Injury Prevention Program
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Note: As of July 1, 2012, the Office of Injury Prevention became the Injury Prevention Program. Documents and activities finalized prior to this date will retain "Office of Injury Prevention".
What is Injury?
Injury is defined as “Damage or harm caused to the structure or function of the body caused by an outside agent or force.”
The major categories of injury are unintentional (accidental) and intentional. Unintentional injuries include those that result from motor vehicle collisions, falls, fires, poisonings, drowning, suffocation, choking, animal bites, recreational and sports-related activities. Intentional injuries result from interpersonal or self-inflicted violence, and include homicide, assaults, suicide and suicide attempts, child abuse and neglect (includes child sexual abuse), intimate partner violence, elder abuse, and sexual assault.
Common injuries include: poisonings, fractures, open wounds, sprains and strains, etc. The agents or forces causing these injuries are referred to as the external cause of injury and include, but are not limited to: motor vehicle crashes, falls, fires, firearms, poisonings, drownings, suffocation, animal bites, and recreational and sports-related activities.
Florida’s Need for Injury Prevention
In Florida, injuries are the number one cause of fatalities for ages 1–44, and the third leading cause of death overall after heart disease and cancer (Florida Vital Statistics). In 2011, injuries claimed 12,364 lives and accounted for 7.2% of all resident deaths.
In 2010 (most current national injury data), Florida’s age-adjusted injury death rates were higher than the national average by 13.5% for all unintentional injuries, 15.2% for unintentional motor vehicle injuries, 37.7% for unintentional poisonings, 19.4% for suicides, and a staggering 300.0% for unintentional drownings among children ages 1–4. In addition, Florida’s age-adjusted death rates in each of the above categories, except motor vehicle injuries, were the highest among the nation's five most populous states: CA, TX, NY, FL, and IL (see table below).
Clearly, there is a need for statewide injury prevention activities in Florida.
What has Florida Done to Address Injury?
In 2004, the Florida Legislature recognized the need to create and maintain a comprehensive statewide injury prevention program to support state and community health systems. Section 401.243, Florida Statutes, was created and states the Department of Health shall establish an injury prevention program with responsibility for the statewide coordination and expansion of injury prevention activities.
The Office of Injury Prevention (now the Injury Prevention Program),with Florida’s injury prevention community, created the 2004–2008 Florida Injury Prevention Strategic Plan, a statewide injury prevention plan, to serve as a road map in carrying out its duties and responsibilities. In addition, a statewide Injury Prevention Advisory Council was established to serve in an advisory capacity to the Office of Injury Prevention and the Department of Health. For more information please see the Florida Injury Prevention Advisory Council (FIPAC) web page.
In 2005, the Office of Injury Prevention was awarded a five year Public Health Injury Surveillance and Prevention Program grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 2004–2008 Florida Injury Prevention Strategic Plan, the first state plan since the 1990’s, was concluded in late 2008 with 74% of the plan implemented. This state injury prevention plan was referred to as a model plan by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other injury prevention organizations.
The Office of Injury Prevention is the first state injury program to complete the implementation of a five-year strategic plan and to immediately create a successor plan, the 2009–2013 Florida Injury Prevention Strategic Plan. Florida’s injury prevention program is known nationally as a progressive leader.
“In only five years, Florida has moved from being known within the national injury prevention community as an unfunded state to a progressive leader.”
— Dr. Ileana Arias, Director, National Center for Injury
In 2011, the Office of Injury Prevention was one of 20 state health department injury prevention offices awarded the five year Core Violence and Injury Prevention Program grant by the CDC. Implementation of the 2009–2013 Florida Injury Prevention Strategic Plan will continue with grant funding.
Florida Injury Prevention Collaboration
Injury prevention is complex, due to the many ways that people are injured. The Injury Prevention Program (IPP) leads, facilitates, and coordinates injury prevention planning efforts with injury prevention stakeholders and other state agencies. Resources are limited and it is imperative that state agencies and the injury prevention community collaborate to maximize their injury prevention messages and reach more population with injury prevention initiatives. The IPP identified key state agencies for injury prevention. Collaborating with these key state agencies does not result in overlapping injury prevention activities or initiatives. The key state agencies are:
Florida Injury Prevention Programs
The Injury Prevention Program (IPP) is responsible for the following programs and activities:
Other agencies and organizations that the IPP works in partnership with include:
National & Regional Injury Prevention Organizations
The Director of the Injury Prevention Program serves as Florida’s representative in the Safe States Alliance (formerly the State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association [STIPDA]), and the South by Southwest Regional Injury Network (previously the Southeastern Regional Injury Control Network [SERICN]). The South by Southwest Regional Injury Network includes the National Health and Human Services regions 4 and 6. The Safe States Alliance is the only national nonprofit organization containing public health injury professionals representing all states and territories. For more information regarding the Safe States Alliance, please contact the Safe States Alliance.