 smoke detectors have been installed in at-risk neighborhoods, and over 500 low income senior citizens have received home modifications and education to prevent falls.
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