Background Over 60,000 children are seen at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) annually with most presenting with preventable injuries. Extending the efforts to address injury prevention through utilisation of undergraduate, graduate and medical school students is the approach of CHLA’s Injury Prevention Program (IPP). In an effort to increase the number of paediatric injury prevention specialists, CHLA launched the inaugural class of Paediatric Injury Prevention Scholars (PIPS) in 2011.
Methods CHLA’s IPP recruited from local universities/research institutions. Selection methods were established to pool the highest quality candidate included submission of application, writing samples, interviews and reference letters.
PIPS program was established in response to the growing needs to address injury prevention in a under resourced situation. CHLA utilised a trauma database shared within LA County to track patient injury and treatment. Adjusting for cyclic patterns and seasonal effects, gap analysis provided baseline data indicating areas for improvement. Our findings highlight the need for increased injury prevention and expansion of resources to address gaps in outreach, education and research.
Results The established PIPS curriculum provides learning opportunities to expand programming capacity, to create interest in injury prevention and to provide training opportunities. The PIPS engage in injury prevention outreach through organising and facilitating educational booths in the hospital and in the community. In addition, students learn to create culturally sensitive materials used for injury prevention education. PIPS are encouraged to discover novel areas of research, to develop strategies to promote injury prevention as a public health issue, and to apply research methods to create evidence-based recommendations. Since the inaugural class of 2011, CHLA has graduated 4 classes of PIPS cohorts.
Conclusions PIPS program provides a successful vehicle for expanding CHLA’s IPP. The PIPS Program has been refined since the inaugural class to include streamlining the program curriculum to advance the development of future scholars who are committed to pursuing excellence in injury prevention through research, advocacy and education. This program allowed for IPPs around the country to have an effective program to produce injury prevention scholars and raise awareness in the field. Additionally, PIPS have enhanced programmatic function and abilities to increase community outreach and engagement of CHLA’s IPP by 700% during their tenure. PIPS have also contributed greatly to our research reach through manuscript submission on topics including acute care outcomes studies, systematic reviews, and sports injury(concussion) studies.
While the PIPS Program has served as a model for programs who anticipate staff/personnel shortages, they also afford existing staff potential for leadership development, mentorship and training. PIPS provide programmatic ability to build capacity to provide sustainable and beneficial projects and expand reach outside in the community in several of trauma’s service lines (disaster preparedness and injury prevention).
- capacity building
- public health training