Children’s of Alabama’s community outreach and education pivoted in 2021 to achieve great success in virtual offerings. From webinars on the importance of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to hundreds of school administrators to reaching thousands of students via virtual teen driving seminars (pictured), the newly-formed Children’s Health Education and Safety Center touched all corners of the state. Thanks to this restructuring, and renewed relationships with Safe Kids Worldwide, Think First and the Injury Free Coalition for Kids, Children’s played a vital lead role in educating school nurses, students, community stakeholders, first responders and healthcare professionals in home, hospital, sports and transportation-related safety. Adding to this success was a new focus on data and demographics related to injuries seen and treated by Children’s of Alabama emergency department. This data will allow Children’s to target educational programming and injury-prevention messaging to areas of Alabama most in need.
This year has been one of growth, one of change, and one of overcoming adversity. We began the year working from home most days with our focus on program modification and planning to transform our face-to face programming into virtual presentations. We returned to the office full time in March and very soon after, we added a new member to our team secondary to the closing of the Patient Health and Safety Information (PHSI) office. With all the transformations going on within our department, we in turn acquired added responsibilities and programs. We spent months going back and forth on a department name that better defined who we are and what we do. What was formerly known as Alabama Safe Kids has been expanded and is now referred to as Children’s of Alabama’s Health Education and Safety Center.