Children's Hospitals Association Receives $500,000 Grant to Reduce Preventable Injuries to Children

April 13, 2001

Alexandria, VA - To help reduce preventable injuries to children, the leading cause of childhood morbidity, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded a 15-month $534,000 grant to the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). The grant will be used to work with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids to expand their successful hospital-based injury prevention program to children's hospitals across the country.

"Every day, more than 39,000 children under age 14 are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment, totaling 14 million children per year," said Lawrence A. McAndrews, president and CEO of NACHRI. "With the generous support of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, children's hospitals will help curb this public health epidemic afflicting children by taking steps to prevent these type injuries from ever happening."

As part of their child advocacy mission to serve children and families in their home communities, many children's hospitals focus on injury prevention. Few, however, have the training or resources necessary to employ an injury surveillance system that tracks injuries of children over time. Such a data-driven system is the cornerstone of the national Injury Free Coalition for Kids created in 1988 at Harlem Hospital, NY by surgeon Barbara Barlow, M.D. with funding by RWJF.

Surveillance systems provide hospital-based programs with the data they need to understand where and how injuries occur among children in a community, according to Dr. Barlow, director of the Injury Free Coalition for Kids. "With our surveillance system in Harlem, we tracked a 55% reduction in major injuries requiring hospitalization, a 46% reduction in violent injuries, a 50% reduction in motor vehicle/passenger injuries and bicycle injuries and a 95% reduction in window falls - all due to our injury prevention efforts," said Dr. Barlow.

With the grant, NACHRI, in partnership with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, will train multi-disciplinary teams from children's hospitals in injury prevention including use and effectiveness of surveillance systems. Currently, eight of 160 members of NACHRI are active Injury Free Coalition sites. They include: Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Children's Medical Center of Dallas, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, The Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital in Atlanta, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of New York.

NACHRI's long range goal is to help establish the Injury Free Coalition for Kids model at numerous children's hospitals over the next five years. "If children's hospitals replicate the Injury Free Coalition for Kids model, we could potentially cut the number of preventable injuries among children in those hospital communities in half," said Kathy Lally, assistant director, child advocacy at NACHRI. "Determining the causes of injuries and developing strategies to prevent them will ultimately make kids a whole lot safer and save thousands of health care dollars in the process."


The National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), an organization of 161 children's hospitals and related institutions in the United States and Canada, promotes the health and well-being of children and their families through support of children's hospitals and health systems. NACHRI and its members work collectively to ensure children's access to health care and the continuing ability of children's hospitals to provide services that all children need.

The Injury Free Coalition for Kids is a nationwide organization of hospital-based injury prevention centers working with their communities to prevent injury through research, education, intervention and advocacy.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, NJ, is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in three goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to basic health care at reasonable cost; to improve care and support for people with chronic health conditions; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse - tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.

Injury Free Coalition for Kids
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue, MLK 17102
New York, NY 10037

The National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions
401 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

NACHRI Contact: Gillian Ray