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Utah Gets CDC Grant to Prevent Injuries, Deaths

The CDC has awarded Utah a grant to develop programs to prevent injuries and death, such as encouraging seat belt use to avoid injuries in car accidents. (vladru/iStockphoto)
The CDC has awarded Utah a grant to develop programs to prevent injuries and death, such as encouraging seat belt use to avoid injuries in car accidents. (vladru/iStockphoto)
July 14, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded a five-year, $1.25 million grant to Utah to prevent critical injuries and violence. The funds are part of a $30 million program across 23 state health departments intended to enhance and develop local programs to decrease violence.

Ted Castellanos, public health analyst with the CDC, said the program is ultimately aimed at preventing unnecessary deaths.

"Violence and injuries are the leading cause of death for the first four decades of life for Americans,” Castellanos said. “In fact, for the first half of life, more Americans die from violence and injuries than from any other cause."

The program requires each participating state to fund and develop programs that address four core issues: child abuse and neglect, traumatic brain injuries, motor vehicle safety and intimate partner/sexual violence.

According to Castellanos, the program requires states to collaborate with stakeholders and other partners to develop successful strategies.

Utah will spend its grant money on a variety of programs, he said, including promoting better family relationships to prevent child abuse, working with schools to assess students for sports injuries and concussions and increasing seat belt use to prevent car accident injuries. Preventing sexual assault will also be a key focus.

"Programs like safe dates and safe dates for families,” Castellanos said. “Essentially these are bystander prevention strategies. What that means is they are strategies to change social norms ... empowering both men and women to intervene with peers to prevent assaults from occurring."

Castellanos said that the CDC's Core State Violence and Injury Prevention Program is designed to educate health department leaders, policymakers and others in developing programs to keep people both safe and healthy.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - UT