217920 An academic, business, and community partnership to translate lifesaving scientific evidence about unintentional motor vehicle injury into practice

Monday, November 8, 2010

Irwin Goldzweig, MS , Department of Family & Community Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
David Schlundt, PhD , Psychology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Paul Juarez, PhD , Department of Family & Community Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Roger Zoorob, MD, MPH , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Patricia Everage-Smith, BS , External Affairs, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Wayne Moore, MD , Emergency Medicine, Metro Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, Nashville, TN
Robert S. Levine, MD , Department of Family & Community Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN
Background: Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the US for people ages 4-34. Although seatbelts reduce risk from crash-related death and injury by about half, use varies in the US from 67%-97% and there is even lower use among high risk Black teen populations. Passage and enforcement of primary laws leads to significantly higher prevalence of seatbelt use (10%-16% higher). As of 2003, concerns about libertarian issues and racial/ethnic profiling prevented six southern states (AR, FL, MS, SC, TN, and VA) from passing primary legislation. Between 2003 and 2009, an academic-business-community partnership mobilized to facilitate passage of primary laws. Methods: The partnership foundation was the Meharry State Farm Alliance (MSFA), a research, education and public health policy initiative established at Historically Black College/University, Meharry Medical College (Nashville, TN), funded by State Farm. The MSFA collaborated with businesses, community-based coalitions and legislators by; a) providing scientific data showing benefits of primary seatbelt laws for minority motorists, b) providing state legislatures expert testimony, c) collaborating with local coalitions and national Black civic organizations to support primary legislation, d) preparing briefs for legislators and community coalitions, and e) presenting recognition awards to 23 legislators spearheading passage of primary legislation. Results: The coalition was invited to collaborate with all non-primary states. As of June 2009, AR, FL, MS, SC, and TN had enacted primary seatbelt laws. VA remained secondary. Conclusions: In concert with other factors, academic-business-community partnerships can contribute to overcoming obstacles to passage of lifesaving public health legislation.

Learning Objectives:
Attendees Will: 1. Discuss the usefulness of advancing social justice through public policy that encourages lifesaving behavior change. 2. Differentiate between primary and secondary seatbelt enforcement legislation. 3. Identify potential members of an academic, business, community partnership. 4. List ways they can translate scientific information for community-based coalitions and state legislators.

Keywords: Coalition, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator, developed the research, education and public policy objectives, hired the team to implement them and I oversee the entire program.
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.