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Importance of Sustainability Planning for Rural Unintentional Injury Prevention Programs

Rural communities should plan for the sustainability of their program from the initial stages of program design and development. Achieving long-term sustainability typically requires demonstrating progress and outcomes on preventing unintentional injuries. Rural program planners should be able to identify the effective components of their programs that merit sustaining after the end of grant funding. Evaluation is critical to documenting the value of investing in unintentional injury prevention, and rural communities should also identify which evaluation measures will be necessary to demonstrate the business case for their program. For example, reductions in unintentional injuries from motor vehicle crashes can lead to decreased healthcare utilization and hospitalization costs.

Other key questions to consider when planning for sustainability include:

  • Who is invested in unintentional injury prevention in the community? Who should be involved from the beginning stages of program development and implementation?
  • What anchor institutions, community partners, champions, and other community assets are interested and available to help sustain the program? Can the program be integrated into any existing structures?
  • How will the program demonstrate successes in unintentional injury prevention? What evaluation measures are of interest to funders, policymakers, and other key collaborators?
  • How is the program raising awareness of its activities and successes?
  • What components of the program need to be sustained to continue to see positive outcomes?
  • What kinds of funding are necessary to support the maintenance of the program? How can the program leverage community assets to sustain program activities?

Resources to Learn More

Business Case for Safety and Health
Demonstrates how investing in workplace safety and health can save on direct and indirect costs associated with injuries and illnesses. Offers a variety of resources for calculating cost savings as a result of implementing workplace injury prevention programs.
Organization(s): U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration

Making the Case for Injury and Violence Prevention: A Conversation Starter for State Injury and Violence Prevention Directors to Use with State Health Officials and Other Leaders
Presentation Slides
An overview of the obstacles and challenges state injury and violence prevention directors and state health officials (SHOs) experience when advocating for prevention programs. Offers 12 strategies used by directors and SHOs to make the case for investing in injury prevention.
Author(s): Williams, A. & Lezin, N.
Organization(s): Safe States

Save Lives and Money: Invest in Injury and Violence Prevention
Highlights cost savings associated with specific unintentional injury prevention strategies, and compares cost of injuries and violence with federal spending.
Organization(s): Safe States
Date: 3/2020