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CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog

The purpose of this blog is to foster public discussion about injury and violence prevention and response and gain perspectives of those we serve.


Every Child Deserves Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships: Why I Do What I Do at the Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention

By: Sandra Alexander

Sandra Alexander M. Ed.My mother was a teacher during the time when teachers made regular home visits. Growing up, I remember going with her on some of these visits, wondering about the different kinds of homes, behavior, and environments of some of my school peers.

Some kids in school bullied other kids, others showed up at school with injuries, and some did not show up at all. My mother, in her calm, steady way, would explain to me that families had different kinds of struggles and that kids’ behaviors reflected the kind of environments, relationships, and challenges they have in their life.

5 Ways to Keep Teens Safe on the Road

Categories: Motor Vehicle Safety

Dad teaching son how to drive

One of the most difficult things about working in the emergency department was making a phone call.  Not just any phone call, but a call at midnight, or 2 a.m., a call to a parent who might be waiting for his teenager to return home from an evening out with friends.  A call that would change a family forever.  A call that no one ever wants to make.  A call to say “I am calling about your son.  He has been in a car crash and is in the emergency department.  Can you come to the hospital? . . .  Is there someone who can come with you?”  It is the call that parents dread, and that we dreaded making.  And, it is a call that doesn’t have to happen.

Helping People Cope with Depression: Why I Do What I Do at the Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention

Guest Blogger: Helen Singer, MPH

Helen SingerThis spring, after several of my close friends and family reached out to share the news that Mike Wallace, the legendary investigative journalist and “60 Minutes” anchor, had died, I sat down and had a good cry. It was as if I had lost a favorite uncle.

I know that it probably sounds strange that I was so personally affected by the passing of a famous newsman whose life was seemingly very different and removed from mine, but the fact is that Mike Wallace played a significant role in my decision to do what I do at CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention (DVP).

Seeing Creativity at Work in Injury and Violence Prevention

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, Violence Prevention


I still vividly remember my days working at a trauma center, treating victims of violence and traumatic events and working with communities to help prevent violence and injuries from happening in the first place.

I can clearly recall the faces and voices of children who came to the emergency department with injuries, and can still see the reactions of the parents who were told that their child had died from injuries; injuries that could have been prevented.  

Back to School: Making Safety First on Your List

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury, Violence Prevention

Teens talking in school hallGuest Blogger: Wendy Holmes, MS

Back-to-school season seems to usher a school bus load of paper into our home. It starts with a cheerful postcard showing my child’s new teacher. Then comes the packet with the welcome letter, transportation form, lunch form, contact information form, medical information form, the Parent Teacher Association form, the…well, you get the idea. 

Keeping People Safe on the Road: Why I Do What I Do at the CDC Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Injury Response, Motor Vehicle Safety

Photo: pedestrians in the street in Paris

On this Boulevard de La Madeleine, Paris France, Dr. David Sleet was struck by a car – his pedestrian story impacts the work he does for the CDC Injury Center.

Guest blogger: David Sleet, PhD

I was a graduate student in Paris in 1972 – my first solo trip to the city of light. It was dusk and a group of classmates and I made our way to Boulevard de La Madeleine to shop. The narrow, seemingly pedestrian-friendly boulevard was alive, and it was cluttered with tourists and Parisians taking in the last minutes of light.

Stopping Kids from Drowning: Why I Do What I Do at the Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety

Guest blogger: Julie Gilchrist, MD

Julie Gilchrist, MD

Julie Gilchrist, MD

People who work in hospitals and emergency departments can tell you. Treating kids is a hard job—especially when a child comes in with a serious injury that could have been prevented.  I still get sad remembering some of the cases I worked on as a doctor in Philadelphia—many of my stories don’t have happy endings.

Moving Intimate Partner Violence Stories and Science to Action

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Violence Prevention

VetoViolence (Violence Education Tools Online) logo
Last December, I was having a conversation with a friend about how many people are actually affected by intimate partner violence (IPV).  When I said that 1 out of 4 women had experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime, my friend responded, “But, I don’t know anyone who has been abused.”  My response: “You just don’t think you know anyone. It is hidden so often, and we often don’t think that intimate partner violence affects our friends and families.”    

Seeing My World through A Safer Lens

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Home & Recreational Safety, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury

We are excited to see how injury and violence professionals, students, and the general public can showcase what injury and violence prevention looks like in their own communities through the “Seeing My World through a Safer Lens” video contest. This challenge will award $500 per category (Student View, Injury and Violence Professional View, and General Public View) for the video that best reflects a prevention story about Violence Prevention, Home and Recreational Safety, Motor Vehicle Safety, or Traumatic Brain Injury.

Recovering from TBI – Why I Do What I Do at the Injury Center

Categories: CDC Injury Center, Motor Vehicle Safety, Traumatic Brain Injury


Guest blogger: Jessica Burke   

Jessica's car after the accident

Jessica's car after the crash

I could be a web developer anywhere. So, why do I choose to work at CDC’s Injury Center?  

It’s because I know what it means to suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). And I know how important it is to help prevent other people from going through what I went through one Thursday in August 2005.

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