Injury & Violence Prevention Programs
To build solid infrastructure to improve the health of Kansans by increasing awareness and action to reduce injuries and violence.
To provide technical assistance to local and state partners to assess the burden of injury and violence, assure interventions, and facilitate policy development.
Injury & Violence as Public Health Issues
Public health focuses on the wellbeing of entire populations by seeking to understand the roots of a problem and then prevent it from occurring. The public health approach to injury and violence prevention involves:
- Identifying and defining the problem
- Identifying risk and protective factors
- Developing and testing prevention strategies
- Assuring widespread adoption of effective strategies
Instead of focusing on the treatment of individual injuries as they arise, public health focuses on broad causes and prevention solutions.
History & Funded Programs
The Office of Injury Prevention and Disability Programs was established in 1993 within the Bureau of Health Promotion at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). A disability grant and the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided initial funding for the office. The office has evolved into KDHE Injury and Violence Prevention Programs and now includes the following funded programs:
- Safe Kids Kansas
- Sexual Violence Prevention & Education Program
- Kansas Violent Death Reporting System
- Kansas Essentials for Childhood Initiative
- Zero Suicide in Health Systems
Safe Kids Kansas
The Safe Kids Kansas Coalition, established in 1993, is a nonprofit coalition of statewide and regional organizations and businesses with the mission to prevent unintentional childhood injury to Kansas children ages 0 to 19. The coalition network includes 30 local coalitions covering 36 counties and 74.8% of the Kansas child population. In addition to CDC funding through PHHSBG, Safe Kids Kansas also receives funding from governmental and private sources to support their work in primary prevention of childhood injury.
Safe Kids Kansas has received several awards for their work including the following:
- Outstanding Safe Kids Day Event, Safe Kids Worldwide, 2015
- Excellence in Communications, Safe Kids Worldwide, 2013
- The first Dr. Robert Sanders Award for Outstanding Public Policy Achievement in Child Passenger Safety, Safe Kids Worldwide, 2006
- Coalition of the Year, Safe Kids Worldwide, 2004
Sexual Violenece Prevention and Education Program
The Sexual Violence Prevention and Education (SVPE) Program, funded by the CDC since 1997, engages in a range of activities including prevention strategies, educational seminars, professional training and leveraging resources through partnerships. The SVPE program encourages the development of comprehensive prevention strategies to address all levels of the social ecological model.
Kansas Violent Death Reporting System
The Kansas Violent Death Reporting System (KSVDRS), funded by CDC since 2014, provides a clearer understanding of violent deaths to guide decisions about efforts to prevent violence and track progress over time. KSVDRS is the only state-based reporting system that pools data on violent deaths from multiple sources into a usable, anonymous database.
These sources include state and local medical examiner, coroner, law enforcement, crime lab, and vital statistics records. KSVDRS covers all types of violent deaths including homicides and suicides in all settings and for all age groups. KSVDRS may include data on mental health problems, recent problems with a job, finances or relationships, physical health problems, and information about the circumstances of death. Such data is far more comprehensive than what is available elsewhere.
The Kansas Essentials for Childhood Initiative
The Kansas Essentials for Childhood Initiative, funded by CDC since 2019, is led by the Kansas Power of the Positive (KPoP), a statewide coalition that is committed to all Kansas children growing up in safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. The coalition focuses on societal level interventions to prevent adverse childhood experiences and believes the conditions in which families live, including influence of family friendly workplace policies and practices, are key.
Zero Suicide in Health Systems
The Implementation of Zero Suicide in Health Systems, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 2020, supports safer suicide care in behavioral health and healthcare systems. Zero Suicide is a model and framework that believes suicide deaths for individuals under the care of health and behavioral health systems are preventable.
For systems dedicated to improving patient safety, Zero Suicide presents a framework for systemwide transformation toward safer suicide care. This work will involve key partners across the state, including Veterans Affairs and the 26 licensed Community Mental Health Care Systems that have more than 4,500 staff supplying mental health services in every county (120 plus locations) to more than 140,000 Kansans annually.
Besides the policies, protocols and practices the Zero Suicide model supports, objectives include supplying evidence-based trainings and practices to support a prepared, competent and confident mental health workforce and coordinated suicide prevention efforts across the state.
The State Suicide Prevention Plan is now available on the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services website.