Barbara Barlow, MD, FAAP, FACS

Professor of Surgery in Epidemiology
Columbia University Center for Injury Science and Prevention
Executive Director and Founder, Injury Free Coalition for Kids

Welcome to the 28th Annual Injury Free Coalition for Kids Conference, Forging New Frontiers: Secure for Safety! We are excited to once again be in sunny Florida welcoming our Coalition of injury prevention centers and injury prevention professionals from across the country. We have so much to share with you in the next two and a half days.

Our Coalition remains strong and continues to welcome, train, and educate some of the country’s brightest injury prevention advocates. Early-career injury prevention professionals, trained by esteemed injury prevention leaders, are now serving as PIs at multiple Injury Free sites and leading compelling injury research. Our original PIs now hold national leadership positions that will help elevate injury prevention and uphold equity in research and practice. We are thankful to the wonderful PCs, staff, and especially E. Lenita Johnson, who retired this year after many years of working tirelessly toward reducing injury. We are also grateful to Dr. Marlene Melzer-Lange for serving as the Injury Free Coalition for Kids President.

We were excited to celebrate the 4th annual National Injury Prevention Day with help from our excellent partners: Safe States Alliance (SSA), Safe Kids Worldwide, Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association (JPMA), Be Smart a program of Everytown USA, Giffords, Gun Owners for Safety Coalition, Society for the Advancement of Violence and Injury Research (SAVIR), the American Trauma Society (ATS) and Trauma Center Association of America (TCAA). This national event shines a green light on the burden of injury and allows for injury prevention advocates to come together for a common goal. We thank everyone who participated and made this event a success.

As Chair of the Program Committee and President-Elect of the Injury Free Board, Dr. Kathy Monroe has worked with the respective members to develop this year’s comprehensive program. We thank this Committee for organizing the abstract selections and judging during the conference. Their efforts bring us important keynote speakers, abstract presentations and posters, an informative panel of experts, and skill building workshops that will inspire us to go back to our own communities and continue to address these injury prevention priorities and secure for safety. Get ready to learn more about the importance of prioritizing Car Passenger Safety from Joseph Colella. Dr. Michael Levas, the incoming Program Committee Chair, will moderate Saturday’s Keynote on Safe Sleep, Downing, Firearms, Injury Prevention, and the impact on children with special needs. We are also thrilled to honor one of our very own Injury Free PIs, Dr. Kyran Quinlan, as our Pioneer Award recipient for his unwavering commitment to improve the health and safety of children through education and innovative practice.

Injury Epidemiology continues to publish the Injury Free Annual Conference Supplement, representing papers from our annual meeting. Enjoy reading the proceedings of the 27th annual Injury Free conference and remember to cite papers from our meetings as you prepare your papers for publication.

We encourage you to learn, engage and network with everyone, develop new partnerships, and further explore the topics covered. Also make sure to visit the exhibitor booths featuring car passenger safety education materials from SafeRide News, firearm safety with Giffords and their Gun Owners for Safety Coalition, and our good friends and partners in injury prevention Safe Kids Worldwide.