Injury Prevention Symposium focuses on lowering injury rates

October’s Michigan Trauma Coalition Injury Prevention Symposium both inspired and empowered injury prevention stakeholders at the Metro Health Conference Center, Wyoming, MI. Chaired by Meaghan Crawley, MSN, RN, TCRN, the day focused on effective front-line strategies aimed at lowering injury rates in Michigan.

Megan Aukerman, Drug Endangered Children Specialist from the Child Abuse Training Unit of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan addresses the symposium.

Megan Aukerman, Drug Endangered Children Specialist from the Child Abuse Training Unit of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan addresses the symposium.

Professionals from pre-hospital care, EMS, trauma centers and hospitals expanded their knowledge about current state injury prevention initiatives, and the event provided opportunities for networking as well as broad-spectrum tools to promote the latest benchmarks for lowering costs related to injury prevention. Topics included bicycle safety, and a review of Michigan’s Drug Endangered Children (D.E.C.) intervention strategies. Speakers came from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Muskegon Police Department, and the Michigan Department of State.

State Fire Marshall Kevin Sehlmeyer reviewed a powerful initiative funded by a $525,000 federal grant supplying 21,000 smoke alarms in Michigan. Additionally, Mr. Sehlmeyer informed the group regarding current risk statistics, data collection strategies, statistics and resources (search “MI Prevention” for the Fire Marshall’s web page and videos).

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Trauma and Toxic Stress Prevention Coordinator, Mary Mueller discussed Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) science and Critical Incident Stress Management using Trauma Informed Care initiatives. Mueller focused on how to alleviate secondary trauma among caregivers and lessen compassion fatigue. See for related resources.

Riveting emotional testimonies were provided regarding drowning prevention and distracted driving practices. shows water safety and riptide management strategies, and terrific volunteer opportunities. offers multiple approaches to avoid distracted driving, and ways to enhance vehicle safety. Additionally, Sergeant Scott Zonnebelt spoke regarding police in civilian vehicles with the intent to locate drivers who text while driving. Some statistics from the presentation include: 51% – 56% of those polled “admitted” to texting and driving, and the latest discovery that eight people are killed each day in Michigan, related to texting and driving. The group is promoting further funding and an impactful educational push to lessen distracted driving.

The Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition and the Driving Change Campaign presented a large collection of safety initiatives and collaborations to provide safer biking opportunities on and off the road. Presenters from our Michigan Department of State inspired the group with information from, teen driving safety initiatives and transitions and alternatives for drivers. More information is available on the NHTSA Distracted Driving page.

Vendors participated in the conference including pharmaceutical representatives, the Injury Community Implementation Group via Michigan Public Health Institute and the Great Lakes Burn Camp. We graciously thank them for the support.

members of the planning committee

Shown above are members of the planning committee, plus a couple of speakers. From L to R: Kymberly Pashkowsky, MIPrevention; Maurice Cox, incoming MTC Injury Prevention Chair; Fire Marshall Kevin Sehlmeyer; Karla Klas; Laura Walker; Meaghan Crowley; Kelli Jankens; Donna Buccarelli. Front row: Matthew Budd, Mickie Kreft. Not shown: Nicole Matthews, Sheryl Hurst, Thomas Oweis MD.

Meaghan also sincerely thanks everyone on the planning committee (see above) and all involved in this terrific day. The next annual Injury Prevention Symposium will be held in October 2020 in Mid-Michigan, details coming soon. Registration will be available on the Michigan Trauma Coalition site.


Nicole Matthews, R.N.

Nicole Matthews, R.N., T.N.C.C., A.C.L.S. Injury Prevention Coordinator, Chair - Safe Kids Greater Flint and trauma outreach contact for Hurley level I Trauma center, level II Pediatric Trauma center, regional Burn center in Flint, MI. Studying for MSN in Forensic nursing, certified in basic disaster life support (BDLS) and SANE for youth and adults. Hx Trauma ICU experience, MedSurg, Women’s Health and senior community nurse care coordinator.  Also, an ACE master trainer, Stop the Bleed Instructor and Child Passenger Safety Technician.