Young leaders meet at APHA Presidents Road Safety Scholarship

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Young leaders in injury prevention have participated in the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting in New Orleans through bursaries provided by the APHA Presidents Road Safety Scholarship.

The FIA Foundation founded this scholarship in 2013 with the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Section (ICEHS) of the American Public Health Association Annual (APHA) to provide a modest stipend to help deserving public health graduate students and early career professionals, with an interest in road safety, attend the APHA Annual Meeting. The scholarship forms part of the Foundation’s global Road Safety Leadership Initiative.

The American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting is an international meeting of over 10,000 public health professionals around the world. The FIA Foundation and ICEHS encouraged the presidents and executive directors of not-for-profit road safety organizations (hence the name Presidents Road Safety Scholarship) to donate. FIA Foundation, AAA Foundation, AAA, IIHS, AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials), and AAAM (Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine) are the current donors. The scholarship is coordinated on behalf of these organisations by Make Roads Safe US, an independent non-profit which promotes global road safety within the United States.

In just its first 2 years (2013 and 2014), the scholarship has helped over 20 individuals to attend this key public health meeting and encouraged them to pursue a career in road safety. Applicants must fill out a short application and are selected by a small committee of injury prevention leaders. Once selected, they are awarded a check at the injury prevention banquet at the APHA meeting.

Dr Bella Dinh Zarr, US Director of the FIA Foundation, took part in the presentation ceremony and said: “Road traffic injuries are a serious global public health concern. Internationally, we need to address lack of capacity so encouraging young public health professionals, starting out on their careers, to be aware of global road safety and to see road traffic injury prevention as an exciting and valid career path to choose is vitally important.”