Reducing injury in Baltimore: The CARES Mobile Safety Center
The CARES mobile safety center, established in 2004, is a 40-foot “house-on-wheels” that includes interactive educational exhibits and low-cost safety products. CARES is staffed by educators from the Baltimore City Fire Department and the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. CARES attends events such as back-to-school nights; meetings for immigrants sponsored by a local refugee organization; and fairs planned by churches, clinics, non-profit organizations and neighborhood associations.
Faculty and Partners
- Eileen McDonald, Andrea Gielen
- Baltimore City Fire Department
- CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield
- Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)
What community need does this activity address?
CARES addresses the public’s need for accurate, accessible, and affordable safety information and products that reduce the risk of home and motor vehicle injuries. While CARES is available to all, it prioritizes serving the needs of low-income, urban families. When resources allow, CARES also has outreach to Spanish-speaking audiences.
What has been this activity’s impact-to-date?
CARES has served more than 40,000 visitors. It has been part of two federally funded community intervention trials. We found that using a mobile safety center in community events provides access to large numbers of individuals who rate their experience positively. When used in conjunction with the delivery of pediatric health care, there is more opportunity for the educators to provide in-depth training in selecting and using safety products.
How are partners involved?
- The Baltimore City Fire Department houses, insures, drives, and maintains CARES; they also provide a fire educator for events
- CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield supported 1) a media campaign to increase the community’s awareness of CARES, 2) public service announcements on drowning and carbon monoxide poisoning prevention, and 3) the production of a CARES replication guide.
- Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) collaborated on 1) the original design of CARES, 2) creation of new brochures in English and Spanish, and 3) designs for new name and look of vehicle to be more welcoming of older adults.
How are students involved?
CARES serves as an internship and field placement site for students training in injury prevention and health education.
What are the practice experience opportunities for students?
Health education, research, health communication, program development, program evaluation, needs assessment
For more information, please visit the CARES Mobile Safety Center website.
Governor Signs Bill Banning Grain Alcohol in Maryland
In May 2014, Gov. O’Malley signed legislation banning the retail sale of alcohol 190-proof and stronger starting July 1st. Banning extreme-strength alcohol was a top priority of The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems, a group formed in 2013 to address problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption on ten college campuses across the state.
The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce College Drinking and Related Problems addresses excessive drinking among college students as a statewide public health problem, provides public health expertise and support to implement effective interventions and policies, and provides a forum for sharing information and support among colleges statewide.
The Collaborative is led by a Governance Council of 10 college presidents, co-chaired by University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan and Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels, and staffed by teams of public health experts at the University of Maryland, College Park and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.