CDC Injury Center celebrates 20 years, honors prevention leaders
Prevention Institute is pleased to announce that our executive director, Larry Cohen, was recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Injury Center for his work to prevent violence and unintentional injuries. The Injury Center, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, held an awards dinner at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association to honor 20 visionary leaders in violence and injury prevention for their "tireless work and dedication to making the world safer, healthier, and less violent." Larry and all of us at Prevention Institute are honored to work with so many dedicated partners.
As Director of Prevention for the Contra Costa County, California, Health Department and later founder of Prevention Institute, Larry has helped change the paradigm of how both injuries and violence are viewed. Injuries were once seen as random and inevitable; now most researchers and advocates understand that they are predictable and preventable. Larry also helped build a national movement to change the way we look at violence so it is understood as a learned and preventable behavior that can be reduced by creating changes in communities instead of merely punishing perpetrators.
Policy change has been a key part of Larry’s work. He helped secure passage of laws mandating helmet use by motorcycle riders and juvenile bicycle riders two decades ago. He worked with the initiator of car-seat laws, Dr. Robert Sanders, to build national momentum for car-seat legislation after passage of the first car-seat law in the U.S.—in Tennessee. Larry also helped create a California law that required that fines for violating car-seat laws go to car-seat safety education efforts and to buy car seats for low-income families.