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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 3, 2006

UI Physician Honored For Safeguarding Children

Charles Jennissen, M.D., recently received the 2006 SAFE KIDS Iowa "People Who Make a Difference" Award for his efforts to upgrade Iowa's child passenger safety law.

Jennissen is the division director for pediatric emergency medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Kathy Leggett, director of the Center for Advocacy and Outreach at Blank Children's Hospital, nominated Jennissen for the honor. She worked closely with him on legislation about child passenger safety and new seat belt laws for older children.

In her nomination letter, Leggett praised Jennissen's work with lawmakers and numerous other organizations to pass that legislation. She called him a "catalyst" and a "strong advocate" for his dedication to preventing childhood injuries.

Jennissen said he is "honored" to receive the award, explaining that more children and teenagers die from injuries than any other cause, especially from motor vehicle crashes.

"My efforts in injury prevention provide me more opportunity to save lives than all the time I spend in the emergency room," Jennissen said. "I applaud SAFE KIDS organizations throughout the state and the many volunteers who work so hard to make Iowa safer for our children. I encourage all Iowans to make the safety of our children one of their highest priorities."

SAFE KIDS Iowa recognizes individuals and organizations each year in conjunction with the Keeping Kids Safe Child and Youth Injury Prevention Conference. The individuals who receive the award demonstrate commitment, vision, integrity and passion for reducing unintentional injuries to Iowa children. The goal is to recognize those who go above and beyond their daily job responsibilities and make a positive impact in their community, while working in line with the mission of SAFE KIDS Iowa.

The mission of SAFE KIDS Iowa is to unite diverse injury prevention advocates and organizations from across the state in a grassroots effort and to promote the understanding and prevention of unintentional injuries and death to Iowa children.

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,