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Safe States Alliance Recognizes Injury & Violence Prevention Achievements

Public Health Professionals From California, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Texas & Washington Receive Highest Honors


Safe States 2023 Award Winners

Image features the 11 awardees for 2023.

Each year, the Safe States Alliance recognizes and honors members for their contributions to Safe States and their commitment to the field of injury and violence prevention (IVP). The 2023 award winners collectively demonstrate commitment to equity, innovation, excellence, and vision to advance the field of IVP. 

From rising stars to seasoned veterans, the following public health professionals will be honored for their significant contributions during the Safe States 2023 Annual IVP Conference taking place Sept. 11-13 in Denver, Colorado.  

Alex Kelter Vision Award: Mark Kinde, MPH, Minnesota Department of Health (St. Paul, Minnesota) for his lifetime contributions, bringing vision and leadership to the field of IVP. Kinde's tireless efforts to inform public health action over the last 40 years has made a real difference in the lives of Minnesotans and served as an example for the rest of the field.

Advancing Health Equity Award: Chezik Tsunoda, No More Under (Bellevue, Washington) for her efforts to prevent drowning through water safety education, legislation, and increasing equitable access to swimming lessons and tools.

Injury and Violence Prevention Achievement Award: Christy Adams, PhD, MPH, The University of California Davis Health (Sacramento, California) for her collaborative approach to injury prevention that has led to stronger relationships between trauma care and public health locally and nationally.

Injury and Violence Prevention Achievement Award: University of Michigan — Michigan Medicine Trauma Burn Center (Ann Arbor, Michigan) for establishing a regional multi-disciplinary and multi-agency task force to develop and implement an evidence-based youth fire-setting intervention program.

Journey Award: Dr. Sandra McKay, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (Houston, Texas) for promoting collaboration between firearm retailers and healthcare professionals and creating a shared vision for preventing firearm injuries.

Partner of the Year Award: Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research for its ongoing support of, and partnership with, Safe States and commitment to bridging the gap between research and practice.

President's Award: Kirstin McFarland, Washington State Department of Health (Olympia, Washington) for her attention to detail and unwavering support as Safe States Treasurer.

Rising Star Award: The following four individuals, new to the IVP field within the last five years, are awarded for their immense efforts to advance the practice of IVP by exhibiting professional growth and providing strong leadership.

  • Courtney Fultineer, MPH, Oregon Health Authority (Portland, Oregon) 
  • Lauren Gracy, MPH, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (Topeka, Kansas)
  • Emilia Pawlowski, MS, New York State Department of Health (Albany, New York)
  • Victor Soupene, MS, University of Iowa College of Public Health (Iowa City, Iowa)

Formed in 1993, the Safe States Alliance is the only national non-profit organization and professional association comprised of public health IVP professionals representing all U.S. states and territories dedicated to strengthening the practice of IVP.

Contact Information:
Sharon Gilmartin
Deputy Director
[email protected]
678-636-9916

Richard Hamburg
Executive Director
[email protected]
678-396-8083

Julie Alonso
Senior Manager Program and Communications
[email protected]
678-532-8738


Original Source: Safe States Alliance Recognizes Injury & Violence Prevention Achievements
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