North Carolina: Nurturing Skills and Knowledge to Grow a Safer State

The basic principles behind shared risk and protective factors (SRPF) have long guided North Carolina’s injury prevention work. Five years ago, the NC Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB) and partners that make up the NC Injury and Violence Prevention State Advisory Council deliberately applied the idea by incorporating the concept into their statewide injury and violence prevention strategic plan. SRPFs have been a priority strategy for the IVPB across multiple funding sources and topic areas. As one IVPB staff member noted: “It’s just [that we have] limited time and expertise, and we want to be as efficient as we can and not [be] disconnected. [We’ve] always been oriented to connecting staff across the branch with suicide, rape prevention and education, [and] opioids.” Fostering connections across programs is achieved by staff sharing ideas about strategies, what is working, and how they are overcoming challenges in their work. These conversations promote identification of links between various programs and encourage collaborative work. North Carolina’s commitment to seeking success for injury and violence prevention as a whole is a solid foundation for building more formal collaborative relationships that may involve braided funding or explicitly working on shared risk or protective factors that impact various injury areas.

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