I have been an employee at Fletcher Allen for ten years, but this October I have officially been our Injury Prevention Coordinator for one year. My position is part of a dynamic team of staff that makes up our Level 1 Trauma Center. This means we see the most severe injuries from around Vermont and areas of New York. My job is to help decrease injuries and prevent more people from becoming our patients.
One of my many responsibilities is to coordinate Safe Kids Vermont (SKV). SKV is a coalition that brings together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, and many other partners with a common interest and mission to reduce unintentional injuries in children. Vermont Children’s Hospital serves as the lead organization for SKV. SKV is a member of Safe Kids USA, which has over 600 coalitions and chapters in 49 states.
Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children aged one to 14. As a coalition, and at Fletcher Allen Health Care, we educate children and adults, and provide access to bike helmets, safety devices, and programming to help keep children safe, healthy and out of the hospital. We extend our community reach by collaborating with other Level 1 Trauma Centers like Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and other community hospitals in Vermont and New York.
This year, I have spent more time working outside the hospital than in. I have distributed, fit, colored, stickered and modeled bike helmets for kids of all ages all over Chittenden County. I have participated in many community events providing educational information on injury prevention topics: home, bike, pedestrian, fire, burn, and car seat safety; falls, poison, and sports injury prevention. I have also done some arts and crafts along the way.
As a mom and a health care provider who has worked with kids for over ten years, I enjoy playing and interacting with kids and families. My many years working with kids have really paid off in this role. I have taken the skills of engaging kids (a.k.a. “keeping them busy”) while I answer their parents’ questions, measure them for a helmet, and most importantly – teach them ways to have fun and be safe!
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