2023 Principal Investigator of the Year Award

Charles Jennissen, MD

Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Iowa Healthcare

Dr. Chuck Jennissen was enthusiastically nominated for the Pl of the Year Award by his team. He has distinguished himself in pediatric injury prevention, as a researcher, educator, and advocate for children. He has demonstrated excellence in leadership, has labored unceasingly to make a difference in unintentional injury to children and has devoted much of his medical career to increasing public awareness of the need for injury prevention work.

He has helped create, sustain, study, and grow a wide range of successful injury prevention programs. He has focused much of his work on All-Terrain and Off-Road Vehicle safety, where he is widely published. Other areas of research where he has published and presented are on firearm safety, sudden unexplained infant death, lawnmower safety, and playground injuries. He passionately shares his expertise with other institutions to utilize the evidence-based programming he was instrumental in developing. He has served on several editorial boards, grant review teams and has a keen focus on translating his research into practice.

He is a wonderful mentor and especially enjoys introducing pediatric injury prevention to students early in their medical education. Chuck’s mentees also nominated him for this award and commented, “Dr. Jennissen’s eagerness to actively involve students in his research, advocacy, and leadership is what makes him such an excellent mentor.” His expert guidance of novice researchers has led to multiple abstract presentations at local and national conferences as well as publications in prominent journals.

We are so fortunate to have Dr. Jennissen as part of the Injury Free family and congratulate him on receiving this well-deserved award!

2023 Program Coordinator of the Year Award

Dex Tuttle, M.Ed., CPST-I

Injury Prevention Program Manager
Children's Minnesota

Dex Tuttle, M.Ed., is the trauma prevention specialist and PC of IFCK at Children’s Minnesota. Dex was instrumental in Children’s Minnesota becoming an Injury Free Coalition for Kids site.

At Children’s Minnesota, patients and their families speak more than 60 languages. To provide equitable resources, it is sometimes necessary to convey important safety messages without using written or spoken words. Through his efforts and collaboration with a digital animation company, Dex has been able to share injury prevention messaging with families with limited English proficiency or literacy. This incorporation of art and positive messaging has allowed messages to be shared across cultures and language groups. He has also embraced as a new principal investigator the process of conducting qualitative and quantitative research on the efficacy of these animated videos, working with research specialists and others in the organization to understand research methodology.

His enthusiasm for injury prevention education and passion for reaching families and caregivers who are otherwise left out of the national conversations about safety are inspiring. He is now also the only instructor in Minnesota to be certified to teach the Child Passenger Safety Technician, Safe Travels for All Children, and Safe Native American Passages courses. He has collaborated extensively with the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board, which serves 18 tribes in 4 states, to develop a child passenger safety program, including leading CPST courses and mentoring new CPSTs and their first CPST instructor. This collaboration speaks volumes of his dedication to improving the health of all children, and to thoughtfully embracing the cultures and life experiences of the communities and caregivers he serves.

Dex has served on multiple committees and organizations at all levels, including Trauma Centers Association of American Injury Prevention Committee, Midwest Injury Prevention Alliance, and Safe Kids, Minnesota. He collaborates with leaders across the organization and champions efforts to educate and to share resources, including bike helmets, safety lights, and window locks. His partnership with over 30 community organizations allows injury prevention messaging to reach across the metro area. He represents Children's Minnesota well in all he does and strives to be as inclusive and resourceful as possible.