Injury and Violence Prevention

Injury and Violence Prevention

In working to strengthen the state public health infrastructure, ASTHO supports injury and violence prevention efforts by enhancing the visibility and capacity of state health agencies to reinforce effective policies and evidence-based strategies nationwide.

ASTHO provides tools and resources to assist health officials in making informed public policy decisions and in developing approaches to minimize the consequences of unintentional injury and violence in their states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control has identified four focus areas in the scope of injury and violence prevention:

This approach allows for flexibility in responding to emerging concerns and addressing issues where promising practices and policies are ready for dissemination, implementation and further evaluation.

Recent events precipitated a number of specific policy proposals and heightened interest in preventing firearm-related injuries and deaths. See ASTHO’s resource page on Preventing Firearm Injury and Death.

Adverse Childhood Experiences Capacity Assessment Tool

In 2019, ASTHO fielded the Adverse Childhood Experiences Capacity Assessment Tool (ACECAT) to all 59 state and territorial health agencies. ASTHO aggregated the 41 state and three territorial/Freely Associated State responses into nine regional reports based on the Health and Human Services regions, with regions 7 and 8 combined due to sample size. Although the ACECAT was administered pre-pandemic in 2019, the urgency for a systems-level approach to preventing ACEs remains. The results highlight the need for health agencies to utilize a shared risk and protective approach, seek innovative partnerships, leverage existing funding, and strengthen health equity.

ASTHO and Safe States Alliance Policy Guides

Preventing Injuries and Violence

An Updated Guide for State and Territorial Health Officials: Revised in 2016, this guide contains new data and state examples that state health officials can use to reduce the burden of injuries and violence in their states.

Spotting Injury and Violence Prevention on Your Radar Screen—Creating a Legacy in Public Health

An interactive primer for state health officials, highlighting the application of policy strategies to accelerate and promote positive change in the field of injury and violence prevention.

Making the Case for Injury and Violence Prevention

Provides insights, strategies, and tips from directors of state injury and violence prevention programs to help state health leaders elevate injury and violence prevention as priorities within their state health departments.

Injury and Violence Prevention: Featured Resources

To explore new initiatives and additional research on the prevention of unintentional injuries and violence, browse these featured publications.

Public Health Partnerships with Education and Medicaid: Improving School Health

ASTHO, Healthy Schools Campaign, and Trust for America’s Health collaborated to develop this resource highlighting the need for public health agencies to engage in school health. State public health agencies have a role in addressing mental and physical health services for youth and can partner with an existing learning collaborative to do so. The Healthy Students, Promising Futures program addresses the delivery of physical and mental health services in schools through a collaboration between state education and Medicaid agencies. This resource provides an overview of the collaborative and provides considerations for state health agencies looking to address school health.

Sexual Violence Prevention Framework Resource Tool

The Association of States and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in collaboration with Safe States, developed the Sexual Violence Prevention Framework Resource Tool. ASTHO’s Sexual Violence Prevention Framework was the result of conversations with our sexual violence prevention learning community members, state health officials, and strategic partners, on sexual violence prevention from a leadership perspective. The framework identifies areas to elevate sexual violence prevention to state health leadership through leveraging data, policy, financing, partnerships, and risk and protective factors. The new interactive, online tool operationalizes the framework by populating its 18 strategic objectives with more than 100 online documents, toolkits, virtual learning, national guidelines and best practices, state examples, and websites. Collectively, they underscore the importance of a public health approach to the primary prevention of sexual violence. The tool can be used by state health officials and other members of health leadership, department of health legislative liaisons, RPE program leads, health agency staff, or regional and state level stakeholders looking to elevate sexual violence prevention.

2017 Sexual Violence Prevention Policy Scan

ASTHO conducted an environmental scan of sexual violence prevention laws and legislation with the goal of better understanding whether and how primary prevention strategies for sexual violence prevention are incorporated into state laws and legislation.

View all injury and violence prevention resources »

President's Challenge: Injury Prevention

A Challenge to Reduce Preventable Injuries and Deaths in the U.S.

ASTHO Past President, Paul Halverson, DrPH, FACHE, (Alumni-AR) challenged state health leaders to study the data, assess their states, and consider adopting policy strategies to lessen the burden of preventable injury and death, drawing on the collective expertise and partnerships of ASTHO's national affiliate partners, including the Safe States Alliance, to achieve safer communities and improved health outcomes.

Several topics in the field of injury and violence prevention were examined during the 2009 - 2010 President's Challenge.