Bob’s First Year

heads up youth football safety concussion prevention TBI traumatic brain injury kids and prosNow that I’ve been the Executive Director at the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma for a little over a year, and as we approach the Institute’s seventh anniversary, I’m looking at the year in review. We’ve clarified our mission: to discover and share the best ways to prevent and treat severe injuries in children. We set two goals that, while audacious, are attainable: to raise the level of care nationwide for severely injured children, and to address injury in youth recreation and sports.


Our three strategies continue to be clear: research, education, and advocacy. Below are some of our accomplishments:


  1. Great teamwork! We connect very well and spend a lot of time trying to understand each other so we can work better as a team. We all work hard to connect with our partners. We connect the right resources to get the work done.


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  1. The Childress family: We work diligently to engage Judy and Richard Childress, Tina (their daughter), Ty and Austin Dillon (RCR drivers and grandsons). We will continue striving to share their vision.


  1. Educational events: We’ve given back directly to the general public with bike safety events, a speaker series for EMS, Kids & Pros Heads Up Football Clinics, our new website, and other community projects. These events create positive awareness for the Institute, as well as extend our mission. They serve one child and one family at a time which is very rewarding.


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  1. Quantitative measures: We’ve raised a lot more money, about triple what we’ve done in the past. We’ve expanded our donor base by about 20 percent. We’ve tested and learned our way through a number of initiatives and ideas because we’re trying to determine what gives us a better ROI, provides a national impact and what could be scalable to increase our outreach.


In terms of our two goals, our first goal, raising the level of care, was most impacted by hosting the Childress Summit II in May. It took us a giant leap forward from the work mapped out in 2013. We took three “white paper” concepts and identified 60 leaders in pediatric trauma care for projects that we can organize work around to make progress over the next many months.


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We addressed our second goal, reducing severe injury in recreation and sports, by forming our Four Corners Consortium with seven nationally-recognized institutions. We aligned using the 2013 Industry of Medicine report which identified six key areas to address prevention and this type of injury. Later this year, we plan to apply for a major National Institutes of Health grant to study girl’s and boy’s youth soccer.


As I look forward, all of our work is clarifying our focus areas. We will continue to further assess and define, and improve our work as a team. In my former work, we focused on business cycles: the storming, forming, norming, and transforming cycles. Right now we are storming and moving into forming.


Thanks very much to everyone who has helped us! We will continue our hard and rewarding work to advance the vision of the Institute – to Save Injured Kids.

Stay inspired!!
Bob Gfeller

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