208301 Who's Your Partner in Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention? Building Effective Public Health and Law Enforcement Relationships in Indian Country

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Stephen R. Piontkowski, MS, RS , IHS, PA, Oeh&e, Eado, U.S. Public Health Service, Lakeside, AZ
Gordon Tsatoke, MPH , IHS, PA, Oeh&e, Eado, U.S. Public Health Service, Lakeside, AZ
Injuries continue to be a large public health burden for American Indians (AI) in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes and pedestrian-related injuries were the leading causes of unintentional injury-related death among AI adults 20 years and older. Adult motor vehicle-related death rates for AIs were more than twice that of whites and almost twice that of African Americans.

Tribal law enforcement based motor vehicle injury programs have been very successful in reducing the impact of motor vehicle injuries and deaths. We introduced a public health approach, which includes implementation of evidenced based strategies, to reduce motor vehicle injuries/fatalities to two tribal police departments. One particular program realized a 61% reduction in overall crashes in a five year period. Partnerships with federal, state, and local entities were critically important to the success of these programs. Multidisciplinary partners included: Indian Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, State Department of Public Safety, State Highway Office, public health practitioners, Tribal health departments, Mother's Against Drunk Driving, community members, county law enforcement, and Tribal law enforcement agencies.

Successful collaboration among public health and law enforcement agencies was realized to enhance motor vehicle injury prevention programs. The relationships among these key partners, the roles they played, and key considerations to engaging and mobilizing partnerships will be explored. We recommend public health practitioners collaborate with law enforcement agencies when implementing evidence based strategies to reduce motor vehicle injuries/fatalities.

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify multidisciplinary partners in Tribal motor vehicle injury prevention programs 2) Illustrate partner roles 3) Describe key considerations to engaging and mobilizing partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Gordon Tsatoke, BS, MPH, Injury Prevention Coordinator, has 15 years of experience in injury prevention serving American Indian populations and is a published author on the topic of motor vehicle injury prevention. Gordon has been with the USPHS since 1994.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.