When Elizabeth Bryant, MPH, joined BWH in May as injury prevention and outreach coordinator for the Trauma and Burn Centers, she was greeted by dozens of new children’s bike helmets in a nearby colleague’s office closet. The helmets were left over from past donation events the centers had organized.
In her role at BWH, Bryant is responsible for developing and implementing trauma and burn prevention programs in the community and raising awareness within the hospital about these programs and their benefits to patients, families and staff. Determined to make sure the helmets were put to good use, Bryant contacted the Boston Police Department (BPD) to see if they could assist in distributing the helmets to local children.
“The first thing that came to mind was that there are kids in our city in need of these helmets,” Bryant said. “We know the dangers of riding without a helmet, and it’s important to educate kids about bicycle safety.”
Sgt. Gino Provenzano, BPD community service coordinator, visited BWH on Aug. 5 to recognize the Trauma and Burn Centers for their efforts to keep the local community safe. Several times a year, BPD staff hand out donated helmets to children and families around Boston during bike safety workshops, which is how the donated helmets will be used. Provenzano presented members of the centers with a certificate from BPD Commissioner William Evans, thanking them for their generosity and commitment.
“The Boston Police Department is thrilled with this donation,” Provenzano said. “These helmets could potentially prevent traumatic brain injuries and save lives. On behalf of the Boston Police Department, I thank you for your donation.”
Ali Salim, MD, division chief of Trauma, Burns and Surgical Critical Care, who attended the visit along with Jonathan Gates, MD, MBA, Trauma medical director, added: “We are happy to be a part of any opportunity to promote bike safety in order to help prevent injuries to children. It was our pleasure to donate the helmets to the Boston Police Department so they could be distributed before the end of the summer.”
Bryant and her colleagues at the centers look forward to collaborating with the BPD and local organizations in the future.
The Burn and Trauma Centers invite volunteers to walk with them in the 10th annual New England Walk for Burn Survivors on Saturday, Sept. 12, 10:15 a.m.–2 p.m., at the American Legion Marsh Post 442 in Cambridge. The walk supports regional and national programs for burn survivors. You can learn more and register at bsofne.ning.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.