The Sewepemc Nation Injury Surveillance & Prevention Program was started in 2003, when 8 Health Directors representing 16 of the Secwepemc communities in Interior Health, came together to explore the possibilties of collecting community specific injury data. They recognized that for prevention strategies to be effective, the strategies needed to be matched to relevant injury problems. The group moved forward with the implementation of the Aboriginal Community Centered Injury Surveillance System (ACCISS). This System collects data on injuries occurring in the community and used this data to plan prevention activities in the community.
In 2004 funding was approved through First Nations & Inuit Health to implement the program into all communities that were ready.Each community was trained on the Aboriginal Community Centered Information Surveillance System (ACCISS), which is an electronic database system developed to track who, what, when, where, why, and how injuries happen. Communities track injuries on a paper-based system as well as the electronic system, and each year develop reports on the injuries.
Three Corners Health Services Society has been collecting data in our communities since 2005. With staff and community members filling out the Injury Surveillance Form, we are able to generate reports that show us what is causing the most injuries in our communities and who is getting injured the most. Once this information is gathered, we can use it to start prevention programs, such as the ice grip program, falls prevention strategy, Cribs for Kids program, and many more.
TCHSS also works in partnership with the Cariboo Memorial Hospital and 100 Mile Hospital. They fill out injury surveillance forms for our community members on injuries that required a visit to the hospital. This information is then put into our database for us to use to generate reports. The information collected is always kept confidential, as in, there are no names attached to any of the forms or any other identifying information. The purpose of the program is to provide prevention to all areas of injuries, not to gather information on a specific person.
In 2012 two new communities decided to join the program. The program now has a total of 13 communities that participate. The program was originally funded through FNIH, and is now being funded through First Nations Health Authority. We have also received funding through Interior Health.
Training and promotion initiatives are also part of the program. Staff from all participating communities has had the opportunity to attend trainings in Kamloops, Williams Lake, and a few have also gone to injury conferences and workshops in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa. Some staff have even presented at these conferences. Promotional materials are also given to communities throughout the year. These have included keychain whistles, emergency contact notepads, sticky notes, fridge magnets, posters and in the near future an injury prevention calendar.
The injury program is valuable to our communities and its members. It will help prevent injuries happening to our children, youth, adults, and elders. Our goal is to reduce the amount of injuries happening in the communities and start prevention programs to stop injuries from happening in the first place.