Office of Injury Prevention
MISSION AND STRATEGY:
The mission of the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Office of Injury Prevention is to promote a safe and healthy Connecticut by reducing factors associated with intentional (e.g. homicide and suicide), unintentional (e.g. falls and motor vehicle accidents) and occupational injury. The Office focuses on the Departmental Health Status Priority by observing and addressing rates of injuries in work environments, homes, schools, communities, on the roads, and at play areas. In addition, the Office, following national recommendations for intentional and unintentional injury prevention, oversees community-based programs (conducted by contractors) that address risk and resiliency factors associated with injury and implements strategies to decrease injury.
The Office of Injury Prevention promotes, through collaborative relationships, environmental and policy change initiatives to prevent injury death and disability. Most injury prevention programs, while population-based, are focused on defined geographical areas or populations served by community-based agencies and local health departments.
The DPH Office of Injury Prevention, in keeping with the national trend toward integrating the public health approach into prevention strategies, promoting interagency collaboration and utilizing successful model programs, will continue to work with interagency and interdisciplinary partners toward a broader population-based, wraparound approach for improving health and reducing death and disabilities due to injury.
Statute- the Office was established in 1993 under the statute, Sec. 19a-4I Office of Injury Prevention. There shall be, within the department of public health and addiction services, an Office of Injury Prevention, whose purpose shall be to coordinate and expand prevention and control activities related to intentional and unintentional injuries. The duties of said office shall include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) to serve as a data coordinator and analysis source of mortality and injury statistics for other state agencies; (2) to integrate an injury and violence prevention focus within the department of public health; (3) to develop collaborative relationships with other state agencies and private and community organizations to establish programs promoting injury prevention, awareness and education to reduce automobile, motorcycle and bicycle injuries and interpersonal violence, including homicide, child abuse, youth violence, domestic violence, sexual assault and elderly abuse; (4) to support the development of comprehensive community-based injury and violence prevention initiatives within cities and towns of the state; and (5) to develop sources of funding to establish and continue programs to promote prevention of intentional and unintentional injuries.
THE OFFICE OF INJURY PREVENTION: PROGRAMS AND FOCUS AREAS
In Connecticut, the highest rate of emergency department visits is due to injury. Injuries and violence can affect an individual’s ability to lead an active, productive and fulfilling life. The DPH Injury Prevention Program in collaboration with outside partners, local health departments and other state agency programs provide services to communities, groups, and individuals by offering health education, conducting data collection and analysis, and reporting on injuries and violence.
Unintentional injuries are those injuries that occur without intent of harm or death. These unplanned events can include falls, motor vehicle crashes, prescription drug overdose and concussion/traumatic brain injury. Currently a public health concern, they are the leading cause of nonfatal injury for all age groups in the United States, as well as the leading cause of death nationally for individuals aged 1 to 44.
Violence related deaths and injuries are described as intentional and include homicides, assaults, suicide, suicide attempts, domestic violence, child abuse and sexual violence. In Connecticut, suicide is the leading causes of death for person ages 45 to 54 and lowest in age group 15 to 19 years.
The Office of Injury Prevention works collaboratively with others working on intentional injury and related issues such as the Connecticut Suicide Advisory Board (CTSAB) and the Child Maltreatment Domestic Violence Collaborative.
For more information, please call
The Office of Injury Prevention