PROJECTS AND COLLABORATIVE ACTIVITIES OF THE SERICN MEMBERSHIP
From the beginning, the Network has been focused on collaborative projects with a commitment to developing region-wide resources for facilitating each member state's initiatives to injury control. In historical sequence, the efforts undertaken by the SERICN follow.
- An inventory of injury control laws in the eight Region states. This was undertaken in the very early stages of the group (1991) and continued for a few years. There were three phases to these efforts: 1) motor vehicle; 2) unintentional injury; and 3) intentional injury control laws. The goal of this effort was to report mortality data that correspond with the injury control laws of each state, and through this comparison of data and policy, the network hoped to analyze the impact of the laws.
- State injury control workshops: Plans were made in the first few years of the Network to work with member states to plan injury control meetings to help identify needs, set priorities, and establish and implement a statewide injury control plan. As the field of injury prevention and control has evolved through the years, the needs of the group have changed. In response to the changing climate in which we all work, the Network held two meetings, a brainstorming and self-examination meeting in November of 2000 followed by a two-day strategic planning meeting in April of 2001, to rethink the purpose of the Network and to establish new plans of action for the future of the group.
- State update and Information sharing: Early in the Network's history, plans were made to establish a system of reporting to member states the current injury research taking place in the region, local, and state level. On each monthly conference call, Network members provide ad hoc updates of their state's own activities and share news and other relevant bits of information with each other. More formalized summaries of recent activities and copies of relevant reports or projects are shared at each of the in-person meetings. In addition, guests are often invited to in-person meetings to make a presentation on a topic of general interest to the membership. For example, at a recent meeting, a representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the group on the current priorities at the CDC related to injury prevention research among the elderly.
- The Southeastern Comprehensive Head Injury Center: Early in 1992, UAB-ICRC presented a proposal to the Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration for a Southeast Regional Comprehensive Head Injury Rehabilitation and Prevention Center. The Network endorsed the proposal and agreed to collaborate with UAB-ICRC by supporting the regional activities outlined in the grant and by working with the Regional Head Injury Prevention Action Committee.
- The Network Grants Committee was established in the early inception of the Network. At the June 1992 Atlanta quarterly meeting, the membership adopted the guidelines developed by the Grants Committee.
- The Network wrote a “Safety Belt Use Laws Fact Sheet” in 1993 to catalog existing laws in the region.
- The Southeast Child Care Safety Project: In 1993-94, the SERICN joined forces with state health departments and day care licensing agencies. The injury director and the day care regulatory people met together, and this was the first time that injury prevention specialists came together with providers in the day care industry to focus on child safety issues. The UNC IPRC sponsored the project. The group reviewed each state's day care regulations and then made recommendations for improving them.
- Operation Baby Buckle: In 1994, SERICN members joined forces with this non-profit organization to plan and coordinate the distribution free child safety seats to families in-need throughout the southeast states by network members. In addition, the two groups coordinated an educational “Flintstone Safety Tour” at malls in all eight states.
- Safe America Bike Helmet Campaign (1995): SERICN worked with this non-profit group, which grew out of the Operation Baby Buckle Campaign, to distribute $1.00 instant rebate coupons to residents in the member states for the purchase of a special bicycle helmet at a reduced cost. Part of the $1.00 became a donation to Safe America who used the revenues generated to buy helmets for disadvantaged youth, which were then returned back to the states for free distribution. Part of the program also targeted raising awareness among other community coalitions and education the public about bicycle safety issues.
- SERICN created a brochure for PR purposes in 1995. This brochure was updated April 2001 and includes a brief history of the Network, a description of the membership, and recent data comparing injury death rates by cause between the United States and the Southeast region.
- SERICN representatives served on the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games Injury Surveillance Project. Members distributed informational handouts at the games.
- Members presented a poster describing the SERICN structure, mission, goals, objectives, and activities (with the Databook as a highlight) at the Florida Public Health Association September 1997. In addition, they presented a three-hour workshop on injury in the Southeast at the Southern Health Association.
- In conjunction with the Children's Safety Network, the SERICN published the Region IV Databook for Child and Adolescent Fatal Injury, 1990-1994, a reference that provides estimated years of potential life lost to injury among other pieces of information. This resource was distributed in 1997.
- The Safe America Foundation worked with SERICN member states in 1997 to distribute child passenger safety seats as part of a General Motors Phase IV Funds. Each of seven SERICN states received 58-60 seats to distribute, for a total value of $16,440. Tennessee had already worked separately with Safe America and received seats for a total worth of $8,560.
- SERICN Members helped distribute 63,000 smoke detectors as part of Operation Firesafe sponsored by Radio Shack in 1999.
- The SERICN raised over $200,000 for child safety seats that were distributed throughout the Southeast to low-income families.